After hearing backlash from residents and business owners, Norwich Public Utilities officials say they will revisit proposed budget and rate increases. General Manager John Bilda said the new rates won’t be a zero increase over the current ones, but will be lower than the rates proposed in March. Officials said 72 percent of NPU’s customers would have seen between a $6.24 and $15 monthly increase to their bill. Officials are also considering changes to commercial rates.
CHIEF HANGING UP HIS BOOTS
Groton City Fire Chief Nick DeLia will retire on July 1st after 21 years. He became fire chief in Groton City in 1997. DeLia earned an associate degree at what is now Three Rivers Community College and planned to become a physician assistant. In 1984, he was named Connecticut Firefighters Association Firefighter of the Year.
DEVELOPER DEADLINE APPROACHING
Developers have until Friday to sign up with the state for a tour of the buildings they will submitting proposals to, to convert the former Seaside Regional Center in Waterford into a destination hotel. The plan is for a 50-year lease of the buildings for a hotel with up to 100 rooms, and the rest of the park and beach would be open to the public. The responses from developers are due to the state July 27.
FIRST SCHOOL TOUR SCHEDULED
A newly formed committee called the Facilities Review Committee plans to tour Norwich schools during the day before the school year ends. In the fall, they will rotate evening meetings among the different school buildings to allow community members to attend in their neighborhoods. Committee member Paula Rosenberg Bell said it will be important to involve city officials to work on plans for vacated buildings to make sure they are marketed for redevelopment. School Superintendent Abby Dolliver said advocates of creating a community center in Norwich also need to be included in the discussion, because a vacated school building could be converted into a community center.
BRIDGE DELAYS PROBABLE
The nighttime closures of Exit 84 off Interstate 95 south in New London have concluded, but more work on the ramp was tentatively slated to start Wednesday. The work, related to the construction on the Gold Star Memorial Bridge, will be to install a membrane system then to pave the bridge deck. The Exit 84 ramp will remain open, though some delays may occur. The Dept. of a Transportation hopes to have a fourth lane open by Memorial Day.
FLEMING’S BILLBOARDS APPROVED
Fleming’s Feed on Route 1 has been approved to replace its three existing billboards with two smaller ones. The decision comes after the Stonington Planning and Zoning Commission twice rejected a variance Fleming’s sought to replace the traditional billboards with a digital one. The existing three billboards of 300 square feet, partially sits in the state right of way and blocks the view of traffic leaving the site. The commission attached two stipulations to its approval: the new signs have to comply with flood requirements and can have no illumination.