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Notes In A Nutshell: Board Of Selectmen Wednesday, Aug. 8

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Aug 082018
 

The Orange Board of Selectmen met at Town Hall on Wednesday, Aug. 8.

Following are Notes from that meeting:

The first hour of the meeting was dedicated to the apparent Orange Community Nursery School displacement.

Orange Community Nursery School at High Plains were told on July 16th they’d have to vacate the location during building renovations and asbestos abatement.

The School administrator wants renovations to the classroom area and an extended lease for the preschool.

A parent said 1 in 5 children at Mary L come through OCNS and excel in school in the future.

She said they weren’t told soon enough that they would be displaced and it is not fair.

Another parent who signed his son up for September said he was shocked and disgusted with the way his and 54 other families have been treated regarding this matter.

He wants assurances that the school will be open at High Plains for the 2020-21 school year.

Yet another dad said these pre-school years are very important in a child’s formative years.

A tearful mom said the school has made arrangements to move temporarily to a space in Woodbridge, but it will be difficult to get to school events on work days.

The first selectman who took the brunt of the blame spoke next.

He said the reason they were not informed sooner was that the project had to go out to bid a second time and it did not come through or meet approval until last month’s selectmen’s meeting.

Many improvements to the two rooms used by the school had been planned.

He said the town granted the school a new lease and approved the 5-year lease at a very reasonable cost.

Zeoli’s belief was that the school would be displaced for a couple of weeks, but because of some of the work, it’s safer for the children not to be there. The school is more than welcome to return in 2019 through the end of their contract.

The school is not the only group that is being inconvenienced by the renovations. CERT, Scouts, Seniors and more also are being affected by the building work. It has to be done and there is no convenient time to do it.

Zeoli said he called several places in town to help out and nothing was available. In the audience the school’s administrator, Danielle, shook her head “no” and he called her out on it.

The Community Center renovations came up at the town meetings, a referendum and budget hearing at which everyone had an opportunity to voice their opinions and to vote.

Zeoli revealed that a new playground was going to be built on the other side of the basketball courts and if the nursery school did not like their private playground anymore they could take it down and use the new one.

Selectman Mitch Goldblatt, who is chairman of the bond oversight committee said the electricity will be disrupted and there are contaminant abatements that need to be done when the children are not present.

Selectman John Carangelo said he has small children and he is sad that everyone is so frustrated by this issue, but the town has entered into a contract and the work has to be done.

Danielle said she did not have any idea of what was going on until the week of Father’s Day. Furthermore, she said the Park and Rec Department ruins the school’s playground every summer and it costs her a fortune to keep it up to state standards when school begins.

The displacement has cost the school $40,000 and even though they found a space in Woodbridge, it will be very inconvenient for the parents.

The last mom at the podium said as the mother of small children, her nighttime schedule includes making dinner, doing homework, getting the kids bathed and ready for bed and there really isn’t time to attend meetings.

She also said that she wished she knew more about what was discussed at meetings and what was on the agendas of meetings so she could be better informed.

Agendas and Minutes can be found at http://www.orange-ct.gov/ and you can sign up for e-mail blasts with whatever information interests you.

Public Announcements

On Saturday, Oct. 13, from 9 a.m. to noon the free paper shredding, mattress disposal and Orange Community Women’s Collection drive will take place at High Plains Community Center.

On Monday, Sept. 3, Town Hall and the Transfer Station will be closed for Labor Day

The town went out for bonding maintained an AAA bond rating – the best you can get.

Fire Marshal requested a new vehicle for the fire marshal’s office “special services vehicle” 2006 SUV is worn out, need a new one to carry equipment need approval for a 2018 Chevy Tahoe (the least expensive vehicle) Unanimously approved

Police Chief Gagne requested forego the usual bid process for cell block improvement project — would improve suicide prevention and officer safety.

Other departments want to do the same thing and the work would be contracted together with them through a company that is an “expert” in police cellblock doors.

Unanimously approved

 

A large wet parcel behind Best Buy would be gifted to the town. It will put a nice buffer between the commercial and residential zones in the area. The Zoning Commission recommended approval and the “gift” was Unanimously approved by the Selectmen.

The property that was planned for the Orange Train Station, which came up at the Plan and Zoning Commission also was discussed. Click on the “On Demand” button at the upper left of this page to hear the lengthy discussion.

 

 

Notes In A Nutshell: Town Plan and Zoning Commission Aug. 7

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Aug 072018
 

The Orange Town Plan and Zoning Commission met at Town Hall on Tuesday, Aug. 7 at 7 p.m.

Following are notes from the meeting:

1. Review of the Minutes from the June 19, 2018 and July 3, 2018 Meetings.

There was some discussion about the wording in a couple of areas of the June 19 minutes.

2. 8-24 Referral Municipal Improvements – Request by the Town of Orange to acquire property known as 28 Salemme Lane.

The state has decided not to go forward with the Orange Train Station at this time due to financial difficulties. The state would pay for the town to acquire the land that was going to be used with the condition that if a station were to be built, a platform would be built on the property. The Commission voted unanimously to recommend the agreement to the Board of Selectmen.

