December 10, 2018

Archives for August 2016

Essex Land Trust Asks, “Can You Name that Tree?” on Preserve Walk Tomorrow

Bob Kuchta will lead a walk in the Preserve Oct. 8 about tree names.

Bob Kuchta will lead a walk in the Preserve Oct. 8 about tree names.

ESSEX — Interested in learning how to identify trees? The Essex Land Trust has planned a walking tour Saturday, Oct. 8, of the Preserve by tree expert Robert Kuchta, who will teach you how to identify the trees that are common in Essex and describe their natural history and human uses.

Kuchta is the tree warden in Madison, leads trips for the Connecticut Audubon Society and has a wealth of knowledge which he shares in a light-hearted and entertaining manner.

This program promises fun for all ages with easy to moderate walking lasting 1 1/2 hours.

Meet at 9 a.m. at The Preserve parking lot (East entrance) off Ingham Hill Rd. in Essex.

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Deep River Library Offers Programs Galore During October

DEEP RIVER — Deep River Public Library is offering the following programs during October:

Oct. 7 — Preschool Power Hour with stories and songs in an interactive setting. Starts at 10:30 am; open to all ages.

Oct. 14 — Preschool Power Hour with stories and songs in an interactive setting. Starts at 10:30 am; open to all ages.***Special Guest Rick Daniels from the Deep River Fire Department arrives at 11:00 am to learn about Fire Safety!

Oct. 21 — Special FUN FRIDAY GUEST! Please join us for Spanish story time with ABC Amigos! Starts at 10:30 am;

Oct. 28 — Special FUN FRIDAY Activity! We are going to have a Halloween Party!! Dress in costume for spooky snacks and fun games with friends! Starts at 10:30 am; open to all. ages.

Additional Children’s Programs

Oct. 13 & Oct. 27 : Brick Bunch meets from 3:45 – 4:45 pm for open Lego construction. This is a drop-in program. We now have large blocks for the younger kids.

Oct. 26: Cooking Club starts at 6:00 pm. Whip up a tasty treat with friends! Registration is required for this program and limited to 10children. Call 860-526-6039 or email drplchildrensdept@gmail.com to sign up.

Oct. 8: All new BABY BOUNCE with Miss Elaine! This is a one-a-month story time exclusively for non-walking babies and their caregivers! Older siblings may attend, but the program will be geared toward the littlest library users! No registration required. Starts at 10:30 am

For more information on any of these programs, call 860-526-6039 or email at drplchildrensdept@gmail.com

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TTYS Hosts Program to Improve Conflict Resolution Skills, Oct. 5

TRI-TOWN — Join Tri-Town Youth Services to brush up on your conflict resolution skills. Strengthen relationships and build cooperation among children, peers and family members. “From Conflict to Cooperation” will be held at Tri-Town’s office, 56 High Street, Deep River on Wednesday, Oct. 5, from 7 to 8:30 p.m.

Learn how to use everyday communication to set up a cooperative environment and practice restorative approaches to resolving conflicts at home, in the workplace or wherever it’s needed. This workshop is perfect for parents who spend a lot of time refereeing sibling squabbles or nagging their kids to help out around the house!

Space is limited. Call 860-526- 3600 to reserve your spot or register online at tritownys.org

Tri-Town Youth Services supports and advances the families, youth and communities of Chester, Deep River and Essex. They coordinate and provide resources needed to make positive choices, reduce substance abuse, and strengthen the relationships that matter most.

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Shoppers at Adams Hometown Market in Deep River Give Generously to CT Food Bank Milk Drive

The Adams Homemarket in Deep River

Shoppers at the Adams Hometown Market in Deep River gave generously to The Great American Milk Drive. Photo by Jerome Wilson.

DEEP RIVER — Shoppers at Adams Hometown Market, Better Valu and Tri Town Foods stores in Connecticut gave generously to The Great American Milk Drive, raising more than $12,000 for milk vouchers to help people served by the Connecticut Food Bank network of food assistance programs. Connecticut Food Bank spokesperson Paul Shipman spoke warmly of the tremendous contribution made by the Adams Hometown Store located in Deep River, telling ValleyNewsNow.com that, “the store has been wonderful supporting this program.”

