Two Parking Area Paving Projects Done By The Town

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Aug 022015

IMG_6834Residents in the Peck Lane, Old Tavern area have noticed large trucks traveling on their streets during the last couple of weeks.

Some have called the highway department to complain, others call to inquire, just out of curiosity.

So, why is there so much activity in that area?

Just like the parking lot paving project going on in front of High Plains Community Center, the Peck Place School parking lot also was desperately in need of some TLC IMG_6832and is being completely demolished and repaved.

Both are Town Projects and are scheduled to be completed well before school begins.

The photos show the Peck Place driveways and parking lot as it appeared on Sunday, Aug. 2 after being pulverized and leveled.



Notes In A Nutshell: Nov. 12 Board Of Selectmen’s Meeting

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Nov 122014

Screen Shot 2014-11-12 at 7.54.42 PMThe regular meeting of the Board of Selectmen took place at Town Hall on Wednesday, Nov. 12 at 7:30 p.m.

Public participation:

Mitch Goldblatt: there was some concern about having election day while school was going on, but it went well and everything was safe for the children.

Delay in results: the process takes a little longer but he hopes in the future that it will run more smoothly in the future.


Stuart Coleman from the conservation commission: Sue Palmer, heavily involved in the community; Mary DeVito former Republican Registrar all passed away in October.

Thanksgiving Day: Turkey Trot Road race will take place, Lions  Thanksgiving Dinner at High Plains at noon, call 203-891-4188 to let them know you’re coming.  The transfer station will be closed on Thanksgiving but it will be open on Friday and Saturday.


Sterling Adams will tap trees on the Wright property.

Sterling Adams will tap trees on the Wright property.

To consider and act on the use of open space at Wright Farms – Sterling Adams

Sterling wants to tap sugar maples and make local maple syrup. Tap only healthy trees on south side of tree. He uses smaller taps that do much less damage to the trees and they heal faster. He is a grandson of the Wrights.

He will clean up the trails around the trees which will save the town from having to maintain the land. He will begin tapping the trees at the beginning of the season (Spring).

Unanimously approved

To consider and act on amending the Library Ordinance – Vincent Marino, Town Counsel. 

Reducing the amount of members on the library commission to 7 or 9 (from 14) so they will have a quorum at meetings.

This will go to public hearing at the December meeting.

To consider and act on the property tax abatements for United Illuminating – First Selectman Zeoli 

This is for the building, not the vehicles and other equipment. $1.8 million in taxes this year – will be reduced by 70% the following year.

Unanimously approved

To consider and act on bid recommendation for boiler replacement at Orange Center Road Firehouse using LoCip Funds  – First Selectman Zeoli

A new Gas furnace would replace a 50 year old furnace — $30,160 is the low bid

Unanimously approved

Crew Chief  Don Foyer talks payloaders.

Crew Chief Don Foyer talks payloaders.

To consider and act on the bid recommendation for a new 3.0 Cubic Yard Class Four Wheel Drive Loader – Robert Hiza, Town Engineer

Highway Crew Chief Don Foyer said the Payloader at transfer station is 25 years old, Payloader at Highway Dept is 17 years old — Highway payloader would go to transfer station and the new one will come to the Highway department.

Each of the Highway crew that will operate the machine had a voice in the final decision.

Working with F&W in Orange, they tried different machines against their existing payloader and put them through their paces. They agreed that the John Deere was the best for their needs with the most power. At $19,000 it is their preference. It will have to be dependable and last a long time.

Mitch Goldblatt said the Highway Dept. had decided on the highest bid.

Judy Williams said she would put her trust in Don Foyer and his expertise.

Roger Funk from F&W Equipment sold most of the Board on the Doosan payloader.

Roger Funk from F&W Equipment sold most of the Board on the Doosan payloader.

Roger Funk from F&W said he backs the Doosan equipment (that is less expensive -lesser known – 7th largest manufacturer of these machines and it has a 5 year warranty).

Funk said it also has a 48-hour parts guarantee, If the payloader broke down and the part wasn’t available immediately the Highway Dept. could rent another one and use it until the part was available and Doosan would pay the rental fee.

Amy Williams asked Funk what his experience is in operating the machinery.

Funk said he’s been operating heavy equipment since he got out of college in 1963. He knows them, he knows the customers who buy them and gets input, so he has broad experience in the use and ability of the machines.

First Selectman Jim Zeoli told the board that they had to weigh everything they’ve heard from Foyer, Funk and the letter of recommendation from Town Engineer Bob Hiza.

Screen Shot 2014-11-12 at 7.30.56 PMJudy Williams said the 9 men at the Highway Department are the experts in this case and she has to go with their opinion.

