The board began by approving the minutes of its July 6th meeting.

The board next reviewed and unanimously approved a stipulation to legally discontinue Old Burrs Highway as a town road. The board reviewed and discussed the matter with counsel for the town and for property owners abutting the road. The property owners filed an action against the town seeking discontinuance of the road. The town has not maintained this road for decades. The practical impact of this decision is that the land comprising the road will now be owned to the middle of the road by the adjacent landowners. The town will no longer have an interest in this property and will have no obligation to maintain it and will no longer be liable for what happens on it. The Aspetuck Land Trust (ALT) will now own about 90% of the road. Since this road was already a means of access to ALT property, it is in their interest to own this land. The remaining approximately 10% is owned by private individuals.

The board approved a fee schedule for making copies of town hall documents. The fees will be consistent for all departments with one exception. The fee for the use of a personal scanner to copy documents will be $20.00 for the Town Clerk’s office consistent with the fee charged by most such offices across the state and will be $5.00 for other town departments.

The board approved bids for the purchase of two new police cars, an interceptor vehicle and a utility vehicle. These purchases are part of this fiscal year’s budget for the Police Department. The bidding process is a necessary step in the actual acquisition of the cars and ensures that the purchase is done transparently and made from the lowest reasonable bidder.

At the request of a resident, the board approved flying the POW/MIA flag six times a year in accordance with the practice established in federal law. The dates the flag will fly are Armed Forces Day (the third Saturday in May, Memorial Day (the fourth Monday in May), Flay Day (June 14th), Independence Day (July 4th), National POW/MIA Recognition Day (3rd Friday in September), and Veteran’s Day (November 11th).

The board appointed Florisca Carter to the Board of Ethics for a term ending 12/31/23. The board was advised that the first selectman appointed Kevin Kilner to the Conservation Commission for a term ending January 2, 2026. (State law designates the first selectman as the appointing agent for Conservation Commissions.) The board appointed Jordan Baker-Kilner to the Land Acquisition and Preservation Authority to a term ending January 2, 2024. To fill two seats on the Planning and Zoning Commission, the board had three candidates and selected Jason Klein to a term ending on January 2, 2027, and Ray Ganim to a term ending on January 2, 2024. To fill a vacancy for an alternate on the Planning and Zoning Commission, the board selected from among three candidates Stacy Vavaro for a term ending on January 2, 2025.

The board heard public comment at the start and the conclusion of the meeting in accordance with our normal practice as follows:

Grant Monsarrat asked about the status of the Sport Hill Riding Center. He also complained about the sound quality of the Zoom meeting.

Dwight Senior expressed support for flying the POW/MIA flag. Questioned why the Pledge of Allegiance is not said at our meetings. Expressed support for Daniel Lent for the Planning and Zoning Commission. Expressed skepticism about the discontinuance of Old Burrs Highway.

June Logie expressed support for Daniel Lent for the Planning and Zoning Commission. Asked about the status of the Sport Hill Riding Center. Suggested limiting all flag flying to not more than a week or ten days. Wondered if the town is planning a 9/11 ceremony this fall.

Raymond Martin expressed support for the three people named to the Planning and Zoning Commission and relief that the board did not appoint one of the other nominees to the commission.

Joel Mencel expressed concerns about the discontinuance of Old Burrs Highway.

Peter Delvecchio expressed thanks to the board for supporting his suggestion to fly the POW/MIA flag but would have preferred to have it fly all year.

The selectmen also offered comments and responses to some of the public comments:

Selectman Sogofsky assured everyone that the discontinuance of Old Burrs Highway will not impact peoples’ ability to access the Aspetuck Land Trust property in accordance with the rules of the land trust.

Selectman Lessler pointed out that there is no conflict of interest from the town’s perspective from the fact that the attorney for the plaintiff adjacent landowners in the matter of Old Burrs Highway is also a member of the Board of Directors of the Aspetuck Land Trust. The attorney disclosed that fact to his clients and to the Board of Selectmen early in this proceeding.

First Selectman Bindelglass pointed out that the town will have no more liability for anything that happens on Old Burrs Highway now that it is discontinued. He noted that this is not a sale and not subject to the town’s Land Use Ordinance which requires a town meeting for many types of transactions involving town owned land. He explained the status of the Sport Hill Riding Center situation. The bottom line is that there are legal and administrative proceedings pending related to the property. He noted that any sound issues remote attendees had during tonight’s meeting appear to be individual internet issues and not equipment issues.

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