By donating $1, $3 or $5, or rounding up their change at the register, shoppers raised $12,232 for milk vouchers. Shipman said it was the most successful Milk Drive yet for the food bank. Shoppers at the 12 participating stores have donated more than $25,000 since 2014.

Milk is one of the most requested items at food pantries, Shipman said, but it is difficult for people to obtain. “Many of our participating programs have limited refrigeration, so keeping a supply of milk is difficult, but it’s sought after by many people who need help with basic food needs.” Shipman said that many people who visit food pantries may only be able to access one gallon of milk per person in a year.

By providing vouchers for people visiting food banks, we can ease some of the transportation and refrigeration barriers and make milk a more regular part of people’s diets,” Shipman said.

The drive was part of a national program aimed at providing sought-after and highly nutritious gallons of milk to people in need. This local drive included the New England Dairy Promotion Board’s Must Be the Milk program, Guida’s Dairy, and the dairy farm families of Connecticut.

The milk drive was conducted at 12 Adams Hometown Market, Better Valu, and Tri Town Foods locations.

For more information on the Great American Milk Drive, visit www.mustbethemilk.com/milkdrive/

Editor’s Notes:

  1. Adams Hometown Market is a Connecticut-owned and operated company, which is owned by Bozzutos Incorporated, and is dedicated to providing service and support to the local community. Learn more at AdamsSuperFood.com
  2. The Connecticut Food Bank is committed to alleviating hunger in Connecticut by providing food resources, raising awareness of the challenges of hunger and advocating for people who need help meeting basic needs. The Connecticut Food Bank partners with the food industry, food growers, donors and volunteers to provide food, which last year provided 19.2 million meals. We distribute that food through a network of community based programs to six Connecticut counties – Fairfield, Litchfield, Middlesex, New Haven, New London and Windham counties – where more than 300,000 people struggle with hunger. Visit us on the web at www.ctfoodbank.org, like us on Facebook and follow @CTFoodBank on Twitter and Instagram.
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French Classes Begin at Ivoryton Library, Oct. 5

ann_lander_at_Ivoryton_Library
IVORYTON — The Ivoryton Library offers the following languages classes beginning this fall. All classes are open for new members at any time. Feel free to sit in on a class to see if the level of instruction works for you. Fee is per class attended and is payable to the Instructor.
Beginning Italian – Tuesdays 10-11 am, $5 – begins September 13
Intermediate French – Tuesdays 1-2 pm, $5 – begins September 13
Beg/Int Italian – Wednesdays 10-11 am, $5 – begins September 14
Easy French Reading – Wednesdays 2-3pm, $5 – begins October 5
Intermediate/ Advanced Spanish – Thursdays 1–2 pm, $5 – begins September 22
Conversational Spanish – Thursdays at 2:15-3:45, $10 – begins TBD

Call the library for more information or if interested in a language class not offered. The library would also like to hear from language teachers interested in hosting a class at 860-767-1252.

The Ivoryton Library is located at 106 Main St. in Ivoryton.
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Connecticut Water Issues Voluntary Water Conservation Request

water-conservationPersistent dry weather conditions and higher than normal demand for water has prompted Connecticut Water to ask its customers across the state to voluntarily reduce their water use. According to the U.S. Drought Monitor, conditions across Connecticut range from abnormally dry to moderate drought.

The Company has a number of sources and operational flexibility to meet its customers’ needs, but given the extended dry weather conditions and no indication that these weather patterns will change, the company felt it was important to ask its customers now to voluntarily conserve.

Craig J. Patla, Vice President – Service Delivery, states, “Having an adequate supply of water for drinking, sanitation, and fire protection is Connecticut Water’s highest priority.  While our supplies, overall, are in good shape, we face unique challenges with many smaller systems that rely on small local wells and in the Shoreline area where there is a seasonal influx of customers to local beach communities.”

He continues, “We are asking customers to help us by eliminating unnecessary water use and taking steps to avoid wasting water.  This will reduce the demands on our water supplies, reduce stress on local water resources, and ensure sufficient water is available to meet the needs of all customers.” Connecticut Water’s Shoreline area includes the communities of Clinton, Guilford, Killingworth, Madison, Old Saybrook, and Westbrook.

