Letter: First Selectman reflects on 2012

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(Editor’s note: This letter is the January First Selectman’s letter that appears on the Beacon Falls town website.)

To the editor,

2012 was a challenging year for many. For some, it was the economy and for others, it may have been personal challenges. The year ended with an event that touched us all in some way. The tragedy at Sandy Hook struck close to home and our community responded both financially and emotionally. During the third weekend of the month, Beacon Hose Company No. 1 and the Beacon Falls Police Department raised $9,000 through a boot drive on Saturday, and the town participated in a statewide vigil on Sunday night, with over 300 people in attendance. Vigil candles were generously supplied by the Naugatuck Walmart and the Laurel Ledge PTO; thank you to both. Please continue to pray for all those affected by this tragic event, and always remember our first responders, as you may one day find yourself on the receiving end of an outstretched hand. First responders, please accept our heartfelt appreciation for your work. We value your dedication as, on a daily basis, you place yourselves in jeopardy in order to safeguard the wellbeing of the community; thank you.

Various municipal projects were initiated and/or completed during 2012. I am most proud of a new 4,000 gallon diesel and 2,000 gallon gasoline fueling station that was installed at the Public Works Department, saving the town thousands of dollars each year. In addition, all underground storage tanks have been removed, eliminating the possibility of seepage and contamination. The streetscape was dedicated and finished in the fall. Toby’s Pond is a work in progress and the many volunteer hours invested in the project have yielded beautiful results. Cold Spring Road has been closed by the Department of Transportation but we continue to fight to have it reopened. Town Hall has been revamped, and you will find employees friendly and responsive to your needs.

All in all, change has been positive. But as always, we continue to solicit input from you. Please check the town website regularly for updates, and also acquaint yourself with the various boards and commissions in town, and read the minutes of monthly meetings which are posted on the site.

I am proud of Beacon Falls, a small town with a big heart. May 2013 be a year of positive growth, building upon a foundation of unity and integrity. Happy New Year.

Gerard F. Smith

First Selectman

Beacon Falls