Board of Selectmen Meeting of September 15, 2022

The Board of Selectmen held its regular meeting on Sept. 15. After approving the minutes from the Aug. 25 meeting and approving twelve tax refunds as recommended by the tax collector, the board moved to hear unique agenda items scheduled for the meeting.

The board appointed Jacob Conover to the Agriculture Commission to fill the unexpired term of Irv Silverman who recently resigned. There are vacancies on several other boards and commissions. Anyone interested in serving should check the town website for specific openings or contact the First Selectman’s office.  Expressions of interest can be submitted directly to the First Selectman’s office or to the Democratic or Republican Town Committees. Please note that a simple letter and brief biographical statement is all that is necessary for you to be considered.

The board reviewed and unanimously approved the text of a conservation easement for the remaining approximately ten acres of property located at 18-22 South Park Avenue. This is all of the remaining town owned portion of this well-known property that has been the subject of discussion for a very long time. The key change from earlier drafts is that the portion of the property that will be leased to the current tenants has been reduced from just over four acres to just under three acres. Now that a recordable document exists, a Town Meeting can convene to decide whether or not the provisions of this easement are acceptable. If the Town Meeting approves the easement, it will be recorded on the land records.

The board discussed possible consequences of various actions that could occur between now and the time the town formally adopts an easement. For example, what if a contradictory citizen petition is filed in the interim and what if the current document is rejected by the town? We also discussed why a second vote is now required. A Town Meeting, and likely machine vote referendum, will be scheduled later this fall.

Unfortunately, we are advised it is too late to put this on the ballot for the Nov. 8 election for federal and state offices. Further, because the registrars of voters are now engaged in the work required for the Nov. 8 election, which involves much pre- and post-election day work, any referendum will slip until late November or early December. Please take a moment to review the document which is available from town hall or on the town website. The substantive terms are only three pages long and not terribly complex.

The board heard public comment on two topics: June Logie and Dori Wollen offered comments on the soil contamination matter at the former Easton Village Store. June Logie, Dori Wollen, Jeff Becker, Dwight Senior, Andrew Kupinse and Leslie Minasi offered comments on the conservation easement for South Park Avenue.

First Selectman David Bindelglass gave an update on the soil contamination matter at the former Easton Village Store. As previously reported, the work and reports that were promised by today’s meeting were completed and filed. No exigent steps have been recommended. The previous recommendations for monitoring of certain wells in the area are being implemented. If additional remediation or other steps are warranted based on results from this monitoring, that work will be done.

The First Selectmen discussed the conservation easement for South Park Avenue and committed that he would not vote to send any contradictory citizen petition to the Town Meeting before the Town Meeting/referendum on the current proposal.

He reported that the Senior Center is likely to be a bit stricter about Covid precautions as the colder weather moves in. These restrictions may be stronger than the current CDC guidelines but no decisions have been made for now.

Selectman Kristi Sogofsky discussed the conservation easement for South Park Avenue and committed that she, also, would not vote to send any contradictory citizen petition to the Town Meeting before the Town Meeting/referendum on the current proposal.

Selectman Bob Lessler thanked the Easton EMS for another successful fireworks display last Saturday night.

He commented on the conservation easement noting that the board has an obligation to anticipate and think through a range of possibilities that could ensue between now and the time a conservation easement is approved by the voters.

image_pdfimage_print