Connecticut Water is asking its customers to voluntarily conserve water by eliminating non-essential water use. Here are some specific things that customers can do:

  • Residential customers are asked to avoid watering their lawns;
  • Businesses, municipalities, and schools are asked to avoid irrigating their grounds and ball fields;
  • Fire departments are asked to avoid using water in their training exercises; and
  • All customers are asked to promptly repair any leaks.

Connecticut Water will continue to monitor water demands and will modify its request for water conservation measures accordingly.

Connecticut Water has additional suggestions on how to save water that are available by visiting its website atwww.CTWater.com/conservation. Customers without internet access can call 1-800-286-5700.

The website of the U.S Drought Monitor is: http://droughtmonitor.unl.edu/Home/RegionalDroughtMonitor.aspx?northeast

The U.S. Drought Monitor, established in 1999, is a weekly map of drought conditions that is produced jointly by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and the National Drought Mitigation Center (NDMC) at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

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Old Saybrook Schools, Saint John School Announce Free, Reduced Price Meal Policy

school_lunchThe Old Saybrook Public Schools and Saint John School have announced their policy for determining eligibility of children may receive free or reduced-price meals served under the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) and School Breakfast Program (SBP),  served under the Special Milk Program (SMP).

Local school officials have adopted the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Income Eligibility Guidelines (IEGs) for family size and income criteria for determining eligibility.

The income guidelines at this link will be used in Connecticut from July 1, 2016 to June 30, 2017 for determining eligibility of participants for free and reduced-price meals and free milk in the Child Nutrition Programs.

The above income calculations are made based on the following formulas: Monthly income is calculated by dividing the annual income by 12; twice monthly income is computed by dividing annual income by 24; income received every two weeks is calculated by dividing annual income by 26; and weekly income is computed by dividing annual income by 52.  All numbers are rounded upward to the next whole dollar.

Children from families whose income is at or below the levels shown are eligible for free or reduced-price meals.  Application forms are available through online registration, on the district website www.oldsaybrookschools.org and are being sent to all homes with a letter to parents.  To apply for free or reduced-price meals , households should fill out the application and return it to the school. Additional copies are available at the principal’s office at each school.]

Only one application is required per household and an application for free or reduced- price benefits cannot be approved unless it contains complete eligibility information as indicated on the application and instructions.  The information provided on the application is confidential and will be used only for the purposes of determining eligibility and for administration and enforcement of the lunch, breakfast and milk programs.

Note that the district MAY share your eligibility information with education, health, and nutrition programs to help them evaluate, fund, or determine benefits for their programs, auditors for program reviews, and law enforcement officials to help them look into violations of program rules.  This information may also be verified at any time during the school year by school or other program officials.  Applications may be submitted at any time during the year.

For up to 30 operating days into the new school year, eligibility from the previous year will continue within the same local educational agency (LEA).  When the carry-over period ends, unless the household is notified that their children are directly certified or the household submits an application that is approved, the children must pay full price for school meals and the school will not send a reminder or a notice of expired eligibility.

No application is required if the district directly certifies a child based on a household member receiving assistance from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) or the Temporary Family Assistance (TFA) program.  All children in these households are eligible for free meal benefits.  Households receiving assistance under the SNAP/TFA programs will be notified of their eligibility and their children will be provided free benefits unless the household notifies the determining official that it chooses to decline benefits.

If any children were not listed on the eligibility notice, the household should contact the district or school to have free meal benefits extended to those children.  Households receiving SNAP or TFA benefits for their children should only submit an application if they are not notified of their eligibility by August 31, 2016.

If a child is not directly certified, the household should complete a free and reduced-price meal application form.  The application for the SNAP or TFA households require the SNAP or TFA case number.  The signature of an adult household member is also required.

Children in households participating in WIC may be eligible for free or reduced-price meals.  Please send in an application or contact the determining official for more information.

When known to the district/school, households will be notified of any child’s eligibility for free meals if the individual child is Other Source Categorically Eligible because the child is categorized as either:  Homeless; runaway as defined by law and determined by the district’s or school’s homeless liaison; or enrolled in an eligible Head Start or pre-kindergarten class as defined by law.  Households with children who are categorically eligible under Other Source Categorically Eligible Programs should complete an application and check-off the relevant box.

