Board of Selectmen Meeting Minutes
Monday, October 18, 2021
Hybrid meeting : in person and Zoom
Present: Julia Pemberton, Peg O’Donnell
Members of the public: in person: 3, on Zoom: 13.
Julia Pemberton called the meeting to order at 7:35 pm.
Minutes of September 20, 2021 were motioned to approve motion by Peg O’Donnell, second by Julia Pemberton. Unanimously approved.
Sarah Unfried was appointed to the Zoning Board of Appeals as an alternate from 10/18/21-11/16/21.
Motion by Peg O’Donnell, second by Julia Pemberton. Unanimously approved.
–COVID-19 Update: The mask mandate was lifted as of Friday October 15, 2021. Businesses can continue to require masks wearing if they so choose and ask that people exercise caution. Schools still require masks until February 2022.
The VAX van will continue to show up on Sundays. The town will send updates.
• Painting of the Community Center: agreement for painting is signed.
• the Pavillion will go to a public hearing.
• the Playground does not need a public hearing and tentative delivery date is November 8, 2021. The Highway/Public Works department is doing the site work with the direction of Engineer Steven Trinkaus.
• Town Hall Window received no bids during the open session on our ezIQC construction site. The windows will not be completed this winter. Shaun Donnelly, building and facilities director, continues to work on this issue.
• NRVT Update: issues with where parking was originally going has slightly changes. Fire Hill Road will not have parking there. Olmstead residents have expressed their concerns.
• Economic Development Committee Update: several members have been appointed. To clarify, this is not a commission but is a committee. So far the committee consists of Chris Hocker, Susan Clark and Claudio Rodrigo.
• Water at JRMS: For the past two years water tanks have been brought to JRMS due to high levels of sodium that seeps into the well from road salt (during winter months). This is how JRMS was able to run toilets and sinks. Two wells have been identified in the back of JRMS. A tremendous five figure issue was resolved by the town, laying the pipe on its own vs. hiring an outside outfit to do the work. This is good news.
•Police Dept. Update: Officer Daniel Orlich, who worked in Bridgeport and maintained excellent status there, was inducted into the Redding police department last week. Two other officers in the prior week were promoted to Sergeants. They are Michael Livingston and Colin O’Connor.
• Sustainable CT: the Town of Redding officially entered the certification program. There is a newly formed committee which Pam Elkow has agreed to join. Two more members are needed.
• The Director of Public Works: Jeff Hanson, current director, will be retiring November 18, 2021. The job has been posted internally and will be open up to the public. Steve Gniadek, Finance Director, will head up the interview process and review resumés. We will also bring in another director of public works to help facilitate the interview process. Jeff Hanson’s shoe will be hard to fill. In his 10 years, he has fixed and paved 80 of the 90 miles of roads in Redding.
• October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month: The Selectman’s office will be hosting a small event on the town green in the gazebo on Thursday, October 21, 2021 at 9:45 am with various women’s and family organizations that help with domestic traumas as well as our town departments and the public. The list includes Rabbi Ari Rosenberg from ARC (Association of Religious Communities), Matthew Austin from the Women’s Center in Danbury, State Representative Anne Hughes, Redding PD Chief Mark O’Donnell, Social Services Director Angelica Fontanez to name a few. The day is referred to as “purple Thursday” and asks that people wear purple in solidarity of the day. Domestic violence is a real thing, even in a small town like Redding. 40 cases have been reported and served this year alone.
• The WestCOG Hazard Mitigation Plan is a huge endeavor and Julia Pemberton asked that the Selectmen do a special meeting to review and approve a plan. Redding has around 70 pages to review.
• Dog Leash clarification: Peg O’Donnell asked Julia to describe the dog leash rule on Redding Trails. As it stands, the Open Space ordinance charges that only Topstone can have dogs who must be leashed 50 feet from trail head. Dogs are not allowed on the trails due to watershed issues due to the delicate ecosystems; the flora and fauna often get destroyed by animals who trample on or defecate in these areas.
• Thanks & Gratitude to Volunteers: Peg O’Donnell also brought up the idea of publicly expressing gratitude to all the volunteers who do so much for the town. Since the season of “thanksgiving” is coming up, perhaps with the help of Alice Smith at Town Hall, we can come up with a solution. It’s been a tough couple years and yet we acknowledge how lucky we are to be in such a beautiful town.
• Joe Levkoff, 16 Great Pond Lane
Will the town share liability with the NRVT? Julia P. responded that the NRVT has the liability.
• Planning Commission Blight Ordinance Outcome
The Planning Commission declined to move it along as it is currently written. The motion failed.
• End of October Events:
Halloween Trick or Treat at Town Hall for elementary aged children on Thursday, Oct. 28, 2021 from 3 to 5 pm.
Putnam Park Ghost Walk Saturday, October 30, 2021, 6:30-8 pm
Georgetown Fire Department’s Halloween Night (date?)
Redding Garden Club’s “Get Your Glow On” Jack-o-Lantern placement on the Town Green Friday October 29 to Sunday, October 31, 2021.
Trunk or Treat sponsored by Redding Neighbors and Newcomers at the RCC, Saturday, October 30, 2021 from 3 to 5 pm
Call to adjourn, motioned by Peg O’Donnell, seconded by Julia Pemberton, unanimous at 8:13 p.m.