It was a busy week in town. The Board of Finance met on Tuesday and finalized the budget for next year. I will have a lot to say about the budget and try to explain it in some detail. However, I want to eliminate any chance of my explanations sounding political so I will discuss particulars as I have in the past in editorials in the Courier and not in this forum. The annual town meeting to discuss the budget will be held on Monday, April 26, with a referendum on the budget to be held on Tuesday, May 4. There is information on the town website about absentee ballots. There was also a difficult discussion about the proposed multi-use path along Sport Hill Rd. The chairman of the Board of Finance, Andy Kachele, and I have discussed next steps, so I will have more to say about that shortly. Negotiations with several of our unions continue.
As a follow up to an earlier discussion, GoNetspeed has shown an interest in providing service to parts of Easton. Whether or not they do will depend on the level of interest in town. Specifically they need to see interest from 400 families to move forward. Not all of town will be possible. They will gauge interest by the number of houses that show interest. Go to gonetspeed.com. Click on “check availability” and register. That demonstrates interest to the company. It is critical that we do this if we want to have options, so please register.
On Monday, the Westport Weston Health district will vote to have Easton join. I have 6 volunteers to serve as the Easton representative to their board. I am reviewing resumes now and will have a decision soon.
We are unfortunately closing in on 400 residents who have had the covid virus, even as we have increasing numbers vaccinated. Hospitalizations in the state continue to creep up slightly and there are more younger patients in hospital. In Easton, the per 100,000 rate for the 2 weeks ending April 3, has risen to 23.8. We have put into place procedures in town buildings to protect everyone’s safety. These are not political decisions and I am proud of the fact that unlike many towns, we have kept our senior center open and providing services to our seniors without any outbreaks of the covid virus. Especially in this vulnerable population we are asking that people either be vaccinated or test negative to participate in indoor activities. In town hall, we require masks. I am sorry if some feel that this overly restrictive but I feel strongly that these policies are correct.
You should be receiving information about the revaluation of your properties shortly. This process is ramping up so we can adjust our grand list going forward.
We are expecting to do gas and utility work on the South Park one lane bridge next week. That is the prelude to beginning construction, so that is something to look forward to.
Lastly, we received some sad news in Town hall. Former First Selectman Bill Kupinse passed away this week. He served the town from 1997-2007. Those of us who knew him knew of his extreme dedication to Easton and to preserving its beauty and character. He will be missed.
Have a great weekend,