Questions should be directed to the determining official.  For any child not listed on the eligibility notice, the households should contact the school or determining official about any child also eligible under one of these programs or should submit an income application for the other children.

Households notified of their children’s eligibility must contact the determining official or school if it chooses to decline the free meal benefits.  If households/children are not notified by the district/school of their free meal benefits and they receive benefits under Assistance Programs or under Other Source Categorically Eligible Programs, the parent/guardian should contact the determining official or their school.

Foster children that are under the legal responsibility of a foster care agency or court, are categorically eligible for free meals.  A foster parent does not have to complete a free/reduced meal application if they can submit a copy of the legal document or legal court order showing that the child is a foster child.  Additionally, a foster child may be included as a member of the foster family if the foster family chooses to also apply for benefits.  If the foster family is not eligible for free or reduced-price meal benefits, it does not prevent a foster child from receiving free meal benefits.  Note however, that a foster child’s free eligibility does not automatically extend to all students in the household.

Application forms for all other households require a statement of total household income, household size and names of all household members.  The last four digits of the social security number of an adult household member must be included or a statement that the household member does not have one.  The adult household member must also sign the application certifying that the information provided is correct.

Under the provisions of the policy for determining eligibility for free and reduced-price meals, the determining official,  Julie Pendleton, Director of Operations, Facilities and Finance jpendleton@oldsdaybrookschools.org (860) 395-3158 x1013 will review applications and determine eligibility.  If a parent is dissatisfied with the ruling of the determining official, he/she may wish to discuss the decision with the determining official on an informal basis. If he/she wishes to make a formal appeal, a request either orally or in writing, may be made to Jan G. Perruccio, Superintendent of Schools, 50 Sheffield Street, Old Saybrook, CT 06475 jperruccio@oldsaybrookschools.org (860)395-3157 for a hearing to appeal the decision.

The policy contains an outline of the hearing procedure.  Each school and the central office of the school district has a copy of the policy, which may be reviewed by an interested party.

If a household member becomes unemployed or if household size changes at any time, the family should contact the school to file a new application.  Such changes may make the children of the household eligible for reduced-price meals, free meals, , if the family income falls at or below the levels shown in the Income Guidelines.

Questions regarding the application process may be directed to the determining official at (860)395-3158.

This is the Public Release we will send on August 3, 2016 to the following news media outlets, the local unemployment office, major employers contemplating layoffs, etc.

1. The Hartford Courant 3. New Haven Register
2. The Day 4. CT Department of Labor

In accordance with Federal civil rights law and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) civil rights regulations and policies, the USDA, its Agencies, offices, and employees, and institutions participating in or administering USDA programs are prohibited from discriminating based on race, color, national origin, sex, disability, age, or reprisal or retaliation for prior civil rights activity in any program or activity conducted or funded by USDA. 

Persons with disabilities who require alternative means of communication for program information (e.g. Braille, large print, audiotape, American Sign Language, etc.), should contact the Agency (State or local) where they applied for benefits.  Individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing or have speech disabilities may contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339.  Additionally, program information may be made available in languages other than English.

To file a program complaint of discrimination, complete the USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form, (AD-3027) found online at: http://www.ascr.usda.gov/complaint_filing_cust.html, and at any USDA office, or write a letter addressed to USDA and provide in the letter all of the information requested in the form. To request a copy of the complaint form, call (866) 632-9992. Submit your completed form or letter to USDA by:

(1)  mail: U.S. Department of Agriculture
Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights
1400 Independence Avenue, SW
Washington, D.C. 20250-9410;

(2)  fax: (202) 690-7442; or

(3)  email: program.intake@usda.gov.

This institution is an equal opportunity provider.

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The Country School, Madison Racquet & Swim Club Join Forces at Country School’s New Rothberg Tennis Center

Will de Chabert, a Madison resident, Country School student, and player for Madison Racquet & Swim Club, serves during a match on one of the new Rothberg Tennis Center courts at The Country School.

Will de Chabert, a Madison resident, Country School student, and player for Madison Racquet & Swim Club, serves during a match on one of the new Rothberg Tennis Center courts at The Country School.

