Update for 9/18/2020
Last weekend was a great time to be an Easton resident and I was very proud to be your First Selectman. The Ashlar-Aspetuck Lodge hosted a wonderful town party with great food and music. Thank you so much to all those who organized a great event, bringing a lot of us together as a community and keeping the event safe for everyone. What a great job! Without the cooperation of those in attendance, the event could have had some issues, but everyone I saw was doing a good job wearing masks and social distancing.
The evening fireworks sponsored by EMS were nothing short of spectacular! It was an organizational masterpiece as cars rolled in and parked safe distances from each other, and then rolled out in an orderly fashion. There was a total sense of safety for all who attended, and the show was amazing. Again, many thanks to EMS and to all who attended. Both events helped us to celebrate Easton’s 175th Anniversary in grand fashion. The greatness of our town was never more evident as so many people got together to celebrate, and yet, under the circumstances were respectful of the need to work together to keep each other safe. The Easton175 Committee has done a super job of coordinating celebrations for the town’s anniversary and there are more exciting events to come! Check out their website www.Easton175.com for all the up to date information.
Last week, I mentioned how September 11, 2001, had impacted Easton specifically mentioning the Hanson family. Please check out this moving piece on CBS news. https://www.cbsnews.com/video/questions-surround-years-long-delay-in-pro… Here in Easton and as Americans, we must never forget that fateful day and continue to demand that justice be served.
Our agreement to have our Health Department managed by the Westport Weston Health District is now in place. Mark Cooper MPH, RS is our new Director of Health. We welcome Eren Ceylan MPH,RS, our new sanitarian. He will be in Easton on Mondays and Wednesdays, although this week he has been in more often getting acclimated. The processes around permitting, etc. should be roughly the same. More info can be found on our website on the Health Department page.
This week, parts of Judd Road are being re-paved. The work should be done soon. When driving through neighboring towns, it should be obvious why our roads are the envy of all around us. We continue to make improvements and at lower costs than most of our neighboring towns. Great job Department of Public Works!
The Aquarion Water Company has proposed diverting roughly half of our reservoir supply to lower Fairfield County. We are looking into how we might contest this as they go before the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection. More to come.
The Home Energy Solutions (HES) program that is funded by a small fee on our electric bills is offering FREE home energy audits until the end of 2020. (normal cost: $75) There are new, more generous rebates for efficiency improvements, with no-cost efficiency work for those who are income eligible. There are larger incentive payments for windows, air or ground source heat pumps, or insulation and the audit includes several free conservation measures during the visit. The program is free if you have not had an audit in the past 36 months. This revised program is designed to make up for the time lost this year because of the pandemic, and includes new safety procedures to cope with COVID-19 such as a virtual pre-audit by phone. You can apply for a free home audit by phone at 1-877-WISE-USE (1-877-947-3873) or online at www.energizect.com.
Next week, I hope to finalize a report on handling future storms as the Police, EMS, Fire and Public Works departments continue to meet as an emergency management team to assess our planning and performance. We continue to participate as intervenors in the ongoing review of the UI’s storm response.
A new Executive Order was issued yesterday, which appears to modify some requirements regarding quarantining after travel to affected states. I am waiting for some clarifications before formally addressing this. As in the rest of the state, there has been a small uptick of COVID-19 cases in Easton after a long period of no new cases. The start of school and particularly colleges has made this an inevitable situation which we will continue to monitor closely. I hope we can minimize new cases by being vigilant and mindful of good hygiene, mask wearing (now mandatory in Connecticut) and social distancing. Especially be mindful when in groups such as at bus stops and playgrounds. Easton should continue to be the model town that it has been to keep ourselves and each other safe.