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Public hearing in Danbury on $102 million bond request

A Public Hearing is being held Monday night in Danbury about $102.6 million in borrowing being requested for improvements to the Wastewater Treatment Plant.  The hearing is from 7 to 8pm at Danbury City Hall, in Council Chambers, and will be followed by a Council meeting on the issue. 


Mayor Mark Boughton says the City's wastewater treatment program will be on the hook for about $58 million worth of work to the plant.  Some parts of the overall project will be eligible for reimbursement from the state.  Neighboring municipalities that have a contract with Danbury will contribute about 13-percent to the cost of the upgrades, improvements  and renovations.  


It's a two part project.  The plant was last renovated in 1993, and the upgrades are only effective for 20 to 25 years.  Danbury has also been mandated to preserve waterways and systems in order to comply with federal EPA and state DEEP requirements. 


$10 million was approved In 2016 by residents for design expenditures. The bond question will be put to voters in November.  The Council is expected to approve wording for the ballot question at their September meeting.  

Plane with landing gear problem touches down safely at Danbury Airport

There was a close call at Danbury airport yesterday when a small plane reported an  in-flight emergency.  The two people aboard the four-seat Piper Warrior reported a problem with its left side landing gear while performing practice landings on the runway. 


Emergency responders stood-by for the damaged aircraft to make a landing attempt.  The aircraft made several fly-bys to allow the Tower to verify any unseen damage.  The pilot made a safe emergency landing, touching down gently and coming to a full stop on the runway. 


There was little damage to the aircraft and no injuries to the pilots. 


Firefighters helped the Fixed Base Operator with jacking the aircraft and replacing the gear so it could be towed from the runway.


(Photo: DFD)

5 Newtown businesses fail tobacco sale compliance inspections

Five businesses in Newtown failed to comply with the law during an unannounced compliance inspection into the sale of tobacco and electronic-cigarette items.   A trained and supervised minor deployed by the state Tobacco Prevention and Enforcement Program entered several retail establishments and tried to buy tobacco or e-cigarette products without identification. 


19 unannounced compliance inspections were conducted. 


Those not in compliance were Bottle Stop Wine & Spirits on Queen Street,  Dodgingtown Market & Deli,  Sugar Hill, LLC – Gulf , Fairgrounds Wine & Spirits on S. Main Street and Walgreens on S. Main Street.  The clerks were issued infractions and non-compliant tobacco retailers were referred to the Department of Revenue Services for possible administrative sanctions. 


Newtown Police say the effort was carried out with the support of Newtown Prevention Council as a part of their continuing efforts to prevent tobacco use and support healthy, substance-free living.

4 men arrested for alleged drug trafficking

Four men have been arrested in connection to alleged drug trafficking in Danbury.  Officers saw 30-year old Abdulwali “Tamel” Peterson of Naugatuck driving in the City on Friday and wanted to question him on suspicions of selling illicit drugs from the same car on Thursday.  He and the passenger, the registered owner, 30-year old Jeremy Nathan of Danbury then were seen by police making several suspected drug transactions. 
The suspected buyer, 32-year old Danny Ward, and the man he was with, 47- year old Kenneth Edwards, were both found in possession of drugs believed to be purchased from Peterson and Nathan. 
(Peterson, Nathan, Edwards)
Peterson and Nathan were later stopped after parking at a Federal Road business and found with drugs packed for sale and several hundred dollars cash.  Peterson and Nathan were each charged with possession of a controlled substance, possession of a controlled substance with the intent to sell and sale of a controlled substance. 
Edwards and Ward were each charged with possession of a controlled substance.

Kent to conduct sewer smoke testing this week

Kent will be conducting tests to determine where storm water may be entering the sanitary sewer system.  A sewer smoke testing study will be done this week.  Storm water, sometimes referred to as inflow, can enter through many sources including catch basins, damaged manholes, sump pumps and basement drains. 


Smoke testing involves blowing smoke into the sanitary sewer system and monitoring where it exits to determine leaks.  The smoke is non-toxic, will not stain and does not leave a residue.  If smoke does enter a building, it will set off smoke detectors and the room should be ventilated. 


Field crews will be in orange or green safety vests, wearing company IDs, and should be contacted.  If a drain in a home or business has not been used recently, water should be poured down the drain to fill the trap.  Town officials say that's a practice that should be done monthly to prevent unhealthy sewer fumes and odors from entering through the drain. 