MADISON, CT — As part of a new partnership designed to dramatically expand tennis opportunities in Madison and on the shoreline, Madison Racquet & Swim Club (MRSC) and The Country School (TCS) held a joint open house at the Rothberg Tennis Center — The Country School’s new, state-of-the-art tennis complex. Several families gathered to explore the new facilities and to enjoy a celebrational barbecue on the new patio overlooking the athletic complex.

Through this newly announced arrangement, Madison Racquet and TCS are co-hosting USTA tournaments, offering clinics, running training camps for adults and children, and scheduling social tennis outings. In addition, MRSC has agreed to have one of their teaching pros join the coaching staff of The Country School’s varsity tennis team.

Going forward, TCS and MRSC will share scheduling technology, so that members of the school community and MRSC members can access available courts with ease.  Madison Racquet has also created a new membership featuring use of courts and programs at both sites.

“This partnership is exciting and supports our strategic plan to advance our athletic program,” said Head of School John Fixx. “By teaming with Madison Racquet & Swim Club, the premier tennis club in our area, we provide our Country School families and the greater shoreline community a state-of- the-art tennis complex and facilities.”

Robert Dunlop, owner of Madison Racquet & Swim Club, shared Fixx’s enthusiasm about the new partnership. “Each of us has been providing educational and recreational opportunities for many years,” he said. “By joining forces, we will offer our members and TCS families a bigger, stronger MRSC.”

The Country School opened The Rothberg Tennis Center in May as part of the school’s new outdoor athletic and recreational complex, created in celebration of the school’s 60th anniversary. The complex also includes two new soccer fields, a baseball /softball diamond, new playground, and full-sized outdoor basketball court.

Since opening in late spring, the new facilities have been used for soccer and tennis camps and clinics through the school’s Summer Fun and Learning program. The tennis portion of the school’s annual Golf & Tennis Classic for Scholarship last month was also played on the school’s new courts.

Madison Racquet & Swim Club and The Country School held a joint open house at The Country School's Rothberg Tennis Center to celebrate their new partnership. Pictured are: (top row) Taylor Fay and Dawn Fagerquist, both pros at Madison Racquet; (middle row) youth players Will de Chabert, Sam Duffy, Loden Bradstreet and John Kelly; (sitting) Ellery Bradstreet and Connor Duffy.

Madison Racquet & Swim Club and The Country School held a joint open house at The Country School’s Rothberg Tennis Center to celebrate their new partnership. Pictured are: (top row) Taylor Fay and Dawn Fagerquist, both pros at Madison Racquet; (middle row) youth players Will de Chabert, Sam Duffy, Loden Bradstreet and John Kelly; (sitting) Ellery Bradstreet and Connor Duffy.

Madison Racquet & Swim Club has developed an outstanding tennis program under the leadership of Rick Fay, Director of Tennis.  In addition to Fay, MRSC has five other senior level tennis pros year round, including Kitty Palmer and Dawn Fagerquist, the coaches of the Daniel Hand High School girls and boys tennis teams, which have consistently been at the top of their conference and in the state. Both have been named Coach of the Year several times.

Junior Tennis begins with the 10 & under program and offers programs for the recreational and competitive level player through college. The club’s USTA and interclub teams have had great success. MADRackets, the 14 & under intermediate team, has won the New England Sectionals the past two years and placed second in the country at the nationals held in South Carolina.

In addition to programs for juniors, Adult Tennis includes clinics for all levels, starting with the introductory Play Tennis Fast clinic. More competitive players on USTA or interclub teams have one practice and one match per week. Play programs such as Cardio Tennis and Point Play have become very popular, as they provide excellent aerobic workouts.

Founded in 1955, The Country School is an independent, coeducational school serving students in PreSchool-Grade 8. In addition to a rigorous academic program that seeks to educate the whole child through active, hands-on learning, The Country School is committed to vital offerings in the arts and athletics. Each year, Country School graduates go on to play sports at the high school and collegiate levels. The school looks forward to hosting athletic contests and tournaments at its new athletic complex in the coming months and years.

Learn more at www.thecountryschool.org.

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Estuary Gym is Now Silver Sneakers Approved

The Estuary Council of Seniors has announced that The Estuary Gym is a Silver Sneakers well-being fitness location. If you are a member of a Silver Sneaker participating health plan in Connecticut, the Silver Sneakers plan will pay for your membership to the gym.  This does NOT apply to any fitness classes. Silver Sneakers is exclusively for The Estuary Gym.

