To the editor,
It seems like summer was just starting and now we’re already looking towards the upcoming Labor Day holiday weekend and the start of the new school year. With that thought in mind, I’d like to start this month’s letter with an update on the construction project at Laurel Ledge Elementary School.
I had the opportunity to walk the site on Tuesday, Aug.19 along with our town Fire Marshall Ed Rodriguez and the project manager from Turner Construction, Dave Christoforo. Significant progress has already been made, so by the time the children are back in classes, there should be no impact on the areas used during the school day. Emergency evacuation routes are being marked clearly, and any material deliveries will arrive prior to the start of the school day to eliminate the hazard of trucks driving in areas of proximity to the students and faculty. In addition, our public works department will be repainting the road and parking areas to add visibility to crosswalks, fire lanes and restricted parking areas. We will perform a final walkthrough next Thursday to ensure everything will be ready for the first day of classes. There will certainly be a measure of inconvenience we will all have to work around together until the project is completed next year, but safety will always be our first priority so I ask everyone to be patient and work together to get through this difficult time.
In addition to the impact on the school year, this construction will also affect the upcoming election cycle in November. Laurel Ledge has been our normal polling location for many years, but this project has forced us to make some temporary changes. We saw this impact already during the August primary this year, which was held at the senior center — my thanks to our Registrars of Voters Kathy Grace and especially Helen Mis for their input in solving these issues and extra kudos to Helen and her assistants for running the primary so efficiently. However, the small size of the senior center prohibits our use of it for the general election on Nov. 4. Thanks to Principal Kurt Ogren and his staff at Woodland Regional High School, we will relocate the polling location to the cafeteria there. We will be developing a traffic flow pattern and parking plan to allow voters to drive all the way up to the cafeteria and drive out through the emergency exit gate onto Back Rimmon Road. Again, patience and flexibility will be the key to getting us through the election cycle with as little disruption as possible.
Around town, we continue to look for ways to improve services and quality of life for all our residents. One new opportunity we are exploring is the possibility of obtaining a grant of up to $10,000 from the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection to install a two car electric vehicle charging station; possible locations would be either at the railroad station parking lot on Railroad Avenue or the commuter parking lot on North Main Street. We will update this information as the process continues.
Also, the recreation complex on Pent Road was recently the host site for a kickball tournament sponsored by The Susie Foundation, established in honor of the late Susie Mathews and headed by her son Ryan. Susie passed away from ALS — commonly known as “Lou Gehrig’s Disease” — and the foundation has run this annual event for the past couple of years to raise donations and awareness in the search for a cure. It was a fantastic day of sport, food, and family fun, so be sure to keep this event on your radar for next summer.
Lastly, the area continues to be plagued by a series of vehicle break-ins. Troop I of the Connecticut State Police hosted a conference here at town hall last week as part of the effort to apprehend those responsible for these thefts, and our local police force is on high alert to bring them to justice. If you have any information regarding these events please call the police station and report what you know — you can help make a difference.
May you all enjoy the rest of your summer vacations, and have a safe and fun-filled Labor Day holiday weekend.