By Gigi Simko
(June 16, 2023) — The regular meeting of Haddam’s Board of Selectmen on June 12, 2023, was called to order by First Selectman Robert McGarry at 6:30 p.m. at the Haddam Neck Firehouse, 50 Rock Landing Road, Haddam Neck. Selectmen Kate Anderson and Sean Moriarty were present.
Public comments kicked off with Rebecca Armstrong, who observed that the 63-hour Swing Bridge closure is negatively impacting children who take the bus to school. She asked for a better option for students, as well as a back-up plan should something happen to the Arrigoni Bridge. She suggested using Haddam Neck Fairgrounds for pick-up and drop-off. Lori Jenkins agreed with Armstrong on using Haddam Neck Fairgrounds for the bus stop and pointed out that the church being used for the remainder of the school year is in East Hampton, which is in a different school district. Dustin Nabalo also concurred with Armstrong and expressed the opinion that buses should run as they did before construction started. Maggie Nabalo commented that getting to the community bus stop is not always an option for parents and reiterated that buses should run as they did prior to the 63-hour closure, by picking up students at their original bus stops.
First Selectman McGarry provided the following updates: The Town is in discussion with a potential developer for the Rossi property. The Town expects to release a bid for a remediation contractor for Scovil Hoe within a month. More than 200 people attended the Haddam Elementary School meeting and open house on June 8, 2023. It was prompted by the estimated $1,021,000 expense to re-roof the entire building. The notes from the meeting and written comments are being reviewed.
The Swing Bridge project’s first 63-hour closure started on June 11, 2023. This means that the bridge is closed to all traffic starting at 8:00 p.m. on Sunday and reopened by 11:00 a.m. on Wednesday. This is scheduled for every week until November 8, 2023, excluding July 4th and Labor Day (September 4th). The project is on schedule.
Property owners have agreed to abandon the two private wells in Tylerville.
Most Blueway Commons units have been rented.
Chip sealing of Nedobity Road, Hapenny Road, Harvest Woods, Thorne Wood and Camp Bethel, and paving of Maple Avenue West and St. Peters Lane are done.
A Resident Trooper candidate is being interviewed on June 20th.
Someone tried to steal from a delivery truck at Teri’s Package Store. Connecticut State Police responded, and two troopers suffered minor injuries in the ensuing scuffle. The suspect was apprehended.
One of the historic Shailerville houses on Route 154 was totally destroyed by fire. It had been vacant, but undergoing renovations. There were no injuries.
The Road Safety Audit of Route 154 will begin this week. First Selectman McGarry asked the Department of Transportation to assess Saybrook Road from the Middletown boundary line to Walkley Hill. Concerns include the intersection with Thayer Road Extension and sightline looking north, Candlewood Hill Road and Route 81 intersection lane markings the speed through Higganum Center and the curve/intersection warning sign at 381.
The Senior Picnic is scheduled for June 19, 2023 11:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m., at St. James Community Hall.
Finally, First Selectman McGarry asked everyone to patronize Tylerville businesses as this will be a tough year during the Swing Bridge project.
Selectman Anderson confirmed that the Higganum Farmers Market started on June 3, 2023 at Haddam Elementary School and opens every Saturday at 9:00 a.m. She also announced her resignation from the Plan of Conservation and Development Committee. Selectman Moriarty thanked her for all of her work for the town.
Selectman Moriarty made a motion to schedule a Town Meeting for June 29th at 6:30 p.m. to transfer town property to Minow and Chadwick and to appoint the Haddam-Killingworth Recreation Authority. The motion carried.
First Selectman McGarry received 200 ferry passes from the Department of Transportation to assist the businesses that are adversely affected by the Swing Bridge 63-hour closure. There was a brief discussion on how to distribute them.
Selectman Anderson made a motion to approve the request to close Little Fawn Trail cul-de-sac for a block party on August 12, 2023. The motion carried.
Selectman Moriarty made a motion to appoint Curtis Browne to the Economic Development Committee. The motion carried.
The meeting adjourned at 7:09 pm. The next regular Board of Selectmen meeting is scheduled for Monday, July 10, 2023, at 6:30 p.m., at the Old Town Hall, 21 Field Park Drive, Haddam.