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 various Town Boards and Commissions. If you want more detail, it can be found by going to, Agendas, Minutes and Recordings.

Board of Education: The Capital Improvement Plan was shared along with a list of priorities for each school. They discussed the process of prioritizing projects and the plan for moving some items into the Capital budget. The Curriculum budget includes the English Language Program, Community Connections, the high school Math Intervention Program, and continuation of the support at the secondary level.

The Advancement Planning Initiatives program would like to implement new math and reading programs along with a reading interventionist to support elementary English Language and Special Education students.

The Special meeting included proposed budgets for Special Services, a time increase for the Agriscience Special Education teacher, and a Physical Therapist. The request also included the floating nurse position being moved from grant-funded to the operating budget. Board members discussed the proposed half-day preschool model, student expulsions, and the legal fees associated.

The Technology Information area is requesting the Home Builders Institute online training be implemented at Suffield Middle School, accessibility training for office support staff, and an increase in curriculum digital memberships.

Facilities included enhancements to district-wide safety and security, submission of the HVAC grant, continued focus on grounds care and maintenance, the Agriscience storage facility, and animal barn. Also discussed were unfunded state mandates and summer student labor costs.

Athletics and Student highlights included conference championships, athlete standings, and participation in clubs and activities. They would like to continue the district’s partnership with out-of-town Sports, establish a fundraiser, and research grants to improve the athletic department.

Board of Selectmen: There was no lack of public comments here. Details can be found on the Town’s website in Meeting Minutes dated January 17, 2024. A former Kent Memorial Library Commission member spoke on the recent search for a new Library Director, the rules for the last 50 years, the replacement of all Commission members, applicants approved as the best for the job rejected by the Selectman, and the impact on library staff.

Concerns were also voiced about the Town Green Policy being proposed. It seemed to be vague and limiting as well as transferring the approval process to the Selectman rather than Parks and Recreation or the Planning and Zoning departments.

Another resident agreed and spoke out on the proposed signage rules on the Town Green and elsewhere. It would allow signs on the north side of Mountain Road and interfere with the Soldiers Monument, a very specific memorial.

Another public comment addressed all of the above, the Blight Ordinance, and the direction the town has taken in the last five years. The reasons behind all of the policy and ordinance changes are also being questioned.

Conservation Commission: Projects for Sunrise Park include replacing the existing summer hut and getting a newer truck for the park superintendent. A logging plan for land on Mapleton Avenue was presented along with the description of work and town follow-up that will occur.

Economic Development Commission: An Art Walk in the spring is being proposed to include the Seward Johnson Atelier Company sculptures costing approximately $30,000.00 for a three-month display in different locations in Town. Grants are being pursued and they would like to involve others in the community as sponsors.

A walking tour of historic Main Street and the Cemetery in the center of Town is being worked on with the Historic Society. Kiosks in the center of Town, a battery storage facility on Ucar Street, the ribbon cutting scheduled for Ivy Rehab, and the revised Tax Incremental Financing (TIF) matching grant program were also discussed.

Planning and Zoning: Work on the Quarry Road Bridge has been approved for State funding and will include two box culverts positioned to allow fish passage when the flow is low. It is anticipated that construction will begin, and the road will be closed from April through December.

The agenda also included a special permit request for a composting facility located at 654 North Grand Street. The 98-acre parcel was previously used to grow nursery stock. Composting is a farming operation and will use horse manure, animal bedding, and leaves with the composted product being used for potting soil. Small-scale composting has been done for the past 8 months with a State permit. Town approval is required for expansion.

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