Letter: First selectman talks Beacon Falls

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To the editor,

Welcome to summer — or at least the unofficial start of summer following the Memorial Day weekend. Many of you were able to find some time away from picnics and trips to the beach to attend our annual celebration event at Veteran’s Park on Sunday of the holiday weekend, as well as the remembrance ceremony and veterans breakfast at Beacon Hose Company No. 1 earlier that morning. My thanks to our state Sen. Joe Crisco for attending, and to Legion Post 25 Commander Bruce Carlson and Adjutant Rich Minnick, and Beacon Hose Chief Jim Trzaski and Assistant Chief Brian DeGeorge for their leadership and the efforts of all the men and women of both organizations in making a fitting tribute to the fallen heroes we remember that day. Thanks also to our Public Works road foreman Rob Pruzynski and his crew for the wonderful job they did in making Main Street shine. I received many positive comments about how nicely everything looked. Great job by all.

I also had the pleasure of participating again in the annual veterans’ symposium at Woodland Regional High School on the Friday before the long weekend. It never ceases to impress me with the number of students who attend this event, asking good questions and paying attention to the personal histories of service personnel whose service goes back as far as World War II and through our recent involvements in the Persian Gulf. My thanks to Tim Phipps, who has been such an integral part of the Woodland AP History courses and the driving force behind this program, in addition to his long association with the school’s football program, most recently as head coach. We wish him all the best as he transitions to his new positions at Hopkins, but he will most definitely be missed.

Another sure sign of the change of season is the start of our summer concert series, which kicks off this Saturday, June 6, at the gazebo and grounds adjacent to St. Michael’s church at 6 p.m. Check the weekly announcements to make sure you don’t miss your favorite groups. Finally, mark your social calendars for the annual Beacon Hose Company No. 1 carnival June 11-13, with the parade set for 6 p.m. on Saturday the 13th. It’s always a tremendous family event, and the best way to support the men and women who volunteer themselves to serve and protect this community. Don’t miss it.

Also, we receive many calls regarding the opening of the transfer station. It has been open the last Saturday of the month since April, and that schedule should continue through October. The high cost of opening it makes it prohibitive to do so with any greater frequency, so please plan accordingly and take advantage of this service when it is available.

We’ve got several projects in work right now, with more on the way. The rework of Highland Avenue Extension and the Town Hall parking lot will be going out to bid soon, and we expect work to begin shortly after the end of the school year. We will be announcing a larger road bonding package that will go to a vote later this month, so keep watching for further details. Also, our implementation of the fiber optic high speed internet connection through our grant for the Nutmeg Network is in full work, with the building wiring essentially completed and the connection process set to begin this week. We anticipate completion of the work before the end of June.

Lastly, we’ve been receiving a lot of coverage over the proposed fuel cell energy park project, with articles in the Connecticut Post, New Haven Register, Hartford Courant, Waterbury Republican-American, and the local Citizen’s News. We’ve also had a story run on WTNH Channel 8, and last Friday I did a segment on WATR 1320 AM. We had planned to have a public forum at this month’s Land Use Board, until we discovered it’s scheduled for the same night as the Woodland Class of 2015 graduation. So, we’re currently looking at the schedule to determine when the best chance will be to reschedule this hearing, but rest assured every step that will be taken will be with full transparency and the safety and well being of our community at the forefront. I strongly encourage maximum participation, and all questions anyone may have will be addressed and answered prior to any construction work being done, which in the best case would occur approximately ten to twelve months from now. So there is plenty of time to research and come up with any potential issue, large or small, and have it addressed to your satisfaction. I hope to see you all in attendance.

Christopher J. Bielik

First Selectman, Beacon Falls