By Edward Munster
(September 15, 2022) —The regular meeting of Haddam’s Board of Selectmen on September 12, 2022 at the Haddam Old Town Hall was called to order by First Selectman Bob McGarry at 6:30 PM. Also in attendance were Selectmen Kate Anderson, Sean Moriarty, and Administrative Assistant JoAnn Ricciardelli. This was a hybrid meeting. Residents could attend in person or participate by connecting to the meeting via ZOOM using the information provided on the agenda that was posted on the town website.
The minutes of the previous meeting on August 8, 2022 were approved unanimously.
During public comment Alan Andeen stated that he felt there was an issue with the culverts on the Beaver Meadow Road bridge project and asked that the clerk of the works should check on that. He also spoke of the traffic backup at Burr Elementary School in both the morning and afternoon when the buses and parents dropping off children are coming and going. Jennifer Favalora, Vice Chair of the RSD 17 Board of Education, was present and spoke with him after the meeting to get more information about the issue. Mike Duval asked when the 0.3 mile section of Chamberlain Hill Road would be completed. FS McGarry assured him that the project would be done, but could not give a date certain.
Rossi Property: In his Selectman’s update, regarding the Rossi property, FS McGarry noted that the town is applying for a brownfields remediation grant. The town is conducting final negotiations on the possible purchase with the owners of the Rossi property. The proposal will be subject to a series of meetings in October, which will lead to the approval or rejection of the purchase agreement. The agreement will be presented at the next BOS meeting on October 11th, then presented to the Board of Finance on October 19th, and at a meeting of the Planning and Zoning Commission on October 20th. Then it will go to a hearing for public discussion of the proposal on November 2nd and then to a public meeting on November 9th for a vote to approve or disapprove the purchase agreement.
Scovil Hoe: The Purchase and Sales agreement to purchase the Scovil Hoe property from the state DOT has been signed by all parties. At this point we are still waiting on the approval by the legal department at the state Office of Policy and Management. Interviews have been conducted for environmental consultants to oversee the Scovil remediation.
Work has begun on the Swing Bridge by the American Bridge Company. There was nothing new reported on the Bridge Road sidewalks.
The box culverts for the Beaver Meadow Road bridge have been delivered. The contractor now believes he can do the work without moving the utilities. The expected completion date could be as soon as late October.
Haddam Center sidewalks are progressing. The seating area planned for the Walkley Hill end of the sidewalk will be at the library instead and a guide wire near Field Park Road needs to be relocated.
RFQs from architectural firms for work at HES were due September 15th. Bids will be opened soon.
FS McGarry pointed out that both the flu and the bivalent booster shots are now available in town and encouraged residents to get them. The COVID case rate continues to decline from 27 in July to 16 in August. With the onset of fall, COVID infections could pick up.
FS McGarry mentioned that on August 9th, the date of the Republican and Democratic primaries, the high humidity that day caused problems with the vote-counting machines at Central Office and in Haddam Neck, requiring that the votes had to be hand-tallied. At the Fire House District One polling place, which is air conditioned, there was no problem.
Jennifer Favalora provided an extensive report from the Board of Education which will be published in full.
Tax refunds in the amount of $12,572.16 were approved. Jason Lonergan was appointed to the Haddam Parks & Recreation Commission. The BOS awarded the paving contract for the parking lots of Fire Stations 1 & 2 to J. J. Dibble, which was the low bidder. On the question of hiring an administrative assistant for the Haddam Volunteer Fire Department, the board was in support of the request but asked for more information.
The BOS supported the concept of moving the Haddam Shad Museum from its present location to a temporary location on the HES property with the proviso that the Haddam Historical Society will pay for the moving costs. There is a separate article on this topic.
Town Planner Bill Warner discussed with the BOS a resolution for a DECD grant proposal for cleanup of the Rossi Property that does not require any matching funds from the town. Selectman Sean Moriarty tabled the motion until the grant application is complete.
Bill Warner then made an extensive presentation on an Affordable Housing Plan for Haddam involving possible locations throughout the town where this housing might be developed. State statutes require every town to have such a plan. Selectman Moriarty made a motion to approve the plan, which was carried unanimously.
The next meeting of the BOS will be on Tuesday October 11th because the second Monday of October is a federal and state holiday. The meeting adjourned at 8:18 P.M.