Photo by Barb Heins.
As part of National Parks & Recreation Month, a proclamation was presented to our Parks & Recreation Department leadership this week. From left, Griff Harris Golf Operations Manager Steve Pyo, Assistant P&R Director Blaize Levitan, Recreation Superintendent Susan Snyder, Marine and Facility Operations Superintendent Brian Kerzner and P&R Director Joe Siciliano.
Greetings Greenwich friends and neighbors.
While it may be encouraging that two of the controversial apartment building proposals with affordable housing units have been withdrawn, there is still much work to do to ensure local control of zoning regulations is restored.
I continue to work with the staff of Attorney General William Tong in seeking protection for historic districts that are targeted as sites for large scale developments under the guise of affordable housing. This was the case with the proposed project on Church Street where numerous older homes in that historic Fourth Ward would have been razed.
I also am working with the CT 169 Strong organization, comprised of chief elected officials from around the state, which is coordinating a focus on enforcing the protections offered for municipal historic districts included Connecticut General Statute 22-a.
Drought conditions = water conservation efforts
With less than seasonal rainfall during the past month, the state’s Interagency Drought Working Group this week declared that all eight counties in the state are experiencing Stage 2 drought conditions, including Fairfield County.
According to Aquarion Water Co., the state has received about 1 inch of rain during the past 30 days, a quarter of the typical seasonal rainfall of 4 inches. Greenwich is among 13 towns serviced by Aquarion that is under mandatory, twice-weekly irrigation schedule until October 31. In addition to following the irrigation schedule, there are several other ways to conserve water use. Please use this link to discover how you can reduce water usage and your water bill.
Residents with well water are encouraged to follow the same conservation efforts.
Absentee ballots available next week
Absentee ballots for the August 9 primary will be available from the Town Clerk beginning Tuesday, July 19. There is a primary election for both major parties.
There are several easy ways to receive an absentee ballot: in person at the Clerk’s Office, first floor of Town Hall; call the office at 203-622-7897 to request an application mailed to you, request by mail: Town Clerk, 101 Field Point Road, Greenwich, CT 06830, or download the application via this link.
Completed ballots may be mailed to the Town Clerk; dropped off in the office; or deposited in secure ballot boxes located outside the Town Hall parking garage, the lobby of Town Hall and the lobby of the Greenwich Public Safety Complex, 11 Bruce Place.
New protocol for utility pole removal
There is some good news regarding the removal of structurally compromised utility poles around the state. The Public Utilities Regulatory Authority has established a standardized process to address the poles around the state.
In lieu of contacting the companies, PURA will welcome customers calling (1-800-382-4586) or emailing (PURA.Information@ct.gov) our customer service center between the hours of 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, for assistance.
To assist the inquiry, it would be helpful to receive the following information about the pole(s), if available: (a) picture of the potentially structurally compromised pole(s); (b) approx. time/date that the picture was taken; and (c) general location of the pole(s) – cross streets are particularly helpful. PURA staff will track down the applicable pole custodian and route the inquiry through the Structurally Compromised Pole Process.
More details on how the program will work can be found here.
Optimum offering free service via Affordable Connectivity Program
Altice USA announced this week that the company will offer Optimum 300 Mpbs internet speeds for free to eligible households participating in the federal Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP). The pricing of the 300 Mbps internet plan is inclusive of all taxes and fees, meaning the service is completely free for all households who are eligible for and enroll in ACP and apply the $30 monthly credit. More information can be found here on the Optimum website.
Greenwich Hospital reported that as of today, July 15, it is treating 10 COVID-19 patients. Last week there were 9 patients. The Yale-NewHaven Health system has a total of 124 patients, up from 99 a week ago.
According to the state, as of July 14, the total number of Greenwich COVID cases (since the pandemic began in March 2020) increased to 14,943. A total of 101 new cases were reported during the last 7 days. The number of residents whose deaths have been attributed to COVID is 125.
Paving vs. potholes
Our Department of Public Works has begun its annual street paving program. It is a bit surprising that my office as well as DPW are receiving a large number of complaints. What is even more surprising is the nature of the complaints – the inconvenience of having to park vehicles elsewhere, having to take a detour or having to wait a bit while road work is performed.
It’s really a simple reality – a few inconveniences for smooth roads now means fewer pot holes in your future.
DPW crews post signs announcing the work schedule days in advance of commencing milling and repaving. The list of streets scheduled for paving can be found here. There are a few streets not included on the list at this time because of pending underground utility upgrades. Those roads will be paved once all of the utility work is completed.
And on a personal note, I find it disheartening to read the inflammatory social media comments attacking the integrity of our dedicated employees who are working in extreme heat conditions to improve your quality of life.
There will be a ribbon-cutting ceremony at 10:30 a.m. tomorrow, July 16, at Armstrong Court. Greenwich Communities, formerly the Greenwich Housing Authority, is completing the second phase of the reconstruction and renovation of this housing complex on Hamilton Avenue.
There will be a celebration of Founder’s Day on Sunday, July 17, at the First Congregational Church in Old Greenwich. Special guest preacher for the 10 a.m. service will be Pastor Emerita Rev. Sally Colegrove. I am looking forward to reading the annual Founders Day proclamation.
Stay safe and wishing you all the best.