Council Highlights: Rain, Fire, and Garbage

The Town Council takes it easy over the summer with only two meetings. The following are highlights from the Conucil’s July 21st meeting. The next meeting will take place August 18th.

Summary minutes can be viewed here.

Chris O’Brien spoke with Wethersfield Town Manager Bonnie Therian who conveyed her thanks to the Town of Wolcott for sending two tree trimming trucks after a tornado struck the town. Wolcott was one of 9 towns that sent help. “We didn’t have enough tree crews. I want to thank Wolcott very much – the crews were a big help,” she said. O’Brien noted that Wethersfield is the oldest town in Connecticut (275 years old) and that when the tornado tore through its old green, many large trees fell, leaving the younger ones intact. Some trees shattered through houses and after he toured the town two weeks later, some areas were still cleaning up. On July 3,1996, Wolcott had a tornado that went down Beach Rd. and Spring St. causing damage to houses and pools. Hopefully we’ll never have another disaster like it, but if we do other towns will be generous to help.

Mayor Dunn noted that the crews were back in town that evening when heavy rains threatened to wash out Woodtick Rd. and overran other areas.

Mike Perrone asked about the stream at the base of Longmeadow Dr. The stream there washed sediment into the parking lot of neighboring businesses, including Tom’s Vending and the Liquor Outlet. Mayor Dunn said that a culvert could be placed under the road in the future, but it would be expensive – costing about $60,000 just for the culvert box.

Mike Santagotta noted how development sometimes impacts the flow of water, such as the stream at the base of Longmeadow Dr. He said he recalls fish being in the stream years ago and encroachment on the banks of streams impacts how the water washes off. In the future, planning commissions need to have a watchful eye on watershed areas.

interesting note: Environmental classes often talk about “channelling” when development occurs. This means that a stream or river often becomes narrower when buildings are built on its sides. Even improving an adjacent lawn can cause this. Also, channelling occurs when a waterway goes under a road or highway through a culvert, tunnel, or bridge in a certain path – even though a waterway naturally would be inclined to change its course naturally over time. Instead, it is forced to take a path which forces the stream to drop its sediment in areas it normally wouldn’t and cause a fast-rising stream to back up and flood behind those deposits – sometimes at the edge of a bridge abutment. Similarly, logs and brush debris can get stuck in underpasses, which is what occurred under Woodtick Rd causing a flood behind it to overrun the road.

Mayor Dunn noted that a company to add a turn signal on the light at Rt. 69 and Beach Rd. has been selected by the State DOT. The work has to be completed by September.
The arrow will allow traffic coming down Beach Rd. to turn north on Rt. 69. There will also be a feature on the light that will turn green if an emergency vehicle approaches it, allowing that vehicle to pass and traffic from the other streets to stop. This arrow has been requested by Rep. Mazurek and Mr. Masi in the past.

Mayor Dunn further noted that the Fire Department made an “excellent stop” of a fire in the wall between two condo units at Arrowhead Condominums on Spindle Hill Rd. A lightning bolt struck the building and went down the common wall, causing a fire within it. Waterbury Fire Department provided mutual aid and also noted the quick work Wolcott’s volunteers performed.

Later in the meeting, the Town Council renewed the contract with Gaudiosi Hauling for garbage and recycling pickup. One new addition to the contract is that Gaudiosi will pickup garbage on roads that are not yet approved as long as the road is passable. There have been relatively few complaints about the garbage collector in the past. The current pick-up schedule will remain the same. The contract had been bidded upon and it was approved by the Council 9-0.

At the next meeting, the following items will likely be discussed:

1) Request from Tax Collector and State Marshal regarding Tax Liens
2) Assessor’s Contract
3) Michael Bruce Video Service Agreement for 2009-2010


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