For those who wish to watch tonight’s Special Town Meeting virtually, it can be accessed on YouTube at the following link: https://youtu.be/LyAnQwgdcyU.
Up to 80 residents could attend in person, allowing for 20 town officials for a maximum of 100 people as permitted by the governor’s order. Others watched it live on YouTube or Facebook.
First Selectman Dave Bindelglass called the meeting the order at 7:04 p.m. Jeff Becker nominated Maureen Williams as moderator. Town Clerk Christine Halloran read the call of the meeting:
The topics are as follows:
1. Appropriation of $49,770 for the Easton Police Dept. to purchase body and dash cams to comply with new state mandates (View Minutes #5)
2. Ordinance change increasing the stipend available to volunteers to our Fire and Emergency Medical Services (View)
3. Senior Tax Relief for the Elderly Ordinance [View 2021 Committee Report – draft and View 2021 Ordinance edits highlighted]
4. Westport Weston Health District (View Presentation March 2020)
5. As an advisory question, should the town of Easton appropriate $249,400 for the local match requirement (20% of the total project cost of $1,247,000) for the costs associated with constructing a multi-use/pedestrian path along Sport Hill Road from the entrance of the Helen Keller Middle School to the crosswalk at Silverman’s Farm. (View Design Charette Information and View Sport Hill Pathway Presentation.
Resident Anne Manusky questioned the need for the Special Town Meeting and referendum and said the matters could have appeared on the agenda of the Annual Town Meeting and budget referendum. Board of Finance Chairman Andy Kachele confirmed the need to vote on the appropriations in advance of the Annual Town Meeting and budget referendum.
No objections were raised about the body and dash cams, stipends for Fire and Emergency Medical Services or Senior Tax Relief. Several people objected to joining the Westport Weston Health District and asked if Easton could join Redding in a health district since the two towns share other things, including the regional high schools. Bindelglass said it wasn’t an option at this time. Resident Lea Sylvestro spoke in favor of joining the health district.
Justin Giorlando described the multi-use pedestrian and bicycle pathway. The project ranked first for safety among 17 proposals to the Metropolitan Council of Governments (METROCOG) from area towns. State grants would provide 80% of the design and construction. Of the total cost of $1.25 million. the town’s share would be $249,000. He estimated the maintenance and upkeep would be $1,500 to $3,500. Giorlando’s comments and the public comments made for and against the pathway can be accessed approximately 43 minutes and 40 seconds into the video.
The Special Town Meeting concluded at 8:33 p.m.