The former Royal Hotel and longtime Bank Street staple, Ernie’s Café in New London is going through restoration. Yehuda Amar, a developer with two completed downtown rehabilitation projects under his belt, is converting 20 rooms on the top two floors into eight luxury one-and two-bedroom apartments. Ernie’s will be replaced with “Bar on Bank”, run by two first-time restaurant owners that are aiming for a more family-friendly atmosphere in the new establishment.
COMMUNICATION SOLUTION SOUGHT
Stonington officials are hoping to approve a memorandum of understanding with the town of Westerly and the Ledge Light Health District following a problem with the local water supply. The MOU is designed to prevent future communication delays after Stonington First Selectman Rob Simmons says he wasn’t notified about excess chemicals in the water until two days after the problem was discovered. Last week, two Pawcatuck residents complained about their skin being burned by shower water in their home. Simmons called out Westerly Public Works Director Paul Corina and Town Manager Derrik Kennedy for failing to notify him about the situation in a timely manner.
STONINGTON GRAPPLES WITH BUDGET INCREASE
The Stonington Board of Finance will face a challenge trying to avoid a substantial tax rate increase this fall with the announced cuts in state aid. The proposed town budget is up almost four-and-a-half percent from last year, and the proposed school budget is up almost three percent. Excluding any further increases in the town and school budgets, and debt payments, coupled with the decrease in state aid, means the Board of Finance is facing a tax rate increase of about 2.1 mills compared to the current budget. The exact tax rate could be lower than it is now, due to the new revaluation taking effect.
COMPLAINT AGAINST CANDIDATE KELLEY
The only announced Democratic candidate for the 18th District state Senate seat held by Republican Heather Somers is the subject of an Elections Enforcement Commission complaint. Dan Kelley of Pawcatuck listed a Groton address as his residence on the candidate registration form he filed with the state. Kelley said Wednesday that the incorrect address was the result of the state’s electronic filing system carrying over his old address on to the new form and that the error is being rectified. Kelly said he signed an amendment to change the address on February 8th and mailed it to the commission. He said the correction should completed today.
ROTARIANS DONATE TO LITTLE LEAGUE
The Groton Rotary Club has given the Groton Little League a $10,000 check to help pay for new lights this year at Burrows Field. The new lights will allow the growing league to hold more practices, games and tournaments without being limited by darkness. The Groton Rotary Club raises money every year to support scholarship funds and grants such as the lighting project.