The Easton Board of Selectmen held its second regular meeting for the month on June 16 with First Selectman Bindelglass appearing via Zoom and Selectmen Lessler and Sogofsky present in person.
The board approved a road opening bond for property located at 18 The Circle as recommended by the director of Public Works.
The board awarded the bid of MHQ, Inc. for the purchase of one 2022 Ford Police Interceptor police cruiser in the amount of $34,612.10 as recommended by Chief of Police Richard Doyle. The police regularly purchase one or two police cars each year as part of their normal departmental budget and vehicle replacement program. The Board of Selectmen must formally award the bid.
The board agreed to refer all property assessment appeals from the October 2021 list year where litigation is instituted by the property owner to the law firm of Berchem Moses. This firm has handled these cases for the town for many years. Rather than appointing them each time a case is filed, the board agreed to engage the firm for all such cases filed this cycle.
The board made several unanimous appointments to boards and commissions:
- Amy Wolfcale to the Agriculture Commission until January 2, 2025
- Nanette DeWester to the Aging Commission until January 2, 2023
- Elizabeth Boyce as an alternate to the Library Board until January 2, 2024
- Vincent Battaglia as a reappointment to the Police Commission until July 1, 2025
- Diana Gomez to the Police Commission until July 1, 2025.
The board heard a presentation from Attorney Raymond Rizzio on behalf of his client, Land Sail Properties, LLC for a 36 unit, 9 building, 55-and-over age-restricted development on a portion of the remaining 11 acres of the South Park Avenue property which is owned by the town. Land Sail is owned by a long-time Easton resident, Davis Owen. Mr. Rizzio explained that each building would have a maximum of 4 units and each unit would have two or three bedrooms and a two-car garage.
The attorney argues the project would generate significant revenue to the town without any significant costs since there would be few, if any, school-age children and the roads would be privately maintained and plowed. Since the project is located near the Merritt Parkway and in the extreme southeast corner of town, there would be little traffic. He argues, it would allow empty nesters and seniors to downsize or right-size for a new stage of life. There are no other such options in Easton other than some ranch-style houses. He said the project would allow the New England Prayer Center to continue to operate and would include an outdoor classroom and nature center for the use of the town.
The board heard public comment from several people all of whom opposed the senior housing project: June Logie, Chris Michos, Dolly Curtis, Paula Barker, Jeff Becker, Grant Monsarrat, and John Meyer. Jeff Becker also questioned why the Planning and Zoning Commission seems to be trying to dismantle accessory apartments at the same time the town is trying to promote such apartments as a way to meet our statutory affordable housing obligation.