Naugatuck antes up for river brigade

NAUGATUCK — The borough is pitching in to help efforts to clean up the Naugatuck River.

During a special meeting last week, the Board of Mayor and Burgesses approved giving $5,000 to Waterbury to supplement the cost of the Naugatuck River Brigade.

The brigade is comprised of 13 teenagers, ages 16 to 18, including two from Naugatuck, and is overseen by the Waterbury Police Activities League. They will spend the summer getting paid $10.50 an hour to help clean up the river and learn about the environment.

Waterbury formed the brigade in response to the 5 million gallon raw sewage spill in the Naugatuck River last October. Naugatuck River Revival Group founder Kevin Zak is leading the cleanup efforts.

Waterbury reached out to the community and surrounding municipalities for donations to help support the brigade.

Mayor N. Warren “Pete” Hess said he felt the borough should make a donation since the cleanup would directly benefit the borough and there are Naugatuck residents on the brigade. He said the $5,000 will come from the borough’s excess fund balance.

Hess added that Waterbury recently worked with the borough to apply for a federal program to help pave the way for both municipalities to develop land for an industrial park.