3. 8-24 Referral Municipal Improvements – Proposed donation of land from Starwood Ceruzzi Meadows LLC to the Town of Orange. For properties known as Lot 55-06-02; Lot 55-06-13; Lot 56-01-02B; and Lot 56-01-09; 20.29 total acres.

A large wet parcel behind Best Buy would be gifted to the town. It will put a nice buffer between the commercial and residential zones in the area. The Commission voted unanimously to recommend the plan to the Board of Selectmen.

4. Request by the Orange Economic Development Commission for a Special Event known as the ‘Orange Stampede’ – the idea of using public art to draw awareness and traffic to the Retail Sector, by placing life-size 5×8 acrylic oxen in targeted locations along the Boston Post Road.

The oxen would be sponsored and displayed by different Orange businesses from June – Sept of 2019.

The commissioners aired safety concerns, such as sightline obstructions. The concept was approved pending the approval of the zoning enforcement officer for each location.

5. Report of the Zoning Enforcement Officer.

St. Barbara’s Greek Church should contact the Commission regarding their upcoming Labor Day weekend festival.

 

PUBLIC HEARINGS 7:30 p.m. *(2)

8. * SPECIAL PERMIT APPLICATION – For the sale and/or Processing of Agricultural Products. For property known as 870 Garden Road. Submitted by property owners Raymond and Maryellen Holden. The request is to construct a 20’ x 30’ addition to an existing barn. A request has been made for the waiver of the submission of a sealed site plan as per Section 383-117B (1).

The Holdens requested the larger space in which to host children’s parties and crafting events which they have been doing for many years. The farm is not open to the public, all activities are by appointment only as they always have been. The addition would blend in with the rest of the buildings on the property. No neighbors would be impacted by the addition.

Application unanimously approved.

9. *PETITION TO AMEND THE ORANGE ZONING REGULATIONS — Submitted by 32 Seniors, LLC. To amend the Planned Residential
Development zoning regulations to reduce the restricted age from 62 to 55. Changes to Section 383-103 A, 383-109 C(4), and 383-113 (C) are proposed.

Applicant was not present. The item was moved to the next meeting.

First Selectman Jim Zeoli chose to speak on the issue. He said he’s received many complaints from residents in the building. He said the current owners always have excuses and it is not acceptable.

He believes that the town needs MORE housing for people aged 62 and older. He asked the commission to keep the age restriction as it is.

 

Notes In A Nutshell: Dec. 2 Plan & Zoning Commission Meeting

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Dec 022014
 

tpzThe Orange Town Plan & Zoning Commission met at Town Hall on Tuesday, Dec. 2 at 7:30 p.m.

Review of draft “Outdoor Storage & Outdoor Displays” regulations.

Minor changes were made and the issue will go to public hearing on the first meeting in January 2015.

• Review of request by the Orange Economic Development Corp. for a proposed zone change.

Economic Development Director Paul Grimmer explained his request as presented at the October 2014 meeting.

GrimmerHe is hoping to makeLight Industrial 3 (LI3) zone changes to 2-3 vacant properties in the Indian River Road area. They are not for big box stores, but more like small businesses.

He said he wonders why no one is interested in the Recreation Showroom building.

PUBLIC COMMENT: “We’re eroding our manufacturing area to allow retail. We should have biotechnology in here instead.”

The Commission voted to bring the zone change to a public hearing to the Jan. 6 meeting.

• APPLICATION FOR SPECIAL EXCEPTION FOR THE CONVERSION OF A SINGLE FAMILY DWELLING TO ACCOMMODATE AN ELDERLY APARTMENT – Submitted by John & Kathleen Maturo for property known as 211 Pine Tree Drive. To construct an addition to an existing dwelling to accommodate an Elderly Apartment.

Chairman Clark said they already have a non-conforming lot. It does not meet the regulations, so the applicants must go before the Zoning Board of Appeals — then, if they are granted a variance they can return to the TP&Z.

Section 8-24 Municipal Improvements – Proposed donation of land by the Estate of Mary Balogh to the Town of Orange. Approximately 4.80 acres and known as 1-5 Lots on Hemlock Drive.

There is an unconstructed road that gives access to it. it cannot be developed and abuts Wolfe Park. Mostly wetlands, will provide a buffer.

Passed Unanimously

• Report of the Zoning Enforcement Officer.

Still receiving complaints about Buttonball Property.

The Rogers’ properties seem to be okay now.

Notes In A Nutshell: Board of Selectmen Oct. 8

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Oct 082014
 

Screen Shot 2014-10-08 at 7.35.10 PMThe Orange Board of Selectmen met Wednesday, Oct. 8

Here’s what happened:

PUBLIC HEARING

The amendment of the code of the Town of Orange – Chapter 211.FIREARMS – Section 211.1.  Discharge of Firearms restricted

DISCUSSION:

First Selectman Jim Zeoli said this is for people using a particular indoor firing range so each individual licensed gun owner would not have to get permission from the police chief when they use the facility.

American Legion Commander said the legion  sometimes fires rifles at military funerals and holiday ceremonies, would they need a permit to do that now?

