A Message from First Selectman Bindelglass

Update 6/3/22

Good afternoon,

The COVID numbers continue to bounce around with most of the towns in the state well into the red range. Hospitalizations seem to be dropping suggesting that this wave may be past its peak.

Wednesday night we held a flag raising ceremony to recognize the beginning of Pride month.  Representative Hughes and Senator Hwang presented a proclamation and members of our community spoke. A celebration followed.

This week we held a Special Town Meeting to fulfill our statutory requirement in response to a petition that was received regarding the placement of a conservation easement on the remaining property (after selling a portion to the Land Trust) at South Park Ave. Presentations were made by Preserve 06612 and Citizens for Easton. Those presentations are available on the town website under the heading “Special Town Meeting”. After further discussion, the resolution was amended and approved. It can also be found at the same location included here: https://www.eastonct.gov/home/news/05312022-special-town-meeting-700-pm-sses

The resolution reads as follows:

The Town of Easton hereby instructs the Board of Selectmen to place a permanent conservation easement or restriction on the remaining portion of the real property owned by the Town and commonly known as 18-22 South Park Avenue. The permanent conservation easement or restriction will provide that the property remains in a natural and open condition for the conservation, open space, agriculture, green space or water supply purposes. The easement or restriction will include a requirement that the property be made available to the general public for passive recreational purposes. This permanent conservation easement or restriction will not preclude the Town from selling the property to Aspetuck Land Trust Inc. at a time when the purchase price is determined by independent appraisal and Aspetuck Land Trust has the funds to accomplish this sale.

The conservation restriction shall be drafted and shall provide for an accurate description of the subject property and define the passive recreational activities to be allowed. Further, the conservation restriction or easement shall allow for the continued residential occupancy of a portion of the subject property by the existing tenants on terms acceptable to the Town of Easton. The conservation restriction or easement in final form shall be brought back expeditiously to another Special Town Meeting upon completion. {END}

Last night the Board of Selectmen approved the final version of the affordable housing plan. The final revisions essentially removed the South Park property from consideration for affordable housing, noting that it had been considered, but that part of the property was awaiting completion of a sale and the remaining property is the subject of a conservation easement also being finalized. Also, specified is for any affordable units which are created within or around the watershed, the Aquarion Water company will be involved in any decisions about moving any unit forward and we respect their expertise.  The plan will be submitted to the state as specified in Public Act 21-29. I highly recommend that every citizen read the plan rather than letting people tell you what it says and make your own evaluations. One wonderful thing that came out of the public hearing was the unanimous support that people voiced for the town providing more affordable housing. While the devil is always in the details, this is still a great step forward. We will be establishing an affordable housing committee to prioritize and move forward with some of the strategies in the plan.

The Emergency Services Consulting International group recently completed a site visit for the town’s consultation to evaluate our emergency services. During their visit, they met with key stakeholders and will deliver their findings to the town this fall. If you have any input you would like to add, please forward them to the First Selectmen’s office.

Want to help us save Easton’s historic gravestones? Join the Easton Cemetery Committee on June 4th from 9 – 11 a.m. at the Gilbertown Cemetery to learn how to preserve, protect, and maintain historic gravestones. Volunteers will learn and apply techniques for stone preservation and get the opportunity to gently clean the stones. With your help, we can ensure Easton’s history is safely preserved for all. Wear outdoor work clothes and footwear to walk on uneven ground for this easy and informative cleanup day. Location: Gilbertown Cemetery, 372 Black Rock Turnpike (park in the lot next to the cemetery).

Please remember that June is dog license month https://www.eastonct.gov/town-clerk/news/june-is-dog-license-month-0

Enjoy your weekend,

Dave

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