On Tuesday night we heard a presentation from the consultants ESCI about our emergency services. They identified a number of procedural issues that we will address. There was a discussion of the need to update our communications particularly for fire. This will be a major and expensive undertaking which we will begin working on. Other towns have spent a lot of money on communications and had bad results so this must be done with appropriate diligence. As part of that discussion, we discussed consolidating dispatch centers with other towns, but this does not seem practical at this time. We also discussed what is called the ISO rating of neighborhoods. You may recall a discussion about rising home owner insurance rates in the northern part of town due to this ISO rating which evaluates the fire department’s ability to respond to a fire in a certain area. The report raised some questions about actions the town and fire department can take to improve this rating and hopefully lower insurance costs for many of our homes. More study of this issue is needed. This was one of the main charges to the consultants to figure this out but, more study is still needed. The consultant also weighed in on the location for the new EMS headquarters. They believe that the potential cost savings achieved by adding the new headquarters on to the firehouse outweighed several concerns that they noted about doing so. The consultants gave a favorable report of our response times for both fire and EMS. Overall, I believe that there was a lot of value in the information that was presented. We have talked out the need for this consultation for a number of years, so I am happy it has been completed. There are several edits which will be made to the final report, but we will post the presentation on the town website. https://www.eastonct.gov/sites/g/files/vyhlif3071/f/news/easton_final_presentation_012023_003.pdf.
As many of you have heard, the Free and Reduced Lunch programs that have been offered to every student will be ending on January 23rd. Those who need this resource can apply for the program using the link below.
If you have any questions, or need help, please contact Alison Witherbee, Social Services Director for the Town of Easton. Her office is located in the Easton Senior Center and her hours are Monday through Fridays from 8:30 to 3:30. She can also be reached at 203-268-1137 or emailed at firstname.lastname@example.org
Alison shared that. “I can also help families who may need help with other needs such as Energy Assistance, or connecting you to resources in the community. As co-chair of Easton’s Here to Help, a prevention council for the Town of Easton, I can connect you to mental health or addiction services, and you can visit our website www.eastonsheretohelp.org which has a lot of helpful information for those concerned with substance misuse, mental health supports and more. We’d welcome your joining our coalition if this is your area of expertise, or something that you’re are passionate about.” Please feel free to reach out to Alison for any concerns or questions you may have about any issues, and she will do her best to point you in the right direction for getting help! As always, she does a great job for our town.
I would add, we tend to think that Easton is a wealthy, rural community where no one is struggling financially and where we are immune from “city problems” such as substance abuse, child or sexual abuse and mental illness. For certain, we have neighbors who need help. Part of being the accepting and welcoming community that we all aspire to, is both acknowledging this and providing assistance, whether on the town level or as individuals.
In the future we are planning a ceremony to honor Korean and Vietnam veterans jointly with the state. More to come.
Please visit the Easton Senior Center from January 17th to February 17th for our Super Winter Tag Sale, 650 Morehouse Road, weekdays from 8:00am to 3:00pm. We have something for everyone, housewares, electronics, furniture, baby items, toys and more.
A reminder from the Tax Collector, the last day to pay the second installment real estate and motor vehicle supplemental tax bills without penalty is Wednesday, February 1, 2023.
Have a great weekend,