By Gigi Simko
(August 17, 2023) — The regular meeting of Haddam’s Board of Selectmen on August 14, 2023, was called to order by First Selectman Robert McGarry at 6:30 p.m. at the Old Town Hall, 21 Field Park Drive, Haddam. Selectmen Kate Anderson and Sean Moriarty were present.
Public Comment began with Ed Schwing, Chairman of the Higganum Cove Advisory Committee, who asked to make the committee permanent. Currently, the committee is disbanded every two years and reappointed at the will of current administration. He contended that the Cove “has unique environmental and historical qualities that would really qualify it to be a town monument, like our national parks, but of course to a smaller scale.” In response to First Selectman McGarry’s question of why not place the Cove under the Parks and Recreation Commission, Schwing responded that it does not fall within the scope of their mission and responsibilities, which is more focused on recreational use space, like soccer fields and tennis courts. Later in the meeting, all Board members vocalized agreement with Schwing’s deed restrictions proposal from the meeting on July 10, 2023, that the Board draft a resolution authorizing the dedication of the Higganum Cove as a park according to state statute. The resolution would be sent to a town meeting for a vote.
Ralph Petrucci stated his opposition to the name change of Injun Hollow Road. Changing the name has impacts on current and previous residents who would have to update bank accounts, mortgages, insurance policies, wills, passports, retirement plans, town property records, etc. In closing he said, “Surely, there are other less disruptive alternatives to honor our Native Americans who once thrived in Haddam Neck.” R. Thurston Clark echoed Petrucci’s position to not support a name change.
First Selectman McGarry provided the following updates:
Five firms submitted proposals to do a building condition and utilization study on Haddam Elementary School. Cost ranged from $23,000 to $75,800. Interviews will be scheduled. Proposals for the design of a multi-generational playground and park are due August 15, 2023.
The Town was one of eight selected to receive a $4.55 million Connecticut Community Challenges Grant. Twenty-six towns applied.
A town hearing and meeting is scheduled for August 23, 2023 to discuss a Business Interruption Grant Program that would provide relief to Tylerville businesses financially impacted by the Swing Bridge project.
For a list of all roadwork projects, please visit 2023-08-14_bos_unapproved_minutes.pdf (haddam.org).
Trooper Eddie Miller has been temporarily assigned as Haddam’s evening resident.
More than 300 applications were received for the Fire Department Assistant position.
The owner of the Higganum Smoke Shop was arrested on July 31, 2023 for sale to a minor, risk of injury to a child and reckless endangerment.
Selectman Anderson announced an upcoming scheduled two-week break at the Farmers Market. However, one of the farms will still be there to provide fresh produce on those Saturdays.
Scott Larson made a presentation that included the purchase of three fire trucks for the Haddam Fire Department. Selectman Moriarty made a motion to approve the purchase. It passed unanimously.
The next regular Board of Selectmen meeting is scheduled for Monday, September 11, 2023, at 6:30 p.m., at the Town Hall, 21 Field Park Drive, Haddam. The meeting adjourned at 7:10 pm.