Submitted by Norm Needleman, State Senator.
I hope you and your loved ones are enjoying the wonderful weather we are having this week. I want to share a few brief updates from towns across our region including: Chester and Deep River are working to reduce the risk of exposure to life-threatening mosquito-borne illnesses, Westbrook is seeking input on housing needs in town to plan possible future strategies, and repair work that will impact traffic in Lyme.
Also, I have some good news about the online renewal of licenses on the DMV website. Since the Department of Motor Vehicles implemented online license renewals on the department’s website earlier this year, the agency has seen 25,000 more online renewals than in-person renewals from January to May. This shows that the decision to add online license renewals is becoming popular among Connecticut residents.
Additional online DMV services including the ability to change addresses have grown in popularity, with nearly three times as many online changes compared to in-person ones. Moving services online is intended to streamline important programs used by countless Connecticut residents, leading to increased efficiency of services.
Town Updates: East Hampton, Westbrook, Deep River, and More
Deep River Ancient Muster Returns July 16-17
The Deep River Ancient Muster, the largest fife and drum muster in the United States, will return to Deep River this July after last year’s muster was canceled. Held on July 16 and 17, the event will open with a Friday evening highlight performance of some fife and drum corps from 7 to 9 p.m., followed by the main muster Saturday at 11 a.m. with a parade of 45 drum corps marching down Main Street, with corps performing in the afternoon and evening.
Chester Sunday Market Returns
The Chester Sunday Market returns to Main Street Sundays from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. through October 10. Vendors offering meats, fish, bread, vegetables and cheese will return; organizers ask that attendees respect distancing from individuals who may not be vaccinated or are potentially immunocompromised. Reusable bags, aluminum cups and water coolers will be available for purchase and use. Parking is not allowed on Main Street from 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. to accommodate the market.
Mosquito Abatement Efforts Underway in Chester, Deep River
The Connecticut River Area Health District is contracting with a mosquito control firm to help reduce the public’s risk of exposure to life-threatening mosquito-borne illnesses. The Health District is working with Innovative Mosquito Management, Inc., which will apply larvicide treatments to catch basins in Chester, Deep River and additional towns. Catch basins are an ideal breeding habitat for mosquitos including ones transmitting illnesses like West Nile virus to humans. The larvicide, not harmful to the environment, people or non-targeted animals, will prevent some mosquitos from maturing into adulthood, reducing spread of the insects.
Westbrook Conducting Survey of Housing Needs
Westbrook has created an online survey of people’s perception of housing needs in town and possible housing strategies for the future. They ask residents to provide input as a way to better ensure the community is represented in future plans. The survey will be open through July 11. To take the survey, click here.
Route 82 Bridge Work in Salem To Impact Lyme Traffic
Repair work beginning in Salem in July on bridges on Route 82 will impact traffic in Lyme. Detours associated with the bridge work will reroute traffic onto Route 156 and Salem Road from July 19 to September 21.
Additional Town Developments and Activities
- Colchester Family Friendly Trail Guide: Colchester’s Open Space Advisory Board, in collaboration with UConn, has created a map of all local trails in Colchester and surrounding towns, with information about hiking etiquette, properly planning for hikes and choosing the right trail. The guide is available here.
- Portland Transfer Station Hours for Summer: Through October 1, the Portland Transfer Station will open with summer seasonal hours. It will be open Tuesdays from 7:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m., Wednesdays through Fridays from 7:30 a.m. to 3:30