September 24, 2022

Deep River Selectmen Disband Town Hall Auditorium Restoration Committee

DEEP RIVER— The board of selectmen Tuesday formally disbanded the Town Hall Auditorium Committee after receiving a final report on the now completed restoration of the historic auditorium at town hall.

The ten member committee was established in the fall of 2011, charged with completing a long-planned restoration of the second floor auditorium. The volunteer committee replaced the Deep River Town Hall Restoration Association, a private non-profit group that was first established in 1979 to direct restoration efforts for the 1892 town hall. The association had received over $260,000 in private donations over the years for town hall restoration, but had lagged in completing the final improvements to the auditorium, including fire and building code work that was required for full use of the auditorium balcony.

Committee chairman Arthur Thompson presented the report, declaring the work of the restoration committee is now finished. Thompson, while serving as a selectman from 2099 to 2011, had pushed for formation of an official town committee to focus on completing work on the town hall auditorium.

Thompson said the restoration work was completed earlier this year using the funds that had been donated to the previous restoration association. The committee held a community event in May to showcase the restoration, and the auditorium has been used for various programs and activities in subsequent months. Thompson said the auditorium now meets all applicable safety codes.

Thomson said the committee completed the restoration work using all but $2,863 of the available funding. The committee recommended the remaining funds be turned over to a newly former Town Hall Auditorium Management Committee that is now coordinating public use of the auditorium.

RegionĀ  4 School Board Resignation

In other business the selectman appointed Lauri Wichtowski to the Region 4 Board of Education to fill a vacancy created by the resignation of board member Duane Gates that was effective Tuesday. Wichtowski will serve through the 2015 municipal election, when the position will be on the ballot for the remaining two years of the unexpired term ending in 2017.

Gates, a Democrat, was first elected to the regional board in 2005, and was re-elected to a second six-year term in 2011 in a contest with Wichtowski, who was running on the Republican line. First Selectman Richard Smith said the Deep River Democratic Town committee had recently endorsed Wichtowski to fill the two-year vacancy. She had served previously on the local school board that governs the operation of Deep River Elementary School.