These benefits are open to anyone 65 years or older or those under 65 who are Medicare insured.  Check your eligibility by contacting Silver Sneakers by phone at 1.866.666.7956 or log onto their website at www.silversneakers.com

Already a Silver Sneaker member? Come to the Estuary Senior Center at 220 Main St., Old Saybrook to complete the gym forms and get enrolled, or call us at 860-388-1611.

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Valley Shore YMCA’s 25th Annual Golf Classic Raises Funds for Annual Campaign

A smiling group of YMCA golf tournament winners.

A smiling group of YMCA golf tournament winners.

The Valley Shore YMCA’s 25th Annual Golf Classic drew a crowd of nearly 100 golfers Monday, July 18th to the Clinton Country Club for a day of “Golfing for a Cause”. The event raised over $45,000 for the Valley Shore YMCA’s Annual Campaign, which funds scholarships for local families and community health initiatives.

The majority raised came from sponsorships, including the Tournament sponsorships of Brown and Knapp Group Benefits; Mr. & Mrs. Leighton Lee IV; Art Linares and Family; Guilford Savings Bank; L.H. Brenner, Inc./Thompson & Peck Insurance; Pat Munger Construction; Wacker Wealth Management; and Whelen Engineering. Supporting sponsors included East Commerce Solutions and Kyocera.

The day of the tournament was a beautiful summer day, sunny with slight breezes in support of the golfers. Additional fun games were held throughout the course to enhance the fun factor, including Longest Drive, Closet to the Pin, Putting and Hole in One contests. Former Y Board President David Brown and Y Board Member Leighton Lee IV co-chaired the event and rallied sponsors, volunteers and prizes.

Committee members and volunteers included Marc Brodeur, Hal Dolan, Lisa LeMonte, Elizabeth McCall, Susan Norton, Melissa Ozols, Matt Sullivan, Tony Sharillo, Marcus Wacker and Jacquelyn Waddock.

No golfer made a hole-in-one for the prized Subaru generously provided by Reynolds’ Garage and Marine.

First Net Score winners were Jeff Knapp, Steph Brodeur, Justin Urbano and Scott Wiley; second place went to Casey Quinn, Paddy Quinn, Chick Quinn and Ryan Quinn.

First Gross winners were the team of David Brown, Jeff Dow, Mike Satti and Shane O’Brien; second place  went to Bob Brady, Geoff Gregory, John Brady and Bobby Edgil.

Chris Pallatto, YMCA CEO, thanked all the golfers and local organizations who came together to make this event possible. “Once again, we had another successful event, made possible by all of our supporters here today.  They all make it possible for the Y to continue to make an impact in our community.”

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Florence Dutka Interviewed by Mary Ann Pleva on ‘Looking Back’ TV Show

Looking_Back_Crew
The technical crew of the Looking Back series posed for a photo after a recent show.

The  taping occurred at Valley Shore Community Television in their Westbrook studio.

Pictured in the photo above are Chris Morgan, Bill Cook, Bill Bevan, Terry Garrity, and Tim Butterworth
Seated are Florence Dutka who was interviewed by host, Mary Ann Pleva.  This is the fifth in a series that features community members, who have led extraordinary lives.
The programs air regularly on Channel 19, public access television.  Scheduling information is available weekly  in the Valley Courier.
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Essex Zoning Commission Asked to Reconsider Three Conditions for Approval of Plains Rd. Apartment Complex

The Plains Road property where the Iron Chef restaurant has been long empty has been approved for apartments.

The Plains Road property where the Iron Chef restaurant has been vacant for many years has been approved for the Essex Station apartments. Now the applicant has filed a resubmission to revise or rescind three conditions.

ESSEX — Weeks after the zoning commission’s approval of a special permit for the three-building 52-unit Essex Station apartment complex on Plains Road, the applicant has filed  a resubmission that asks the commission to revise or rescind three of the 10 conditions that were part of the panel’s 4-1 vote of approval on June 20.

The commission has scheduled an Aug. 15 public hearing on the resubmission from Signature Contracting Group LLC for a review of the three conditions. The project, approved after a series of public hearings that began in February, calls for 52 units in three separate buildings on a 3.7-acre parcel at 21,27 and 29 Plains Road. The parcel includes the long vacant site of the former Iron Chef restaurant. and two abutting residential parcels.