VOTE:  To consider and act on the amendment of the code of the Town of Orange – Chapter 211.FIREARMS – Section 211.1 Discharge of Firearms restricted.

Unanimously Approved 

Screen Shot 2014-10-08 at 7.35.41 PMPUBLIC PARTICIPATION

Ginny Reinhard: The Bryan-Andrew House is having an open house on October 19th.

Marlene Silverstein: The UI Home Energy Solutions Audit on the Stone Otis House made minor improvements in the house for $99 that will result in a 15% energy savings.

Joanie Nordstrom: New leader of the Orange Drug Alcohol Awareness Commission introduced herself. The Commission has openings for a couple of new members.

Mitch Goldblatt: Shredding event taking place on Saturday, Oct. 18.

Ken Lenz: Orange Players is having a Gala and the Lions Club is hosting a comedy show.

Vin Marino: Ice Bucket Challenge — ALS victim Mike Mizzone was presented with a check for more than $6,000. Donations will still be accepted for another week.

ANNOUNCEMENTS

Ivan LeBeau (sp?)  is 103 years old

Columbus Day – town hall closed, transfer station will be open

The Breast Cancer wreath ceremony will be held on Monday, Oct. 20.

Tues Nov. 4 is election day 114th is at Mary L Tracy  117th and 119th is at High Plains

Veteran’s Day Tuesday, Nov. 11, ceremony will take place at the Memorial Walk at 11 a.m. — transfer station is open

NEW BUSINESS

To consider and act on the request from the Lion’s Club to waive the customary rental and janitorial fees for their Annual Thanksgiving Dinner scheduled for Sunday, November 30, 2014 at HPCC  Orange Lions Club

NOTE: If you are coming, sign up with Community Services so the Lions will know how many dinners to make.

Approved Unanimously

To consider and act on the request to hang a banner over Orange Center Road to promote Boy Scouts of America ConnJam event (enclosure) – Jeff Cap, Connecticut Yankee Council

Approved Unanimously

To consider and act on temporary lights at Fred Wolfe Park – Tom Pisano, Orange Soccer Association

Kids need a place to practice for 4 days, during a four week period limited to only up until 8 p.m. will NOT face the residences.

Norm Merrick: Resident is bothered by the lights shining into his house with nothing done after airing his concerns.

Liz DeLuca: Concerned that townspeople are not getting all the information regarding the plans for the park.

Zeoli said the corn fields near her home would not be used for fields.

Folks are concerned about the noise from generators…. Zeoli said they are “whisper quiet” so don’t worry about that.

Jim O’Connor from the Park & Rec said they will have another public walk through for residents so everyone knows what’s going on before the plan goes to the Board of Selectmen for approval.

Approved, One Abstention

To consider and act on the field expansion at Fred Wolfe Park – Bill McNeil – Amity Girls Youth Lacrosse, Amity Boys Lacrosse and Orange Soccer Association 

Zeoli sent McNeil out of the room with all the neighbors so they could discuss their concerns with him before his presentation to the board.

Everyone returned after the entire meeting agenda was completed and the discussion continued. 

One resident said she is afraid her home on Pinetree would flood if these fields were put in. (She’s lost 2 cars to flooding in the past)

Zeoli said there is no intention to put a new park entrance in from the neighboring streets.

Will the entrance to the park on Hollow Road be improved upon?

Zeoli said there are wetlands at the entrance, so they have to be careful about what can and can’t be done.

Park & Rec will have a public hearing to fully inform residents of what is going on as far as park developing.

Approved, Unanimous

To consider and act on the request to approve the bid for snowplowing services – Robert Hiza, Town Engineer

110 miles of roads to plow, the Highway Department has several trucks, but in order to keep the roads clear, they need to hire outside contractors to help.

Approved, One Abstention

To consider and act on the request to approve the bid for sodium chloride (rock salt)– Robert Hiza, Town Engineer

Only one bid came in this year. Last year Orange was one town that did not run out of salt — good planning. the cost has gone up by $20.

Approved, Unanimous

To consider and act on a CGS 8-24 referral to Planning & Zoning for a potential land donation 

About 4.5 acres of wetlands (Oakview) that cannot be built upon would be donated to the town. 

Approved, Unanimous

 To consider and act on the request to approve the Schedule of Regular Board of Selectmen meeting for 2015-2016  

Approved, Unanimous

To consider and act on the request to approve the tax refunds totaling  $10,816.59

Approved, Unanimous

 

COMMITTEES

Capital Planning – Selectman Okenquist

Okenquist requested all department heads submit a 5 year plan by Dec. 1

Pension Board – Selectman Goldblatt

14 active employees on town plan

13 on the police plan

Bond Construction Oversight Committee – Selectman Goldblatt

3/4 of million received for insurance claim on Peck Place School

Personnel – First Selectmen Zeoli, Selectman Okenquist, Selectman Lenz

Children’s Service Assistant Position at Case Memorial Library — will discuss at next meeting

Tree Warden Reimbursement — will pay up to $500 per MONTH … Unanimously Approved

Salary & Benefits – First Selectman, Town Clerk & Tax Collector 

Adjourn meeting