NL PASSES BUDGET
The New London City Council last night passed a budget, which doesn’t look a whole lot different than one previously rescinded. The nearly 85 million dollar plan is five million dollars less than the original but taxes would still go up significantly, almost nine percent. The $90 million budget taken back by the council after a citizen petition raised taxes a little more than nine percent.
NORWICH HOPEFULS CLASH
About 25 people turned out last night for a debate featuring most of the Norwich City Council candidates. Members of the city’s “Bully-Busters” youth group put-on the event, with most topics focusing on youth-related issues. The future of the closed YMCA building on Main Street and the need for a community center was discussed. Democratic candidate Sam Browning doubts the existing Y structure can be saved. He also says the city should also pursue re-hiring a full-time recreation director. Republican incumbent Bill Nash agrees renovating the current Y building isn’t feasible. Libertarian James Fear says the city could work with other groups, such as the Moose Club, to provide more youth activities. A debate featuring Norwich School Board candidates takes place tonight, also sponsored by Bully-Busters. It starts at 7 P.M. at the United Congregational Church, across from City Hall.
COUNCIL CANDIDATES DEBATE
Should city employees be allowed to serve in public office in New London? That was a featured question during a debate last night between the 12 city council candidates. Incumbent councilor, Democrat Efrain Dominguez, is a teacher in New London. He says just because he earns a paycheck from the city doesn’t mean he can’t do what’s best for his fellow citizens. Republican candidate Katherine Goulart says it just doesn’t look good when city employees are serving on the council. Other issues that came up were economic development, affordable housing, and police body cameras. The debate was sponsored by the League of Women Voters of southeastern Connecticut, the New London NAACP, and Centro de la Comunidad.
BIG MONEY COMING FROM CASINOS
The economic impact shows Southeastern Connecticut’s two casinos generated more in tax revenue and direct payments to federal, state and local governments than the tribal gaming facilities in all but four states that are much larger than Connecticut. According to the American Gaming Association, Foxwoods Resort Casino and Mohegan Sun combined to pay $828.6 million in taxes and gaming-related payments to all levels of government in 2014.
FUNDRAISING RAMPED UP AT CGA
During this past weekend’s homecoming celebration, the Coast Guard Academy announced that five alumni classes have pledged more than $860,000 in donations toward the Alumni Association’s $30 million fundraising campaign. The academy’s alumni association went public in 2016, announcing its campaign during the homecoming weekend, at which point it had raised nearly $18 million dollars. The campaign aims to fund 15 different projects on campus. Ten of those projects are fully funded and the association has raised $27.7 million to date.
RASH OF BREAK-INS
Colchester Police are asking residents with outdoor video surveillance to review their videos after another rash of car break-ins occurred over the weekend. One or more suspects reportedly entered six vehicles in the areas of Bulkeley Hill Road, Falls Circle, Beech Place and Davidson Road. An image of one person in a hooded sweatshirt trying to gain entry to a vehicle was captured on a homeowner’s video surveillance camera, which the Colchester Police Department posted on its Facebook page Saturday afternoon. According to police, one juvenile arrest has been made it connection to the break-ins.