Updated March 18,2022
After much hard work by the Board of Finance, we have wrapped up the preliminary round of budget presentations. The proposed budget for 2022-23 will be presented in a public hearing on Monday, March 21 at 7 p.m. at Samuel Staples. After that, some departments will be called back to meet with the Board of Finance to further review their budgets. Chairman Art Laske is working to clarify what those departments will be asked in their reviews to streamline the process by giving the department heads and their commissions better ability to prepare.
The final budget will be presented at the Annual Town Meeting on Monday, April 25. The budgets will then be voted on in a referendum on Tuesday, May 3. The rest of the agenda for the Annual Town meeting is beginning to take shape. We will consider a new ordinance to help protect some of our historic buildings in town. This ordinance would impose a delay in approving the demolition of any building with historical significance for 90 days to consider the impact. We will propose modifying the ordinance which governs the library to allow for two alternates on the library board.
On Monday, April 18 there will be a public hearing regarding the sale of approximately 19 acres of town land on South Park Ave. to the Aspetuck Land trust. The meeting will be held at Samuel Staples at 7 p.m. Under our new Land Use Ordinance, the actual sale will be considered at the Annual Town Meeting, and then voted on by referendum.
The affordable housing committee will be holding a public information session regarding their creation of an affordable housing plan which we must submit to the state in June. The meeting will be held on Monday, March 28, 6 p.m. at Samuel Staples. Their preliminary report will be presented at a Special Meeting of the Board of Selectmen on April 19.
The Board of Selectmen are considering reconstituting a human resource committee to look at how the town handles employment issues from job classifications to disciplinary matters. We continue to work on streamlining the permitting process for building houses, additions, pools, generators and the like. We have been working on eliminating unnecessary steps and fees to make it easier to construct in Easton.
You have all seen the work being done by Frontier to wire the town for internet connectivity. Some who have already gotten the service have expressed their satisfaction. As they are laying the wire, there is a two-step process. First, the lineman pull the wire. That is where you see cannisters taped to poles on the ground. Then the splicers come and finish the work. In between is unsightly and I have asked them to help us understand their timeline, but the work is ongoing. On the town website is a brief explanation of Frontier’s internet service which can be accessed at: Frontier Fiber Optic Service | Easton CT.
Recently in town hall there have been a number of questions regarding recycling, sorting and pick up. Information regarding the town’s recycling program can be found on the town web site at: Residential Waste Systems Recycling Service Easton CT | Commercial & Residential Waste, Trash Pickup.
The Town Clerk is interested in providing a free property monitoring service. This fraud alert system allows users to sign up and receive email alerts whenever a document, such as a deed or mortgage, is recorded under their name on the land records in the Easton Town Clerk’s office. The automated online notification system enables members of the public to register for this service and receive automated emails when recorded documents are recorded with a name that matches the data that the member specified during registration. Upon email notification, the user may search for and review the recorded document’s index data. The user would need to set up an account to search online – account set up is free-of-charge, and/or go to the Town Clerk’s office in Town Hall to view the actual recorded document to determine whether it represents unauthorized or fraudulent activity. Since the cost to the town will be $3300 up front and $50 a month, we are trying to gauge how much interest there is in this going forward. There will be no cost to citizens. If you are in favor of the town doing this please contact my office at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We have been successful utilizing new hardware in broadcasting the recent Board of Finance budget hearings via Zoom. We are now ready to move the Planning and Zoning Commission meetings to the Library Community room and broadcast those meetings over Zoom. The first such meeting is scheduled for April 11.
Have a great weekend,