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The Parsonage and The Hubbell House

NEW FAIRFIELD – The March 9 meeting of the Board of Selectmen began with an update from First Selectman Susan Chapman on the grass carp stocking permits issued by the Department of Energy & Environmental Protection (DEEP) for Squantz Pond and Candlewood Lake.

According to Ms. Chapman, DEEP indicated that the initial 421 grass carp it approved for release in Squantz this year would be insufficient and amended the number to 585. DEEP also acknowledged that the number of grass carp released into Candlewood Lake in 2015 was insufficient and amended its permit for this spring’s stocking of grass carp from 3,000 to 4,400 to adjust for that.

Ms. Chapman has reached out to the Candlewood Lake Authority (CLA) and DEEP to schedule a meeting to address next steps for the stocking of the grass carp in both bodies of water.

This was followed by the standard public comment period in which six residents voiced displeasure with the proposed deployment of chemicals in Candlewood Lake, specifically the herbicide Diquat to combat Eurasian milfoil and a copper sulfate algaecide to quell blooms of blue-green algae, and the apparent non-transparency of the proposal process.

Several residents posed pointed questions to the Board regarding what plans it had for the future of the proposal to hire SOLitude Lake Management to deploy chemical treatment, the Town’s due diligence process regarding potential liability issues, and the process used to select SOLitude.

The Board declined to comment on questions posed to it. Ms. Chapman noted that the public comment portion of the meeting was to have a give and take, but for the public to state its points of view.

The major order of business on the agenda was the proposed modification of the lease of the historic houses between the Town and Preserve New Fairfield. Preserve New Fairfield Co-President Diane Giardina proposed that insurance on the properties be shifted from Preserve New Fairfield to the Town’s current insurance. This would be more cost-efficient. Preserve New Fairfield would continue to pay its portion of the insurance as it has to date.

Preserve New Fairfield also requested permission to build a storage barn on the property behind the Parsonage. The barn would be no bigger than a single car garage and would be period-correct. It would be wired for electricity, but would not need plumbing. Its purpose is to house the golf cart used on tours and for storage.

The Board voted to accept the modifications to the lease and approved the barn with the stipulation that it be no larger than 30×30 feet.

The next Board of Selectman meeting will be held on Thursday, March 23rd.

By Greg Slomba