MONDAY MORNING UPDATE

SOME HOPE FOR GUN RANGE OPPONENTS

Heather Somers

Griswold opponents of a gun range in their town got some good news last week. An amendment sponsored by Republican State Sen. Heather Somers that would protect forested land in Griswold was approved Thursday by the state Finance, Review and Bonding Committee. State officials said they signed a purchase agreement for 113 acres of land for $1.1 million for the purposes of building a new state police firearms training facility in Griswold. However, the property must stay off the market during an environmental impact evaluation, which could begin in May.

READY TO SIGN

Ronald McDaniel

Montville Mayor Ronald McDaniel says he’s faced with a substandard dog pound that would take about $800,000 to renovate. Now he’s ready to execute a “memorandum of understanding” between Montville, East Lyme, Waterford and New London, who have identified Bates Woods Park in New London, as a possible location for a shared facility. The next step would be to get cost estimates on any renovations or additions needed at the New London pound. McDaniel is planning to speak with state officials and the town attorney about whether the pound in Montville could still be used as a “holding area” to shorten transportation time for animals.

ONE TEACHER AXED

The current Sprague operating budget request that would eliminate at least one teaching position and not allocate funding for re-opening the school’s library is being reviewed by the town’s board of finance. The proposal accounts for an almost seven percent decrease in state and federal grants, and calls for a 5.36 percent increase in financial support from the town. It would raise the mill rate to 34, a two mill increase. The majority of the budget is driven by fixed costs such as contracts and tuition. The finance board is scheduled to meet at 7 p.m. on April 19th at Town Hall.

CITIZEN CMEEC REP BUSY

Bill Kowalski has been the state’s municipal electric energy consumer advocate for three months. In that time, he has weighed in on several issues involving the Connecticut Municipal Electric Energy Cooperative. He says CMEEC has welcomed Kowalski’s involvement and actively includes him in discussions of issues. Kowalski said its been a good start, and progress is being made. He said he feels the board has been receptive to the intent of the position and the goals of what’s trying to be implemented. The position was created after a controversy over CMEEC sponsored trips to the Kentucky Derby for local municipal and utility officials.

ECSU STUDENT KILLED

A popular student at Eastern Connecticut State University in Willimantic is dead following a car crash. The school yesterday announced the passing of T.J. Madden, who was studying social work but was also a talented dancer. Madden was from the area, having attended Manchester High School before heading to college. Details of the crash and its location were not released by the college.

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