Any persons with health concerns, susceptibility to air borne irritants or technical questions about the testing is asked to contact Diversified Infrastructure Services representative, Ken Assard, prior to the testing at (860)-274-5469.

Two men arrested on suspicions of shoplifting

Two men suspected of shoplifting have been arrested in Danbury.  Police were called to Walmart on Newtown Road Saturday after a store employee tried to stop the pair, who was caught on surveillance video taking electronics.  A description of the suspect vehicle was given to responding officers. 


Police say 22-year old Delton Rogers and 25-year old Luis David Torrez were charged with two counts each of larceny and conspiracy to commit larceny. 



(Rogers, Torrez)


Rogers was also charged with robbery because he physically resisted the efforts of a loss prevention officer when confronted.  Rogers became aggressive and began to push him.  Officers were able to track the two down at an address listed for Rogers.

Newtown looking to fill vacancies on boards, commissions

Newtown is looking for residents to fill several openings on appointed boards and commissions. The Lake Lillinonah Authority has a position open to a Republican or unaffiliated voter.  The Library Board of Trustees has a position open to a Republican voter and the Conservation Commission has two vacant positions, one open to a Republican or unaffiliated voter and one open to a Democrat or unaffiliated voter.

Danbury Health Department tests water quality of Candlewood Lake

Each week that the swim area at Candlewood Lake is open, the Danbury Health Department tests to ensure that the water is safe for recreational use. This season, employees were able to increase the number of tests conducted, to include testing for toxins produced by blue-green algae.  The blooms are frequently found in freshwater systems.  Some types the toxins are skin irritants and cause potent liver toxins for humans and domestic animals. Candlewood Lake’s levels has been consistently under the EPA’s recommendation.

YMCA in Brookfield collecting school supplies

The Regional YMCA of Western Connecticut will be collecting donated school supplies for those in need. Supplies can be dropped off through next weekend at the Greenknoll Branch’s lobby.  Among the items on the suggested list are book bags, Lunch boxes, various note books, crayons, markers and pencils. 

Tortoise found in Redding, held at police station

There's an unlikely lock up at the Redding Police station.  Police say they found a tortoise "racing" down Newtown Turnpike at Giles Hill Road around 1 o'clock yesterday afternoon.  The Animal Control Officer is looking for the owner of this tortoise.  Police say while Slow & Steady Wins the Race, they're not sure where the race began and where it's supposed to end for the tortoise.  Anyone with information should contact the Redding Police department at 203-938-3400.


Bethel to look into splitting up municipal center renovations

The Bethel Public Sites and Building Committee will look into how to break a municipal center renovation into two phases.  The Newstimes reports that the locker room and the bathrooms in the lobby could be done separately.  The Bethel Municipal Center is the town's emergency shelter and was open for long stretches during recent power outages in May and during Superstorm Sandy.  The bathrooms are also used by participants in the Parks and Recreation Department’s programs. Lead and mold were not found during a recent evaluation, but like many older buildings asbestos was found in  the floor.  It was abated at that time.

Grant awarded to Housatonic Valley Association for paddler access at Harrybrooke Park

A grant has been awarded to New Milford to bring boat access and a trail to Harrybrooke Park.  The $2,500 from Big Y will help Housatonic Valley Association create a system to allow paddlers to navigate around the park’s falls and rapids. HVA says the goal is to complete a water trail on the full length of the Still River from Danbury to New Milford.   A portion of the grant will be used to beautify and add to the pollution-preventing buffer of native plants along a ramp added last year on the Still River adjacent to the Animal Control shelter.

Redding Town Hall collecting school supplies

Redding Town Hall is hosting a  "Fill the Bus" school supply collection.  Residents who are out shopping this weekend are encouraged to pick up a few more items to drop off at Redding Town Hall through Wednesday.   Town Hall hours next week are 8:30 am to 5:30 pm.

Town Meeting Monday in New Fairfield on water system sale to Aquarion

New Fairfield officials will hold a Town Meeting on Monday for residents to vote on the sale of the small municipal water system owned by the Town to Aquarion.  The Planning Commission gave a positive referral.  The system provides water to six commercial customers in addition to Town buildings. Previous administrations have discussed a potential sale to Aquarion over the course of the past several years.  New Fairfield doesn't have the infrastructure or staffing to continue to operate the system. The equipment is aging and presents a liability for the town.  Concerns were raised during discussions about the sanitary easements and pumping limits in the proposed agreement of sale.  The regulated public utility gets oversight from the CT Public Utilities Regulatory Authority, the Department of Public Health and the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection.

