MONDAY MORNING UPDATE

HELP FOR HOMEOWNERS

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) – Connecticut may not have a deal on a new state budget, but one key senator says there’s agreement on creating a fund to help thousands of homeowners whose concrete foundations are crumbling.   Democratic Sen. Cathy Osten of Sprague, a co-chair of the General Assembly’s Appropriations Committee, says she’s hoping about $60 million will be set aside, enough to help homeowners with the most immediate problems. She says a number of ideas for financing that account are still being considered, including a surcharge on all Connecticut residents’ home insurance policies.   The founder of the Connecticut Coalition Against Crumbling Basements says the $60 million won’t help everyone whose foundations are cracking and crumbling due to a mineral. But he says it could help those in the greatest need.

FEAR NOT, IT’S ONLY A DRILL

Submarine base in Groton (WFSB)

GROTON, Conn. (AP) – The submarine base in Groton is advising nearby residents that security drills planned this week will include the firing of automatic weapons with blanks. The base is working with local officials to make the community aware of the noise associated with the drills planned for Tuesday through Thursday as well as two days the following week. Training officer Dave Cruz says the last thing they want to do is “cause alarm or undue concern in the community.” The drills will involve Naval Security Force boats, simulated aggressor boats, submarines and facilities on the waterfront. Cruz says the weapons firing aims to add realism as the base tests and works on proficiency. The live-fire drills are scheduled only between the hours of 9 a.m. and 3:30 p.m.

BODY FOUND IN NORWICH RIVER

(Norwich, CT) — Police in Norwich are looking to the public for help in identifying the body of a man found in the Shetucket River. The body was found Saturday night by two people fishing in the river near Hamilton Avenue. The body is that of a white man, and an autopsy was not able to determine the cause of death. Anyone who might know the man’s identity is asked to contact Norwich Police.

MATTERS NOT RUNNING AGAIN

Franklin First Selectman Richard Matters (The Bulletin)

Franklin First Selectman Richard Matters, who has been the town’s top official for the last 18 years, will not seek re-election in the fall. The Republican leader, who has been on leave since April, will be retiring. Matters, a former Coast Guard Commander, served nine consecutive terms beginning in 1999.

TRAFFIC TO BE STUDIED

The City of Norwich has applied for a transportation study grant through the state Office of Policy and Management to review downtown and waterfront traffic. If the grant is approved, a traffic engineer consultant would be hired to determine whether or not proposed changes are feasible. City officials hope to obtain the results of the application by September.

WAITING FOR THE STATE

The North Stonington Board of Selectmen, with the support of First Selectman Shawn Murphy, has decided to delay a budget hearing until August. Unlike other towns in the region, they do not want to propose a budget until the state settles on a spending plan. Town tax bills were sent out on July 1st based on last year’s tax rate. Residents were notified that a second bill would be sent once the budget is finally in place.

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