FRIDAY MORNING UPDATE

BUDGET COLLAPSE

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) – State legislators have gone home after failing to approve a two-year, $41 billion budget that would have created new taxes and fees but wouldn’t have included increases in the sales or income tax. Republicans sent their members home early Friday morning after saying Democrats hadn’t put together enough votes to pass the budget. House Speaker Joe Aresimowicz says the budget’s detailed legal language, which had been delayed all day Thursday, wouldn’t be ready until at least 6 a.m. Friday.   Meanwhile, Senate President Pro Tem Martin M. Looney announced the Senate will convene at noon Friday to vote on the budget. The House is expected to go into session at 5 p.m.

SCOTLAND OK, FOR NOW

A frustrated Scotland First Selectman Daniel Syme admits he may have become a “poster boy” for municipal officials in Connecticut dealing with the budget uncertainty in Hartford. Syme told about 80 residents gathered last night at a budget public hearing in the town’s fire house that Scotland isn’t in any danger, at least for awhile, of going bankrupt or being dissolved, due to budget issues. He urged townspeople, though, to speak up and tell lawmakers to curtail spending. Syme attracted attention last month saying Scotland may no longer exist as a town next year, if the Governor’s executive budget orders remained intact. Syme says he’s confident the state will get a budget passed by then. Residents are scheduled to decide on a 5-point-8 million dollar town budget plan next Thursday, a plan not endorsed by town officials.

BUYER SOUGHT

80 Broadway

The Norwich Human Services divisions are not yet moved out of their building at 80 Broadway, but the city on Thursday requested proposals to sell the building and adjacent parking lot. Criteria to be considered are; taxable uses would be given priority, and housing must be market rate. The 1860 building is the original home of Otis Library and still bears its name on the front façade. Bids are due by 2 p.m. Oct. 20. Developers will be asked to describe funding sources for the project, including whether state or federal funding sources would be used.

CHIEF DEMOTED

Plainfield Fire Dept (WFSB)

Plainfield Fire Chief Ralph Wells, the father of a department captain charged with sexually assaulting a 17-year-old cadet, stepped down from his position on Wednesday but has not resigned. Wells’ demotion comes two weeks after his 28-year-old son, a captain with the volunteer fire company, was charged with three counts of second-degree sexual assault. Fire District officials say the next steps for the fire company is to recommend a replacement for Wells, and have an accept-or-deny vote on the matter.

PHONES WORKING

Abby Dolliver

Abby Dolliver, Norwich Public Schools Superintendent said last night in an update memo that the school telephone system that had been experiencing system woes was “believed to be up and running again.” She said that final checks will be conducted this morning but little by little the phones were working. Dolliver thanked everyone for their patience and support.

DEAL ON MILLSTONE STABILIZATION REACHED

The Con­necti­cut Gen­eral Assem­bly and the Mal­loy administration have agreed in prin­ci­ple on bi­par­ti­san leg­is­la­tion au­tho­riz­ing state en­ergy of­fi­cials to take mea­sures to sta­bi­lize the prof­itabil­ity of the Mill­stone Power Station in Water­ford. Pas­sage of the mea­sure would re­solve what has been one of the most heav­ily lob­bied is­sues at the State Capi­tol over two years. It said to be similar in language to a bill passed during this year’s regular session by the Senate but never called for a vote in the House.

911 DISPATCH OUTSOURCED

Starting Sept. 20, when you call 9-1-1 on the Groton Naval Submarine Base, you’ll get a dispatcher in Norfolk, Virginia. The move is part of a Navy-wide consolidation of dispatch centers to save money and streamline equipment maintenance and personnel training. Locally, the consolidation has raised some concerns. Joe Dolan, a police officer at the base and president of the union that represents more than 400 government services employees there, said he’s worried that response times could increase. Dolan is concerned that dispatchers in Norfolk won’t have a local knowledge of the sub base, and that could lead to problems given many people who call 9-1-1 don’t give their exact location but rather a landmark.

REVERSAL STUNS OFFICIALS

Preston selectmen were stunned and some Preston residents were angered Thursday night when town attorney Michael Collins reversed a previous decision and said officials should not schedule a town meeting to set aside money for seven education employees to join the state’s municipal retirement system. Some residents blasted the opinion, and said it takes decision-making authority away from the town’s legislative body, the town meeting, and puts it in the hands of the six Board of Finance members. Thursday’s meeting included a testy exchange during the public comment session between First Selectman Robert Congdon and Board of Finance Chairman Norman Gauthier, who apologized for criticism of the selectmen over recent weeks. But Congdon said he still felt the criticism had intent.

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