Photo by Peter Neely
SALISBURY — The Planning and Zoning Commission (PZC) determined that a proposal for affordable housing on Undermountain Road is in agreement with the town’s Plan of Conservation and Development (POCD). The commission met online Monday, Feb. 5.
Last month the Board of Selectmen referred a proposal from the Salisbury Housing Trust (SHT) to build two affordable housing homes on a town-owned parcel on Undermountain Road to the PZC for an “8-24 review.”
This refers to section 8-24 of the Connecticut General Statutes, which requires that selling or leasing town-owned property be referred to the PZC to determine whether the proposed use is consistent with the town’s POCD.
PZC Chair Michael Klemens said he took a suggested motion from the SHT and “tinkered with it.”
Commissioner Allen Cockerline said the motion should mention the 2012 POCD, as the updated POCD is still in the works.
That change was made.
Klemens noted that the PZC action “is not an approval in any way, shape or form.”
The actual site plan, when it is created and submitted in an application, will be subject to the special permit process, which includes a public hearing.
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CORNWALL — Connecticut Department of Transportation has announced its selections for the Transportation Rural Improvement Program (TRIP) grants.
Applications were submitted to the state in 2023 for infrastructure projects in rural regions of the state. By the deadline to apply, more than $20 million worth of grant requests were received but only $10 million was available in funding.
In the first week of February 2024, winners were announced. Cornwall was awarded $868,000 for its proposal to improve walkability through sidewalks and crosswalks in both West Cornwall and Cornwall Bridge.
The Board of Selectmen (BOS) reviewed the project at a regular meeting Tuesday, Feb. 6.
In Cornwall Bridge, the proposed work includes a long stretch of sidewalk from the fire department to the country market. The crosswalk in front of the market will be improved with flashing lights and a smaller section of sidewalk will be added on the northern side of the street as a landing for the crosswalk.
In West Cornwall, two speed tables will be added on the downhill portion of Cornwall Goshen Turnpike near 3 Guys Ski and Ride and the Wish House. Signage will also be installed to warn for the upcoming speed tables and for the low-clearance covered bridge. A crosswalk will be added in front of the Local building along with granite curbing on each side of the road.
First Selectman Gordon Ridgway said the goal in each section of town is to increase pedestrian safety and slow traffic down in those areas, particularly in West Cornwall.
“Super exciting. Big step forward for Cornwall and you can see these are really sensible improvements that are going to slow people down and establish quality of life in town,” said Selectman Rocco Botto.
In the coming election year, Connecticut has implemented new policies for early voting. BOS updated voters on what to expect at the polls this year.
For the presidential preference primary election April 2, Town Hall will be open for four days of early voting. The primary election Aug. 13 to select candidates for secretary of state, congressional representatives, treasurer, and others, will include seven days of early voting. For the general election Nov. 5, a total of 14 days of early voting is required. Polls will be open for eight hours on each early voting day.
Discussion ensued about the strain this puts on volunteer poll workers in small, rural towns.
“We’re going to have people in Town Hall for four days waiting around people to vote in basically uncontested elections,” said Gordon Ridgway on the primary requirements.
Registrar Jayne Ridgway added that four poll workers will be required in Town Hall each day, and the registrars cannot double as poll workers. The state awarded a grant of $10,000 for towns to fund poll workers.
Legal minds continue to debate the language of the early voting law and updates are coming down weekly.
“There’s a lot of uncertainties. I’ve been to, I think it’s been four or five meetings,” said Jayne Ridgway. “And each time more questions come up.”
Information will be released by Town Hall as election days approach.
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LITCHFIELD — Housatonic Valley Regional High School (HVRHS) Mountaineers basketball lost to the Litchfield High School Cowboys in a 72-44 decision Tuesday, Feb. 6.
The Mountaineers fell into a deep hole early on and were unable to climb out. Despite the deficit, HVRHS battled to the final buzzer.
The Cowboys came out of the gate on a blazing saddle. A.J. Quesnel and Travis Lipinsky combined for 19 first-quarter points and helped Litchfield pull ahead to a 24-8 lead.
HVRHS struggled to find a rhythm offensively as it was constantly corralled by a full-court press. Litchfield kept cruising with dominant rebounding and superior ball movement. By halftime, the Mountaineers trailed 41-14.
The game turned scrappy in the second half and hard fouls were committed by both sides. At times, the whistle seemed to only blow in one direction, which visibly added to the frustration of HVRHS players.
With HVRHS down about 30 points in the fourth, Owen Riemer ate a hard flagrant one foul from Lipinsky. The two players squared off after the hit before their teammates split them apart. Litchfield’s coach immediately benched Lipinsky for the unsportsmanlike foul and he did not return to the court. Riemer knocked down both technical free throws and followed it up with a long 3-pointer.
In the end, Litchfield won 72-44 and advanced to a record of 9-9 this season. HVRHS’ record moved to 3-14.
Litchfield was led in scoring by A.J. Quesnel with 20 points and Travis Lipinsky with 15 points.
Anthony Labbadia and Flynn Ryan each finished with 11 points for HVRHS.
The Mountaineers will host Northwestern High School on Friday, Feb. 9. Junior varsity tips off at 5:30 p.m. with varsity to follow at 7 p.m.
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SHARON — It was hard to tell whether the grown-up took the child to the library or if it was the other way round.
Enthusiasm was in high gear as the staff at the Hotchkiss Library welcomed all for “Take Your Child to the Library Day,” observed Saturday, Feb. 3.
Now in its 13th year and celebrated worldwide, the event is held annually on the first Saturday in February.
At The Hotchkiss Library, the day coincided with the regularly scheduled Saturday morning story hour, drawing a capacity audience of parents and children, first to sing some cheery, settling-down songs and then to hear stories read aloud.
“I love reading to kids,” said Eloise Kivitz, 10, who kicked off the story hour with “No Pirates Allowed” by Rhonda Greene, her strong reading performance done with expression and clarity.
Mid-morning story time was organized by Renee DeSimone, head of circulation and children’s services, who also read aloud and had arranged for special features to add to the celebration. There was a basket of bookmarks that could be crayon-colored on the spot or taken home, a game where children could identify silhouettes of possibly familiar book characters, and even a cardboard cutout opportunity for a photo with a fun book character.
“I’m excited when parents come in with their kids,” said DeSimone as the families filed in. She acknowledged that sometimes it is difficult for families to find the time.
At the end of it all, children who checked books out received a gift bag to take home.
In the foreground, Eloise Kivitz, 10, is reading aloud.Leila Hawken
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