Selectmen join in support for Trails Grant application

Kent Town Hall

Leila Hawken

Selectmen join in support for Trails Grant application

KENT — Following a presentation by the Northwest Connecticut Land Conservancy (NCLC), the Board of Selectmen voted unanimously to support a grant application by the NCLC at its regular meeting on Wednesday, Feb. 28.

Representing the NCLC was Maria Grace, director of stewardship for the Kent-based organization. She sought a letter of support from the town to be submitted with an application for a Trails Grant, available through the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection.

Three nature preserves are located in Kent, Grace reported, with 34 total nature preserves found in seven towns in the Northwest Corner.

The purpose of the grant will be to devise a plan for long-term sustainability and to assess improvements that might include reaching out to a wider range of potential trail-users such as mountain bikers or equestrian groups.

“We want to create a replicable planning document to help other groups,” Grace said, adding that expressions of community support from member towns are important.

Towns that have provided letters so far include New Milford, Sherman, Sharon, Litchfield and Torrington. In addition, the Falls Village Land Trust has signed a letter.

“We’re hoping the plans to be developed will lead to implementation,” Grace said.

First Selectman Marty Lindenmayer said, “It’s needed; it’s a great opportunity.”

Internet expansion

Beginning what will be a long process that could extend broadband access to all residences and businesses in the town, a broadband subcommittee is coming together, reporting to the Board of Selectmen.

The selectmen approved an appropriation to the committee of up to $800, beginning the process of surveying the town’s residents with a questionnaire to measure their interest and need for stronger connectivity and adequate internet access.

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