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First Selectman's Column

Hello friends and neighbors. Wow! Another year has come and gone. In the past year, much has been accomplished yet much remains to be done. Nystroms Park has been completed and all that remains is for a few minor corrections to be made before the facility is turned over from the Building Committee to the Recreation Commission. We now have a first class facility that offers much to our residents as well as providing athletic facilities to our school system. A new multi phase road plan has been created and will soon be presented to the Board of Finance for financial consideration. We will need to bond funds for the construction of this project and will do so incrementally while maintaining good fiscal policy to insure that we keep taxation reasonable while making the needed improvements in our infrastructure. In the meantime, we will continue to chip seal and skim coat areas in desperate need with the limited funds that are available. We have also received a State Grant (LOTCIP) to reconstruct Hickory Hill Road. This grant will pay for the reconstruction of the road from Route 109 to Walnut Hill to include the storm water system as well as the road surface. Our expense will only be related to the engineering costs which we have already assumed.The engineering plan has been completed and we are waiting on final approval from various state agencies so that we may receive the funding and begin construction. We are soon drawing near to conclusion in this process and it is our expectation that we will obtain all approvals and get the project out to bid over the winter with the intent to begin construction in Spring/Summer of 2020. The project is anticipated to take place over two construction seasons. Over the past winter a wall collapsed on Main Street. The wall is the responsibility of the State. Discussion has taken place and reconstruction is scheduled for Fall of 2020 or possibly Spring of 2021. We have secured a Connecticut Connectivity Grant to connect the sidewalk in the north end of town to the south end along Main Street. This has been a long standing request by the Senior Community. Engineering is substantially complete, however we are awaiting final approval from CTDOT. Hopefully this will get out to bid soon with anticipated construction at some point in 2020. Sidewalk repair throughout town will be occurring shortly as we have gone out to bid on this project recently. We have been unable to secure State funding to provide for municipal parking area at Reeve's Field to serve patrons of the Downtown Business District, however it is our intent to utilize funding where available to make incremental improvements. Development in this area is something that has been identified as a high priority in the Plan of Conservation & Development . It is our hope that in investing in our town, private investment will follow our lead which would potentially lead to greater economic activity equating to more services and much needed employment. Several other areas around town are showing the beginnings of economic activity and we at Town Hall have reached out and stand ready to assist should it be needed. We in government continue to seek and bring economic development tools to the table and can now offer a State program known as Enterprise Zone to the manufacturing areas in town. It is our hope that businesses will take advantage of this tool and expand operations in our community. We have continued to negotiate contracts with our labor unions that make substantial improvements in the area of post retirement benefits and health care, two major drivers of the long term health of our community. We will soon begin the budget process to plan for Thomaston's 2020-2021 fiscal year. As we have in the past, we will continue in the future to seek efficiencies at every turn to provide cost effective governmental services to our citizens. Please become involved in your community. Volunteerism is the heart and soul of America and is truly what makes Thomaston tick. Sincerely, Edmond V. Mone

ed mone