By Edward Munster.
This Special Town Meeting, held at the Firehouse Community Room (July 15, 2021), was attended by all three members of the Board of Selectmen, several members of the Board of Finance and about 20 Haddam residents.
Town Clerk Scott Brookes read the published call of the meeting which included seven items. William Bowles was elected to be Moderator by a unanimous voice vote.
Jason Lonergan, Jennifer O’Neal, Peter Christopher, and David Law were appointed to the Haddam-Killingworth Recreation Authority for the fiscal year 2021-2022:
The meeting approved the transfer of $35,423.05 to cover the over expended costs of the Scovil resource dam and $17,385.76 to cover the over expended costs for the 20-22B Freightliner 1145D as recommended by the Board of Finance.
The meeting voted to increase by $145,600 the project authorization for the Beaver Meadow Culvert as recommended by the BOF. Half of the increase $72,800 will be funded by a State grant and the other half will be funded by transfers from two projects already bonded by the Town. Marge Debold asked for an explanation of the increase in cost of the culvert. First Selectman Robert McGarry answered that culvert will need to be designed, the road will need to be torn up and rebuilt and the utilities will need to be temporarily moved and then relocated as before. The motion passed unanimously by a voice vote.
The meeting approved unanimously $21,000 for the purchase for of the McCann Property which is about quarter acre and is needed for access to Higganum Cove area.
The meeting approved unanimously the recommendation of the BOF to authorize $1,870,000 for the remediation of the property at 11 Candlewood Hill Road using a grant from the Department of Economic and Community Development.
The meeting considered the approval of the Small Town Economic Assistance Program (STEAP) Grant of $128,205 from the State Department of Office and Policy and Management. Specifically it was stated that “the Town shall use said [these] funds for [the] Higganum Community Sewer Project – [for the] Plan and design of the community sewer design/engineering only.” Considerable discussion ensued on the matter. Resident Maurice Adams made a brief presentation to make the point that priorities appear to have shifted. in the town’s ten year capital plan. Adams pointed out that the town’s Ten Year Capital Plan for Higganum Sewer funding has gone from $6.5million in the 2020 Plan to zero in the 2022 Plan. He proposed that the motion be amended to state that the Higganum Community Sewer Project be Priority #1 for the Town. Selectman Sean Moriarty stated that it might not be legal to make a change in the wording of this item from how it had been published in the legal call of the meeting. Many comments from various attendees supported the project. Raul deBrigard asked if anyone at the meeting opposed the sewer project and no one voiced opposition. Mark Lundgren then asked the moderator to call the vote on the motion before the meeting which was to approve the STEAP Grant as stated in the original call. This required an immediate vote which passed unanimously. At this point FS McGarry asked Mr. Adams to attend the next meeting of the BOS to discuss the matter and McGarry indicated that the BOS would very likely vote to go on record stating that this Sewer Project would take on #1 Priority for the town.
The town meeting adjourned at 8:15 p.m.