Town report highlights achievements of past year

KENT - The town report was presented and approved at this week’s annual town meeting. The report includes data and statistics from all municipal officers and has interesting little tidbits such as the town’s population and the number of births, deaths and marriages.

Printed copies are not available, but the information will be made available at the town Web site,

In her report, First Selectman Ruth Epstein presented several of the successes that Kent has seen over the past year, including the approval of a $3.6-million plan to construct a 15,000-square-foot firehouse at 28 Maple St. Two state grants will contribute $800,000 toward the completion of this project.

The town also has a $450,000 state grant earmarked for the construction of a new transfer station. The town is now awaiting state Department of Environmental Protection approval before construction can begin.

Templeton Farms received a major renovation, thanks to a Small Cities Block Grant.

The town was also able to wrap up negotiations with Verizon this past year regarding the construction of a cell tower.

The tower will bring in yearly rental fees and will provide the town crew and emergency services with space for their equipment. Construction of the tower is currently on hold pending final approval from the Connecticut Siting Council.

The Kent Free Market, which serves as the town’s food pantry, was expanded to a weekly service basis in July.

Diane Albert, Kent’s social service director, wrote in her report that the free market provides fresh produce, frozen meat, canned goods, vegetables and day-old bread. Use of the service has expanded from 20 families to 50. Community service volunteer opportunities are available for interested residents as well as students from the town’s three private schools.

A Housing Resource Study Committee has been created, to study ways to promote affordable housing in Kent.

In canine news, Animal Control Officer Lee Sohl reported that 31 dogs were impounded (one of which was a carryover from the previous year) in the dog pound. Twenty-seven of the dogs were returned to their owners; three were successfully adopted into new homes. The remaining dog found a new home through adoption after being transferred to the Little Guild of St. Francis.

Sohl attributed these low numbers to continued owner education and strategic ticketing practices.

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