Easton surpassed 400 residents infected with the COVID-19 virus this week. The per 100,000 rate for the two weeks ending April 10, 2021, was 25.7. Through the Westport Weston Health District, we were able to successfully vaccinate 13 home bound residents. We are still quarantining too many school students which makes keeping schools open for in-person learning a challenge. We, as a community, need to realize the importance of keeping schools open, and the role we play in this. Our responsibility is still to protect our children from exposure to the virus. That means having children social distance and wear masks in social settings. Allowing your own children to not observe these simple rules causes confusion among all children, those who do and those who don’t follow the rules. I believe this is damaging to all of our children. We are similarly trying to keep sports programs up and running and allow smart field use. Last fall we had no “super spreader” events due to activity on our fields. Our goal is to keep it that way.
On April 12, 2021, the Westport Weston Health District officially accepted Easton into the health district. From a service point of view, the transition should be seamless. An interesting comment during their board’s discussion came from Weston, which expressed their gratitude to Easton for joining the WWHD. They felt that the district’s growth will make it less likely that they would be forced into a larger district where they would have far less control over the course of the health district and the services which could be provided. A name change appropriate to our joining is under consideration. I have several resumes of volunteers to be Easton’s board member, all of whom are extremely qualified.
The Annual Town Meeting will be held Monday, April 26, 2021 at 7:00 p.m. at the Samuel Staples Elementary School Cafetorium. Again, we are still limited by Executive Order to 100 people in the room. As in the previous Special Town Meeting, capacity will be limited to 80 people from the public at one time. The meeting will be broadcast, please consider only attending in person if you plan on speaking. We will notify the public of how to view the meeting remotely. The Board of Selectmen will set the final agenda for the Annual Town Meeting during an April 19, 2021, Special Board of Selectmen Meeting at 5:30 p.m. (this special meeting is virtual via ZOOM). Included will be the Easton Town Budget, and the Region 9 Budget. Both will be adjourned to a town vote. There will also be an agenda item regarding the Easton Resolution on Racism and Public Health which will also be adjourned to a town vote. There are two appropriations for the designs of bridges in town; Valley Road and Judd Road (split with Monroe). These should be able to be passed at the Annual Town Meeting. The budget proposals, the appropriations for the bridges and the full Resolution on Racism and Public Health will be posted on the website. The vote will be on May 4, 2021 from 6:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. at the Samuel Staples Elementary School. Again, we govern ourselves through the town meeting process culminating in a machine vote. It is your town and you govern it. Please learn about the issues and vote. Although turnout for the last referendum was more than we usually have for a machine vote, we can do much better. Please familiarize yourself with the absentee ballot process on our website. Applications for absentee ballots are now available.
Homeowners in Easton will be receiving letters regarding information about your property from our revaluation company, Munival. Invariably, there may be errors in the information which is why it is being sent to you for review. Please check the information carefully to avoid an inaccurate evaluation of your property. Do not send the letter back to our Assessor. Follow the direction on the letter to email, fax or snail mail it back to the Fairfield, CT address.
On Monday, April 19, 2021, the one lane bridge on South Park Avenue will be temporarily closed to traffic to allow the utility companies to visit and prep for the reconstruction of the bridge. Please follow detour routes and mind your speed. The bridge will close for an extended period of time as we begin utility work, followed by construction of the new bridge. I have every expectation that the bridge will be done by December 1, 2021, and will give you regular updates.
It was pointed out to me that March was one of the windiest months on record! We had minimal numbers and short durations of power outages. Hopefully, this is because we have been able to remove so many trees around power lines.
We still do not have final plans for a memorial being planned for former First Selectman Bill Kupinse, but will make them available as soon as we do. Our thoughts are with his family.
Look for more information on the items for the town meeting and participate. Be safe and have a great weekend!