Survey work started in downtown Danbury for sidewalk, intersection improvements

Survey work has started for sidewalk improvements in downtown Danbury.  The design phase for Main Street sidewalks is underway.  The work is being done in the White Street and West Street area.  Earlier this year Danbury received $200,000 from the state for the Streetscape Project.  The overhaul includes new construction or replacement of sidewalks, intersection improvements, landscaping, removal and installation of trees, ornamental lighting, and pedestrian access improvements.  The work was detailed in the Downtown Transit Oriented Development Planning Study.

Veterans will be celebrated Saturday at Danbury Farmers' Market

Connecticut Department of Veterans Affairs Commissioner Tom Saadi will participate in “Celebrating Veterans Day” at the Danbury Farmers’ Market tomorrow.  The ceremony is scheduled for 11am on the CityCenter green.  Ron Agard, a U.S. Army veteran and now Danbury Farmers’ Market Community Collaborative’s veterans’ community outreach coordinator asked veterans service organizations to attend the event to provide more information about their programs catered towards veterans.  Veterans with a valid ID who attend the market are given a 15 dollar "Veggies for Vets" market certificate that can be used to purchase fresh produce. The program is funded by the Fairfield County Community Foundation and Farm Credit East.

Quinnipiac program has students live in retirement center

WALLINGFORD, Conn. (AP) - As college students move into their dorms across the country, one Quinnipiac University student is beginning an unusual housing arrangement.

Law student Cathleen Dacey moves in Friday with senior citizens at Masonicare at Ashlar Village, a retirement community in Wallingford.

It's part of the Connecticut university's Students-In-Residency program that began in 2016 and is designed to break down generational barriers and combat ageism.

Dacey will have her own apartment at Ashlar Village and will provide at least eight hours of service there each week in exchange for housing.

Victoria Kozar, of New Milford, who was among the first students in the program, says living at the facility helped tear down stereotypes for both generations and gave her new respect for the wealth of knowledge and experience that older people have to share.  

Conn. Supreme Court upholds $12M verdict for woman against Danbury Hospital

A Redding woman has won her malpractice lawsuit against Danbury  Hospital in the Connecticut Supreme Court.  65-year old Vivian Gagliano went to the hospital for a hernia operation in 2008.  The suit alleged that the attending physician allowed member of the hospital's residency teaching team to assist and the resident perforated Gagliano's colon.  The perforation was not detected and her heart stopped two days later, sending her into a coma.  The state's highest court upheld the Appellate Court ruling that the jury had sufficient evidence to reach the $12-million verdict, finding the hospital negligent for the injuries caused to the woman.

Police Outside Services Fund tapped for capital items in Brookfield

The Brookfield Police Department offered to have needed items paid for from the Police Outside Services Fund rather than include the money in the recently approved capital budget. 


$60,000 will be used to buy a 2014 Ford F-350 Super Duty truck, previously used by the fire marshal.  The money will also go toward gear to serve the operational needs of the police department.  The truck will not be used for patrols, but rather to tow other vehicles, responding to difficult terrain or transporting traffic control equipment like cones. 


Another $61,737 dollars will be used for various technology items including tablets, tracking software for patrol cars, and a surveillance camera and microphone for the interview room.  Money will also be used to reconfigure the audio recording equipment in the holding area. 


Payments to the Police Outside Services Fund come from officers working construction sites, directing traffic and other extra duty.  Brookfield charges for the officers and cars, with a markup. That markup is put into the Fund.

Greater Danbury area towns join Sustainable CT

There are now 51 municipalities throughout the state participating in the Sustainable Connecticut program. Nine are in the Western Connecticut Council of Governments region.  WestCog is hosting two Sustainable CT Fellows, who are working with communities to complete their applications for Bronze Certification.  The Fellows have been meeting with community leaders, researching what credits communities have already earned and developing strategies for achieving the first level of certification.  They have also been looking into methods of the WestCOG towns to earn credits on a regional scale.  Brookfield, Greenwich, Newtown, New Milford, Ridgefield, Stamford, Weston, Westport, and most recently, Bethel, have registered for the Program.  The application deadline is August 24th to become Sustainable CT towns.  Two of the nine towns are attempting to achieve a Silver Certification, while the remainder will be striving for Bronze.





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