FINALLY FORT TRUMBULL DEVELOPMENT
After years of false starts and near misses, the city of New London is ready to break ground on the first major project at Fort Trumbull. A development agreement has been signed for Shipway 221, a 30-million dollar project consisting of about 200 market-rate condominiums. New London Mayor Mike Passero says it’s a milestone and will be the “spark to turn Fort Trumbull around. ” The city has also signed a construction agreement for a 90-unit apartment complex at the site known as Parcel J at the corner of Bank and Howard Streets. Passero says the housing projects will target empty-nesters and millennials working at Electric Boat. Construction on the Shipway 221 project is expected to begin in the spring.
TAX IDEA RESURFACES
The Connecticut Tourism Council is asking the state to restore hotel occupancy tax funding, a move that would increase the tourism budget to $22 million. Tourism spending rose to $15 million when Gov. Malloy took office but is now down to $6.4 million. The coalition is asking the state to return to the promise made in 2010 to put funds from an occupancy tax increase into tourism. The state tourism coalition says advertising tourism will bring in people from out of the state to enjoy what Connecticut has to offer instead of just driving through on their way to Rhode Island or Massachusetts.
NORWICH POPULATION TO RISE
From 2015 to 2040, Norwich is projected to see the state’s seventh-highest percent increase in population. City officials credit a combination of economic and citywide development. But the outlook isn’t as rosy for other southeastern Connecticut towns. The new projections show that multiple towns are approaching a demographic shift due to an aging population, a near net zero overall migration rate, and a relatively low, but stable birth rate. New London and Lyme also are looking at population growth.
SCHOOL CLOSED BEFORE IT’S OPENED
Students at North Stonington Elementary School will enjoy an extended summer vacation after air testing for hazardous materials led to three rooms in the building being closed, leaving administrators little time to reorganize the facility. The testing was the latest development in an effort by the district to monitor the schools for the presence of PCBs. In 1979, the EPA banned the materials from new construction, as the agency considers the chemicals probable carcinogens and set exposure guidelines for their consumption and inhalation. The school will remain closed until Tuesday, Sept. 5th.
LOCAL FOODS IN EL SCHOOLS
The town of East Lyme is starting a self-operated food service program for its schools this year rather than contract with an outside company. Chris Urban, the district’s food service director, said the food program will focus on “quality, not quantity” and will use fresh produce from local growers as much as possible. Urban said the districtwide program will offer the same food choices at all of the town’s schools and focus on customer service. He said the program also will work with students to help build the menus and learn about what foods they like.
Longtime Gales Ferry resident Glenn Arthur Jr. has died. His career of civil service included ten years in the Connecticut General Assembly and time on the Ledyard Board of Education and the Ledyard youth baseball league. Arthur was honored for his 22 year Naval military service in 2015 when he was inducted into the Connecticut Veterans Hall of Fame. Glen Arthur Jr. was 85.