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New Fairfield Town Hall

The Board set public hearing/town meeting dates for two items at its regular meeting on January 12. The short meeting was attended by First Selectman Susan Chapman and Selectman Mike Gill. Selectman Kim Hanson was absent.

A public hearing meeting for a Small Cities Grant application was set for February 9 at 7:00 pm in the Community Room. The purpose of the hearing will be to solicit community input. Selectman Gill said the town intends to apply for a $400,000 housing rehabilitation grant that the Town will used to fund no interest loans to assist low to moderate income families in New Fairfield with home repairs. The grant, offered by the CT Department of Housing, has been a major source of funding for the Town’s successful Housing Rehabilitation Program in years past.

The Board also issued a Town Meeting Warning for January 26 at 7:00 pm in the Community Room to “consider and take action upon a Resolution authorizing: (1) the construction by New Fairfield Youth Lacrosse, Inc., at no cost to the Town, of a multi-purpose turf field, measuring approximately 200 feet by 100 feet, on a portion of Town-owned property located at 54 Gillotti Road known as ‘Lower Rebel Field,’ (2) the First Selectman to execute on behalf of the Town a contract with New Fairfield Youth Lacrosse, Inc. regarding the construction and naming of the field in the memory of John Pendergast, Jr., and (3) the acceptance of any and all cash and in-kind donations to the Town associated with the construction of the field. “ and “To consider and act upon the appropriation of $53,899 to the Capital and Nonrecurring account for Police Cars & Equipment from the Unappropriated Capital and Nonrecurring account as approved by the Board of Finance.”

There was also a discussion and motion made to apply for a First Light Power Resources Grant in the amount of $22,410 to supplement $30,000 that has already been allocated for the treatment of milfoil in certain areas of Candlewood Lake. This amount would fund a test project to be conducted by SOLitude Lake Management. The Board voted to proceed with the application and to sign a contract with SOLitude for an amount up to $52,410.

The plan is to have SOLitude use a sustainable herbicide to manage milfoil and blue-green algae in the areas of the Town Park and Shelter Harbor Cove initially. Milfoil, an invasive aquatic plant that threatens many area lakes and ponds, grows quickly. It has been a problem in Candlewood Lake for over 15 years. Efforts to halt its spread have been generally unsuccessful. It is estimated that milfoil has spread by roughly 100 acres in the past year. The test program is similar to one that was done in selected areas of Lake Zoar by SOLitude last July.

Another item added to the agenda was the motion to apply for a recycling grant from the Department of Energy & Environmental Protection (DEEP) to continue to develop and improve the Town’s recycling program. Last year, the Town received $7,200 from DEEP for its recycling program. Funds received from this grant would be used to further enhance recycling efforts by the Town.

By Greg Slomba