Too busy to look up what’s going on in town? This article covers selected information from minutes of various Boards and Commissions. If you want more detail, it can be found by going to suffieldct.gov, Agendas, Meetings and Minutes.
Board of Education: Three Cultural Homestay International students from France, Italy, and Spain, were welcomed to Suffield Public Schools. They are being hosted by the Calavan, Viggiano and Plakias families.
The summer music program was a success and is expected to expand next year. This will include middle and high school students.
Dr. Laura LaFlamme, SHS Agriscience Director and SPS Teacher of the Year, has been moved to the semi-final round of Connecticut Teacher of the Year.
All schools were inspected which resulted in a significant amount of fire code work prior to the start of school.
Board of Selectmen: Annie Hornish expressed concerns with the proposed Dog Ordinance and feels it does not align with state law and will invite more lawsuits against the town.
The transfer of $24,000 from Contingency to Animal Control Veterinary Services to pay for Dexter Hornish at River Valley Animal Hospital was approved. Additional decisions included J.R. Russo for Engineering Consultation in the amount of $50,000 and $25,000 to purchase a replacement vehicle for Town Hall.
Several tax abatements were approved due to overpayment. Discussion to waive the bid and purchase policy to use Green Eagle Energy and Environmental Systems Corporation for energy efficient lighting installation and EV charging stations was approved.
A proposal for the Babb’s facility and Bridge Street property was presented, which includes a dog park for the Babb’s facility. Mr. Glynn, a lifelong resident of Suffield and grandson of Nelson Babb, voiced concerns with possible tree removal at the Babb’s facility. Noise, regulation, and vandalizing concerns that impact residents were also expressed.
ARPA Grant Awards will be distributed to Friends of the Farm at Hilltop, CT Landmarks, Friends of the Windsor Locks Canal Trail, Kent Memorial Library, West Suffield Center District Improvement Association and Suffield Historical Society.
Conservation Commission: A Public Hearing was held regarding a Briarwood Homes, Inc. 24-lot subdivision on Remington Street.
Many concerns about drainage and flooding properties were expressed by residents. A report from Eolas Environmental was received regarding contaminated soil on site from past farming activities.
There was also concern regarding the Suffield Water Pollution Control Authority (WPCA) and their relationship with the Conservation Commission, suggesting that the two commissions should communicate more on proposed projects.
Suffield Housing Authority: A special meeting was held to address smoking in a unit with a resident on oxygen. It was agreed that there will be no smoking in an oxygen unit. The housing property went to a Non-Smoking Policy in 2014.
Required property inspections were completed, with some issues identified such as blocked doors and excess clutter. Staff has been working on this with residents.
Planning & Zoning Commission: A Public Hearing was held regarding a special permit to hold private events at Hilltop Farm in addition to the non-profit educational/fundraising events currently held. A motion was made and passed limiting the number of events to twelve, between 9 a.m. and 11 p.m., for a term of three years.
Digital message board signs were discussed. Concerns about messaging control and information overload from the many forms of communication available today were expressed. There was also concern about driving distraction and safety.
The goal is seven signs across Town at an estimated cost of $35-40k per sign depending on whether it is a single or double-faced sign. The life expectancy is 100,000 hours of use or approximately 10 years. This Board has recently passed a social media policy that would be applied to the content of the signs. The proposed application would amend the regulations to allow animated, flashing, rotating, sequential lighting or intermittent illumination signs, but only when associated with municipal or public safety functions. The Commission’s counsel cautioned them on this proposed amendment.
Police Commission: Several letters of appreciation were received for assistance, comfort, quick response, going above and beyond, and being down to earth and “cool”.
There has been one car burglary, one stolen John Deere tractor and two stolen dirt bikes. Fraud complaints have increased 295% compared to 2022. There has been a 65% increase in domestic violence calls.
The Police Commission can now hold hybrid meetings through Zoom. This will bring the Commission in line with the other Commissions in town.
The Department entered an agreement to allow a social worker intern who will have limited abilities to conduct follow-up and aid town residents. The internship is new and believed to be the first of its kind in the country.
Veterans Memorial Expansion Committee: Roger’s Memorials will submit a design proposal in the coming weeks. Once approved, the actual quote for installation will need to go out for bid. The memorial will consist of two 7-foot structures with bases, on the Main Street side of the existing memorial, with pathways and lighting.