Exit 56 Developers Want More Time to Submit Plans

by Diana Stricker | Feb 19, 2018 8:16 am

Diana Stricker PhotoThe owners of property at Exit 56 are trying to change zoning regulations that would affect the proposed 44-acre retail complex at Exit 56, which once included Costco and may again center on a big box store. The changes would allow developers more time to gain site-plan approval for any Planned Development District (PDD).

Chuck Andres (see top photo), who chairs the Planning and Zoning (P&Z) Commission, said regulations were amended in 2011 to provide a deadline because previous PDDs were not being developed. “So we wanted some timeframe to get it done so it’s not left lingering,” Andres said at Thursday’s meeting.  “If you get the benefit of a PDD, which is not your standard zoning, which is something special …. we want you to move forward.”

Continue reading ‘Exit 56 Developers Want More Time to Submit Plans’

A School Budget Without Dollars

by Sally E. Bahner | Feb 17, 2018 8:29 am | Comments (1)

Sally E. Bahner Photo .Schools Superintendent Hamlet Hernandez gave his FY19 Budget Presentation Wednesday night with the theme “Responsiveness.” Hernandez typically provides themes to his presentations, which, in the past, have included “Sustainability,” “Synergy,” and “Coherence.”

The PowerPoint presentation included various priorities, projected average class sizes and grade level counts, anticipated accomplishments, major “drivers” (salaries, benefits, etc.) as a percentage of the proposed budget, a list of previously requested increases (in percentages), enrollment numbers, numbers and percentages concerning students eligible for free and reduced meals and the English Language Learning population, and graphs concerning “critical data.”

Continue reading ‘A School Budget Without Dollars’

Are You a Gold Star Parent or Spouse?

by Staff | Jan 20, 2018 8:51 am

Republican RTM Majority leader Ray Ingraham is asking the Representative Town Meeting (RTM) to adopt an ordinance that would give a property tax break to those Gold Star parents and spouses whose military family member was killed during military operations.

Towns and cities in Connecticut have the option to adopt such a law though they are not required to do so by a recent state law that took effect in October 2017. The state law provides a “municipal option property tax exemption for gold state parents and spouses.”

Continue reading ‘Are You a Gold Star Parent or Spouse?’

Wreaths Across America Makes for ‘Branford Proud’

by Bill O'Brien | Dec 16, 2017 7:55 am

Bill O'Bien PhotoDespite the inclement weather on Tuesday, many Branford residents came out to support the Wreaths Across America convoy as it passed through town on its journey from Harrington, Maine, to Arlington National Cemetery.

Bill O'Brien PhotoThe convoy was led by Medal of Honor recipient Roger Donlon and his wife Norma. He serves as the Grand Marshal of this year’s convoy to Arlington. Col. Donlon was the first recipient of the Medal of Honor in the Vietnam War.

“We were overwhelmed and very proud when we pulled off Exit 55,” said Dottie Packer. She and her longtime friend and neighbor Pam Bold organized the stop in their home town. Packer is a retired Lieutenant Commander US Navy Nurse Corps, and Bold is a retired Chief Petty Officer, U.S Coast Guard.

Continue reading ‘Wreaths Across America Makes for ‘Branford Proud’’

Foote Park Trail Named for Tiskus Father and Son

by Bill O'Brien | Dec 12, 2017 7:59 am | Comments (3)

Bill O'Brien PhotoThe end of an era was recognized recently with the unveiling of “Joe Tiskus Way,” a trail dedicated to a father and son who served almost half a century as park managers at Foote Park. 

The late Wallace H. Foote established “The Foote Family Charitable Trust” in 1966 and instructed the trustees “to purchase real estate to be used for parks and recreation for the benefits only of the inhabitants of the Town of Branford and their guests.”  The 44.6 acre site was acquired and the park was opened in 1970 with Joe Tiskus, Sr. hired as the first manager.

Continue reading ‘Foote Park Trail Named for Tiskus Father and Son’

Branford Prepares for Next Natural Disasters

by Diana Stricker | Dec 9, 2017 9:24 am

Diana Stricker PhotoIt’s time to update the regional Hazard Mitigation Plan that has already succeeded in bringing federal dollars to Branford projects, particularly Linden Avenue.

Town Engineer Janice Plaziak discussed the process with the Board of Selectmen (BOS) at their meeting Wednesday evening. One of the first steps to update the plan is for Branford residents to complete an online survey that’s on the town’s web site.

Continue reading ‘Branford Prepares for Next Natural Disasters’

Representative Town Meeting Begins New Term

by marcia chambers | Nov 22, 2017 9:20 am

Marcia Chambers PhotoTwelve hours after he was sworn in as the town’s first selectman, Jamie Cosgrove presided over the town’s newly elected Representative Town Meeting (RTM). As required, he took their attendance, witnessed their swearing-in, oversaw the appointment of the RTM’s top officers and welcomed the town’s legislative body to its new term. 

The voters who gave Cosgrove a resounding victory over Democrat Lynda Mollow did so as well for the RTM. While the Democrats picked up one RTM seat, the Republicans won an 18-12 majority. Since 2013, the R’s have held a majority on the RTM.

Continue reading ‘Representative Town Meeting Begins New Term’

Walsh Renovation Budget Heads for Final State Review

by Sally E. Bahner | Nov 21, 2017 9:45 am

Sally E. Bahner PHotoThe Public Building Commission and the Board of Education met jointly recently to review the initial construction document budget for the $88.2 million renovation of the Walsh Intermediate School prior to submittal to the state.

Before the meeting, the Building Commission met in executive session to discuss the hiring of a “clerk of the works” for the Community House-Senior Center project and subsequently voted to recommend that the town enter into a contract with Arcadis, out of Middletown.

Continue reading ‘Walsh Renovation Budget Heads for Final State Review’

Larger Turnout for Vets Parade Despite Rain

by Bill O'Brien | Nov 10, 2017 8:40 am

Bill  O'Brien PhotoWould there be a good turnout for the Veterans Day Parade?

Bill  O'Brien PhotoThe committee that oversees the annual parade was eager to find out.  An effort was made to “get the word out” that unless attendance improved this might be Branford’s the last parade. Instead there would be a ceremony. Looks like getting the word out worked. Here the crowd gathers on Main Street as the parade steps off on the wet street.

Continue reading ‘Larger Turnout for Vets Parade Despite Rain’

Steady Voter Turnout in Branford

by Sally E. Bahner | Nov 7, 2017 3:59 pm

Marcia Chambers PhotoThe political climate has changed significantly over the last year. So how are Branford residents responding?

Voters took to the polls this morning under sunny, crisp skies as they cast their vote for the town’s next first selectman, other top town posts and the next Representative Town Meeting, the town’s legislative body. Voting was described as steady throughout the morning. Polls remain open until 8 p.m.

Continue reading ‘Steady Voter Turnout in Branford’