The Stonington Board of Selectmen held a regular meeting on this date at 7:00 p.m. at the Stonington Police Station. Present were First Selectman William S. Brown, Selectman Stephen E. Bessette and Selectman Peter L. Balestracci. Also present were George R. Sylvestre, Director of Administrative Services; Joseph Bragaw, Town Engineer; and members of the public and the press.
(1) Call to Order
Mr. Brown called the meeting to order at 7:00 p.m. and the Pledge of Allegiance was recited.
Mr. Brown stated that he would entertain a motion to add Item 7.a., “Interview a candidate for appointment to the Planning & Zoning Commission,” to the agenda and move it to the beginning of the agenda.
A motion was made by Mr. Bessette, seconded by Mr. Balestracci and unanimously voted to add Item 7.a., “Interview a candidate for appointment to the Planning & Zoning Commission,” to the agenda and move it to the beginning of the agenda.
(7.a.) Interview a candidate for appointment to the Planning & Zoning Commission
The Board interviewed Robert Marseglia, a candidate for the Planning & Zoning Commission. The Board thanked Mr. Marseglia for his time.
(2) Town Hall Space Requirements
Mr. Brown commented that he asked George Sylvestre and Joe Bragaw to attend tonight’s meeting, in response to questions raised at the last Selectmen’s meeting regarding the Town Hall Expansion project.
Mr. Sylvestre reviewed the history of renovations at Town Hall, reading from a memo dated 7/13/05. He made the following observations in his memo:
“Efforts have been made over a long period of time to take reasonable and responsible measures with respect to the myriad of problems of dealing with a building approaching eighty years of age.
To date, despite the growth of the community during that period of time and the increasing complexity of Town government, we are still operating within the footprint of that 1928 structure.
Over the past 25 years, a consistent pattern has been followed in responding to those problems. This has included recommending solutions to the Board of Selectmen, the Board of Finance and the voters through the Capital Improvement Program and Town Budget in compliance with the Town Charter.
In addition, all other regulatory requirements have been complied with.
To my knowledge, there is no other mechanism to bring the proposed Town Hall expansion to the voters in another forum.
To those who recommend against investing additional money in this building in favor of relocating some of the administrative functions to another location, I believe such an option is unjustified and ill advised.”
Further discussion took place, with questions being asked by Vincent Faulise, Pawcatuck, and answered by Mr. Sylvestre and Mr. Bragaw. The proposed addition to
Town Hall will go through all the appropriate processes, including the Planning and Zoning Commission, at which time there will be a public hearing. The Selectmen commended Mr. Sylvestre for his handling of the Town Hall renovation projects over the years.
(3) Request for permit fee adjustment or waiver
An e-mail message dated June 28, 2005 was received from Michael & Christine Wall, who purchased a building lot on Masons Island, found that it contained a Pequot burial ground, and were not able to build on that lot. They had already paid zoning fees in the amount of $977.50 and building fees of $1,490.00 to the Town of Stonington. They have since purchased a building lot across the street from the original one, and they are requesting that the fees they have already paid be credited to the new fees they will be required to pay. If a credit is not possible, they request a refund. Mr. Brown commented that the Board of Selectmen may act to refund the fees, but there is no mechanism to issue a credit towards the new fees.
A motion was made by Mr. Balestracci, seconded by Mr. Bessette and unanimously voted to waive the zoning and building permit fees already paid by Mr. and Mrs. Wall and issue a refund check to them.
(4) Bid Awards / Letters of Agreement – None.
(5) 9-1-1 Street Numbering
The Planning and Zoning Department forwarded the following recommendations for assigning street numbers in accordance with the Street Naming and Numbering (Emergency 9-1-1) Ordinance. The Assessor concurs with these recommendations.
8 Wells Avenue, Pawcatuck, CT 06379
192 Wamphassuc Road, Stonington, CT 06378
A motion was made by Mr. Bessette, seconded by Mr. Balestracci and unanimously voted to assign these street numbers as recommended by the Planning and Zoning Department.
A letter dated July 7, 2005 was received from Arthur J. Medeiros, Chairman, Blessing of the Fleet, requesting permission to use the Town Dock for the 51st Annual Blessing of the fleet which will be held on July 30th and 31st, 2005.
A motion was made by Mr. Balestracci, seconded by Mr. Bessette and unanimously voted to grant permission to use the Town Dock area for the Blessing of the Fleet on July 30th and 31st, 2005.
(7) Re/Appointments Boards and Commissions
A motion was made by Mr. Balestracci, seconded by Mr. Bessette and unanimously voted to appoint Thomas Watkins to the Cupola Committee.
A motion was made by Mr. Bessette, seconded by Mr. Balestracci and unanimously voted to reappoint Ben Baldwin, Stuart Cole, and Stanton Simm to the Conservation Commission, for 5-year terms that will expire on July 31, 2010.
Inland Wetlands Commission
A motion was made by Mr. Balestracci, seconded by Mr. Bessette and unanimously voted to appoint Deborah Downie as a regular member of the Inland Wetlands Commission, filling a vacant 3-year term that will expire April 30, 2008.
Planning & Zoning Commission
A motion was made by Mr. Bessette, seconded by Mr. Balestracci and unanimously voted to appoint Robert Marseglia as an alternate member, filling a vacant 3-year term that will expire August 31, 2006.
A letter of resignation, effective August 1, 2005, was received from Joseph Woycik. A letter of thanks will be forwarded to him.
(8) Old Business – None.
(9) New Business – None.
(10) Comments from the Public
Vincent Faulise, Pawcatuck, commented he is still not seeing Town of Stonington meeting notices in the Westerly Sun. Mr. Brown said he will check into it again, but thought he did see the notices in Monday’s paper.
Mr. Faulise inquired about the proposed purchase of a generator for the high school, and Mr. Brown reviewed a brief history of the need for the generator. The high school is a designated emergency management shelter location.
There being no further business to come before the Board, the regular meeting was adjourned at 8:05 p.m.
Kathy A. Kent