The project includes an affordable housing component, and was submitted under state statute 8-30g, which is intended to promote additional affordable housing in Connecticut. The statute, in place for more than a decade, limits the jurisdiction of local zoning authorities to issues of public health and safety, and provides for waiver of some local zoning regulations. At least 16 units in the Essex Station complex would be designated as affordable moderate income housing, with a monthly rent of about $1,000.

In a July 6 letter to the commission, Timothy Hollister, lawyer for the applicants, contended three of the conditions ” materially impact the viability of the development plan, are infeasible, legally impermissible, or are unnecessary.”

One disputed condition is the requirement for a six-foot security fence around the perimeter of the property. Hollister contended in the letter a six-foot fence would have to be a chain-link fence, which he maintained would be unsightly and unnecessary. He suggested a nearby property owner, Essex Savings Bank, was uncomfortable with the idea of six-foot fencing on the southwest corner of the property. As an alternative, Hollister suggested a four-foot picket fence around most or the property boundary, including the street frontage.

Hollister also contended a requirement for elevators in the three buildings was “impractical and unnecessary” and would make the current floor plans infeasible. He noted the project is not age-restricted housing, adding that elevators have not been a requirement for many similar projects in Connecticut, including an apartment complex with affordable housing now under construction in Old Saybrook.

The third disputed condition involves the height of the three buildings. The commission had imposed a height limit of 35 feet for all three buildings, a condition that Hollister maintained would require an unattractive, institutional-style flat roof. He suggested a maximum height limit of 42-feet for the three buildings.

Zoning Enforcement Officer Joseph Budrow said this week the resubmission requires a new public hearing, but also allows for some negotiation between the commission and the applicant on the disputed conditions. The review must be concluded within 65 days, including a public hearing and decision, with no provision for any extensions.

The panel has also scheduled an Aug. 15 public hearing on a new and separate special permit application for an eight-unit condominium-style active adult community development on a 10-acre parcel on Bokum Road. The proposed Cobblestone Court development would be comprised of four duplex buildings The applicant is local resident and property owner Mark Bombaci under the name Bokum One LLC. The property abuts a little used section of the Valley Railroad line.
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LVVS Hosts Spooky Book Sale Through October!

WESTBROOK — Literacy Volunteers Valley Shore (LVVS) is celebrating Halloween and everything spooky with their October thriller book promotion.  Buy any thriller in hardcover and receive a 50 percent discount.

LVVS is centrally located in downtown Westbrook on the lower level of the Westbrook Library, 61 Goodspeed Drive.  Look for the roadside sign on Rte 1.

Book sale hours are Mon. – Thurs. 9-2 and every 1st and 3rd Saturday, 10 am – noon and proceeds benefit LVVS free tutoring programs.  Visit www.vsliteracy.org or call 860-399-0280 for more information.

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All Singers Welcome at ‘SummerSing’ Tonight in Old Saybrook

OLD SAYBROOK — The fourth ‘SummerSing’ of the season will feature Vivaldi”s Gloria, with Drew Collins of Central Connecticut State University on Monday, Aug. 1, 7 p.m. at St. Paul Lutheran Church, 56 Great Hammock Rd., Old Saybrook. All singers are welcome to perform in this read-through of a great choral work.

The event features professional soloists. The event is co-sponsored by two shoreline choral groups, Cappella Cantorum and Con Brio.

An $8 fee covers the costs of the event. Scores will be available, bring yours if you have it and the church is air-conditioned.

For more information call (860) 388-4110 or (860) 434-9135 or visit www.cappellacantorum.org or www.conbrio.org.

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Connecticut River Artisans Now Open in Essex

Connecticut River Artisans new home will be at 55 Main St. in Essex.

Connecticut River Artisans new home will be at 55 Main St. in Essex.

ESSEX — Connecticut River Artisans are moving from Chester to Essex.

They have closed their Chester shop and now reopened at their new location at 55 Main St., Essex.

Summer hours are Monday – Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sundays, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.  Call for seasonal hours.

For more information, visit ctriverartisans.org or call 860.767.5457.

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