The Representative Town Meeting (RTM), in a unanimous bi-partisan vote, gave final town approval for the Walsh Intermediate School renovation and expansion project last week, enabling the Board of Education (BOE) to apply for a state grant for what is the largest building project in the town’s history.
The final approval came at the monthly RTM meeting held at Fire Headquarters. During an hour-long meeting, the RTM approved a series of resolutions, the last required step before the BOE sends its grant application to the State Bonding Committee by June 30.
It wasn’t unexpected, but Gov. Dannel P. Malloy signed the bill increasing access to opioid-reversal drugs on Friday. The bill includes several other measures to combat the epidemic of opioid use in Connecticut, including prohibiting a prescription for opioid use for more than seven days and prohibiting pre-approval from health care providers for the use of naloxone (Narcan), a life-saving medication to treat overdoses; it also requires first responders to be trained in the administration of Narcan.
In Branford, first responders already have administered Narcan on various calls.
State Rep. Lonnie Reed (D-Branford) kicked off her 2016 election campaign last week, saying it was time to “re-imagine Connecticut,” to bring back the economy, and to build on the town’s bio-tech, medical and manufacturing sectors to help lead the way.
She described the difficult last days of the legislative session and the serious cuts to the state budget “because the money is just not coming in. ...It is never going to rain money the way it was when we were living in the bubble like everybody else.”
Despite the state budget deficit and its attendant layoffs and cuts, Branford has managed to obtain more than $800,000 for educational funding and property tax relief, the town’s state legislators reported yesterday.
Legislators are facing a $930 million budget deficit in the fiscal year beginning July 1. They were supposed to vote on the budget Wednesday, the final day of the legislative session, but those plans were postponed when it became obvious there was not enough time for debate.
Branford resident Michelle Sember described the struggles of her oldest son, 22-year-old RJ, who went from a high school football player with good grades to a full-blown heroin addict after experimenting with pot, alcohol, and pills. Her advice: “Be a parent and not a friend.”
The epidemic of opioid use in Connecticut has burst into the public’s consciousness over the past few months. It started with reports of overdoses in the New London area and now extends throughout the state and the country.
Branford is not immune, as Sember explained at a recent panel on the topic held in Branford. The panel, organized by State Rep. Sean Scanlon, took place at fire headquarters.
Ted Kennedy Jr., (D-Branford) made it official today, filing candidate papers with the State Elections Enforcement Commission (SEEC) seeking a second term in office as state senator of the 12th District.
In a formal announcement, Kennedy stated that he is “extraordinarily grateful to the residents of Branford,Guilford, Madison, North Branford, Durham and Killingworth,” the six towns that comprise the 12th District.
Kennedy told the Eagle in an interview today that he plans to seek public financing for his election campaign.
Ray Ingraham, who chairs Branford’s Republican Town Committee (RTC), says it’s time to set his sights on the state legislature.
“It’s been a desire of mine for a while to seek a higher office,” Ingraham told the Eagle. He has been a member on the Representative Town Meeting (RTM) since 2011, and has served as Republican majority leader since 2013.
The Board of Education has unanimously approved a $54,281,728 budget for the 2016-17 school year, a budget recently shaved down as a result of projected teacher retirements. The BOE budget is the largest portion of the town’s overall budget . According to town officials, the town budget is progressing, but not yet finalized.
The decision to reduce the budget down to a 1.98 percent increase instead of a 2.25 percent increase over the previous year took place at the Feb. 17 budget workshop, the only workshop the BOE held this year. The original budget was for $54,427,520.
UPDATE—Nearly two years after the state’s Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) sought public comments on plans to build a state-of-the art boat launch on the Branford River, the agency announced yesterday that the aging ramp will soon close for the renovations. The boat launch, which is located at 38 Goodsell Point Road, will close this spring and stay closed through the summer and fall of 2016.
“We realize that the closure will impact boating access during the summer,” said Michael Payton, supervisor of the DEEP’s Navigation & Boating Infrastructure Unit. “We will make every effort to complete the work as quickly as possible, and we appreciate the public’s patience with this process.”
Blunders in the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) new software computer program have led to errors in addresses and tax town codes for registered vehicles throughout the state, the state’s top assessors say.
The latest DMV debacle may well affect the ability of town and city assessors to properly complete grand (or tax) lists on time as the budget season approaches.
This motor vehicle fiasco comes a month after DMV Commissioner Andres Ayala Jr. informed Gov. Dannel P. Malloy on Jan. 19 he would resign his post at the end of the week. As it turns out, Ayala was apparently briefed about the motor vehicle debacle when he met with John Rainaldi, president of the Connecticut Association of Assessing Officers and other assessors, on Jan. 20. That was the day he formally resigned.