Ken Lenz agreed that even thought the Highway Department’s choice is more money, he had to trust them.

Ralph Okenquist asked if the Highway Department has any Large John Deere Equipment. Don Foyer responded, “No.”

Mitch Goldblatt said based on what Funk said and the difference in price, he feels they should go with the Doosan.

A motion was made to purchase the John Deere for $146,685, with an option to trade in the 25-year-old machine.

Williams voted YES, Goldblatt Voted NO

A second motion was made to purchase the Doosan with an option to trade in the old payloader.

The motion passed 3-1 (Williams voted NO)

To consider and act on the donation of land known as 1-5 Lots on Hemlock Drive – First Selectman Zeoli

4.8 acres once owned by Mary Balog (part of Oakview) adjacent to Fred Wolfe Park that will create a buffer between homes and the park. $11,526 in back taxes are owed so this may be waived as the town takes possession of the land.

Unanimously approved

To consider and act on the request to authorize the First Selectman on behalf of the Board of Selectmen to execute the FFY 2014 State Homeland Security Grant Program Region 2  Memorandum of Agreement  – Tim Smith, Fire Marshal

Unanimously approved

To consider and act on disbanding committees 

i.e. building committee (schools) bond committee, etc that are no longer relevant.

To consider and act on the request to approve the tax refunds totaling $12,491.47

There was a question as to whether or not the board had the authority to vote on taxes that went further back than 2011 (the list included at least one from 2010).

The list was approved except for that one item.


Orange Salt Supply Will Last Another Couple Of Storms

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Feb 142014

Snow-PlowAfter a marathon 17.5 hour shift on Thursday, Orange Highway Foreman Donny Foyer and his men were settling in for some shut-eye at the Town Garage before venturing out for round two.

Foyer said his crews came in at 2 a.m., just as the storm began and worked on the roads all day long until 7:30 p.m., at which time, he said, “Orange roads are pretty safe. The guys are going to find a place to sleep here for a little while, and  I’ll be watching the weather. We may go out at 3 a.m. to hit the roads again.”

There may be a few more mailbox casualties around town after this storm.

“The snow is so heavy and it’s piled up just about as high as the mailboxes in so many places, there’s really no place for it to go,” he said.

As far as the town’s salt supply, Foyer said, “We do have enough salt. Orange is in good shape. We’ll be all right for this one and a couple more.”

The strategy to conserve the salt supply is cutting down the usage on side roads and making sure all of the main thoroughfares are salted more heavily.

Foyer said his men will get some badly needed rest today and prepare for the two systems that may hit on Saturday and Tuesday.

Snow Day In Orange

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Dec 102013

DSC09608The Highway Department was ready for the snow and the crews have been hitting the roads with salt and sand all day.

The evening commute promises to be messy and the overnight will probably see widespread freezing, so be very careful if you MUST go out.

And while you are shoveling your driveways and front porches don’t forget to clear around the fire hydrant in front of your home too.



Two Trees on Old Tavern Road Damaged by Fast Moving Storm

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Aug 222013

A worker cuts the limbs from a fallen oak tree on Old Tavern Road.

A worker cuts the limbs from a fallen oak tree on Old Tavern Road.

A quick storm with thunder, lightening and moderate rain blew through Orange this afternoon around 1 p.m.

Although it seemed like no big deal, what we saw on Old Tavern Road told a different story.

First, lightening struck a big tree and blew the bark off scattering the debris into the roadway.

A short time later a large oak tree, about 2-feet in diameter fell across the road at 45 Old Tavern (Post office end of the road) taking a cable wire with it, but luckily it did not touch the surrounding electrical wires on the way down.

The Highway Department closed the road to traffic and quickly began cutting it into pieces and hauling it away so it would be cleared before rush hour.

Highway Foreman Don Foyer said the town had previously marked the fallen tree for removal and bid requests to do that work were going out as soon as next week.

Pre-Schoolers Enjoy A Community Helper Vehicle Visit

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Jun 082013

Steve Cifarelli from the Highway Department gives high fives to the young visitors.

Steve Cifarelli from the Highway Department gives high fives to the young visitors.

Pre-school children at Mary L. Tracy School had some special visitors on Thursday. The weather cooperated beautifully for the final chapter of the students’ “Community Helpers” social studies pre-k curriculum.

In addition to learning about the work that the fire department, police, highway department, tow truck drivers and AMR Ambulance personnel do,  the students personally experienced both a hurricane and blizzard during the school year.

It is unusual for students to have such personal experiences to draw from in relationship to community helpers within their town.

With this event, students were able to identify community workers and associate them with a vehicle.

