Town News You Might Not Know

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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, Agendas, Meetings and Minutes.

Board of Education: Topics also included transportation which is off to a good start, food service is running smoothly, and Fire Code work has been costly. A Request for Proposal (RFP) for Spaulding’s boiler replacement has been sent out. Additionally, the Policy Subcommittee is making a recommendation to prohibit cell phone use for grades PreK-8. Student cell phone use at the high school will be addressed separately.

Participation in the Big E included 135 students and 27 parents. Students received first place ribbons across the board. Four AgriScience teams will be competing at Nationals in November.

Board of Selectmen: Questions relating to committees versus commissions and requests for resumes was explained in detail by Attorney Donnelly.

Police Department: Re-write of 133 policies is done. All officers are equipped with new tasers, and a review of the radio and communications system is underway.

Fire Department: will begin providing Supplemental EMS support when no Police units are available for medical emergencies. Also, when additional EMS resources are needed above their operating capacity.

A new Fire Engine should have arrived by now. Also, a national fire magazine has approached Chief Cunningham about doing an article on the Suffield Fire Department.

Selectman Moll’s application for a STEAP (Small Town Economic Assistance Program) Grant in the amount of $500,000 to make upgrades to the Community Services Building was discussed.

The Composting Initiative will start with $9k, of which $6k was raised and $3k was a matching contribution. A composting dumpster will be located at Spaulding, and an educational program will be held at the high school. Eventually, all schools will be involved.

Economic Development Commission: The Tax Increment Financing (TIF) Matching Grant Program was presented. The plan is to offer funding to businesses in the Town Center with money accrued through the Town Center TIF District instituted in 2017. This will be a grant program where the Town will fund up to 80% of improvement projects with a maximum grant amount of $25,000. The Economic Development Commission (EDC) will be involved in the application approval process. If the program is successful, they may recommend that a TIF district get approved for other areas in town.

Three new businesses have opened in Suffield – Resilience Physical Therapy and Wellness, Intention Yoga and Wellness, and Hair Revival. Pride’s Corner Nursery is having a solar array installed and Karenough Crafts is expanding their space.

Kent Memorial Library Commission: In addition to looking for a new Interim Director and eventually a new Director, there have been discussions about the library’s website. More information is available at KMLWebsiteOpinionofCounsel10-29-21.pdf.

Planning & Zoning Commission: A request to add text to allow digital signage as a means of communication within the community was submitted. Some Commission members and a resident expressed concerns it wasn’t the best technology to use as they are distracting, cause safety concerns, and limiting the signs to municipal properties would not be enforceable. Therefore, commercial properties might also use them. The motion to approve as submitted was denied.

A request was made to add composting facilities as a special use permit and amend the Section on Prohibited Uses, to permit composting facilities. The text amendment was approved.

The renewal of a permit that is currently in place for an earth removal operation on Phelps Road was requested. Renewal for another two years was approved.

Hamlet Homes, LLC requested to waive sidewalk installation in the Hamlet at King’s Meadow. The request was denied.

Social Services Commission: Several events have already occurred or will be soon: a trip to Storrs Park, bowling with police officers and children to strengthen community bonds, and a pen pal program, to name a few.

They are looking to revitalize the contact program for isolated seniors. Also, many calls have been received about rent cost concerns.

Daily attendance at the Senior Center has increased, with new members up 46% compared to last year. Some exercise classes are offered at no cost to residents. A check was received from Suffield on the Green to purchase indoor/outdoor furniture to take socializing outside.

Food Share is at the West Suffield Congregational Church every other Tuesday, no questions asked.

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