• Youth Officer John Aquino brought a Police Cruiser

• Orange Volunteer Firefighters brought the Engine 37 Fire Truck

• The familiar faces from AMR brought an Ambulance and Paramedic truck

• Highway Foreman Don Foyer and his crew from the Orange Highway Department brought a Plow, Payloader, Bucket Truck, and Backhoe.

• Bruneau’s of Milford brought in a heavy duty Tow Truck.

The children were able to climb in and on all of the vehicles, talk to the drivers and get all the answers they needed to any questions they had.

It’s hard to tell who had more fun the children or the community workers. This day was a great end to an important lesson in the Pre-K curriculum.


Total Vehicles:    9    Total workers:  12

Snow Damage: Will The Highway Department Help?

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Feb 122013


This shield goes up on Meetinghouse Lane every year, and when the snow is gone, the mailbox is still there.

Do You Know How Orange Highway Handles Snow And Mailboxes? Before the storm, Orange Live reminded residents to construct snow shields at their mailboxes to protect them from the pressure of the plowed snow hitting them.

Residents are responsible for repair/replacement of their own mailboxes. Highway Department will not be making any repairs.

And, as snow is “pushed back” to widen roads, residents will find snow pushed into their (probably already plowed) driveways. No highway trucks will be dispatched to remove this snow.

It’s up to residents to clear snow from the entry of their own driveways and to clear access to their mailboxes (if they are still standing).

If they need the name of a local contractor they may call highway at 203-891-4775 for some names and numbers.

Highway/Public Works Department Readies for Snow Storm

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Feb 072013

Town Trucks are Ready

The town Highway/Public Works Department is ready to take on Nemo this weekend.

Foreman Don Foyer said the plows are ready to go and the crews will deal with the storm as it comes.

Orange has enough salt/sand to handle the predicted situation and according to Foyer, they won’t use as much of that material since, for the most part there is more plowing than anything else with this type of storm.

Many homeowners already have placed plywood shields around thier mailboxes to protect them from damage from the pressure of the snow pushed over by the snow plows. If you haven’t it’s a good idea to do so as soon as possible.

Residents are reminded not to park on the road during the storm because cars will be tagged and towed at the owners expense.

If you are an Orange resident in need of sand to deal with icy driveways or walkways at your home, sand is available in the town Highway Department salt/sand shed behind Fire Station #2 off of Lambert and the Boston Post Road.

From The UI, Priority List and 95% Restoration Goal

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Nov 012012

On Friday, Oct. 26, the Emergency Management Team met at the Orange Police Department to discuss plans and protocol for the upcoming hurricane.
One-by-one each of the 19 members laid out their priorities and shared ideas on how to make things easier on townspeople in the worst case scenario.
United Illuminating agreed to have crews available with the strike teams for immediate emergency situations, such as shut offs where there was a fire hazard.
It also gave the Team its restoration priority list. Priorities are explained as follows on the UI website: Orange’s priorities are in RED.
Restoration Priorities

Service restoration depends on the magnitude and duration of the storm or other event causing the service interruptions. UI’s general sequence of service restoration is:

First Priority

Police and Highway Departments

  • Public safety requires the de-energizing or cutting down of downed primary voltage distribution lines, including road clearing.
  • Restoration of service to previously designated public emergency service institutions such as major hospitals, evacuation centers, as prioritized by municipal officials.

Second Priority

High Plains Community Center, Turkey Hill School, Fire Station 1, Orange Healthcare, Maplewood (other senior asst. living) and Stop & Shop

  • Service restoration to a maximum number of customers in a minimum amount of time using available work forces. This usually involves the removal of trees and limbs, the bypassing of some damaged equipment and the re-energizing of primary voltage distribution lines.

Third Priority

  • The repair and restoration of equipment and lines serving small groups of customers.

Fourth Priority

  • Although the restoration of service lines to individual homes or buildings is designated as Priority 4, they will in most cases be done at the same time as other restoration work designated with a higher priority. This is accomplished by using crews not normally associated with distribution restoration work.

In some cases, storms may damage electrical equipment on a customer’s property that’s not part of UI’s electrical system. It is the customer’s responsibility to repair this damage before we can restore service. The pamphlet linked below may be able to help you determine who is responsible for repairing damaged equipment.

At the meeting, the UI explained that damage assessment forms would be available and relayed directly to the Emergency Operations Center, based at the Police Department.

Each was assessed once they were up and running to determine what areas could be restored fastest and then go out to the tier two areas and work on them in order of whichever could be restored fastest.

This morning before sunrise the UI put out a statement that they planned to restore 95% of its customer’s power by Monday at Midnight.

That is ALL of the company’s customers, so, exactly 95% of Orange or 95% of Milford may NOT necessarily be back by that time, but If all goes as planned 95% of its ENTIRE customer base should be back up and running.