TUESDAY MORNING UPDATE

BUDGET TALK TENSE

John Satti

Budget negotiations are getting tense in New London. The 92-point-8 million dollar spending proposal for the upcoming fiscal year includes a 488-thousand dollar increase in taxpayer funding for the school district. City councilor John Satti has been blunt with education officials, saying he believes the schools should be flat funded. He says Satti says administrative salaries for educators in New London are through the roof, but school board president Mirna Martinez says that’s not the case. The city council has already approved the first of three budget readings. The proposed spending plan represents a 3-point-2 percent increase over the current fiscal year. It would raise the city’s tax rate by point-43 mills.

DESTROYED SHED CAUSES ANGST

Heather Somers

A shed that car­pen­try and elec­tri­cal stu­dents built dur­ing the 2013-14 school year was torn down last week by contractors working on the new Ella T. Grasso Tech­ni­cal High School. State Sen. Heather Somers took to Facebook to crit­i­cize the de­ci­sion, calling it waste­ful­ and for de­valu­ing stu­dent work. Grasso Tech Prin­ci­pal Pa­tri­cia Feeney said the shed was sched­uled to be taken down as part of the orig­i­nal con­struc­tion plan for the new school. She noted that stu­dents re­moved valu­able com­po­nents, like sid­ing, win­dows and doors. The missed op­por­tu­nity for pub­lic use was what got Somers up­set. She ques­tioned why the school couldn’t have do­nated the shed to Gro­ton So­cial Ser­vices, the Gro­ton Se­nior Cen­ter or Noank School Pub­lic Gar­dens, and sug­gested a nearby green­house be do­nated to a com­mu­nity gar­den. Somers said it showed a dis­dain for the car­pen­try pro­gram, which is being phased out.

LEDYARD CHOOSES AMERICAN

The town of Led­yard may have a new am­bu­lance ser­vice com­pany. A committee seeking new service has rec­om­mended Amer­i­can Am­bu­lance to be­come the town’s new am­bu­lance ser­vice provider. The fi­nal terms of a con­tract with Amer­i­can Am­bu­lance still need to be ne­go­ti­ated. There are several issues that would need to be worked out. Amer­i­can Am­bu­lance pro­posed a guar­an­teed max­i­mum price of $75,000 that would remain con­stant over the next 15 years of the con­tract.

GOLF COURSE SUBCONTRACTOR APPROVED DESPITE TIES

A land surveying company owned by a member of the Golf Course Authority has been given the ok by the Norwich City Ethics Commission to do work as a subcontractor. With a unanimous vote of approval, Gerwick Mereen Land Surveying & Land Planning will be doing work for the firm selected to build a new pond and well watering system at the city-owned golf course. The city’s ethics code allows city board and commission members to be hired by the city as long as the work was part of a competitive bid process.

PROJECT O CUT

Ad­min­is­tra­tors at Project Oceanol­ogy, the Gro­ton-based ed­u­ca­tion non­profit, learned last week that the pro­gram’s state fund­ing will may be cut by more than 75 per­cent. Less than 10 years ago, they were getting $800,000 through the state’s Interdistrict Co­op­er­a­tive Grant Pro­gram. In fis­cal year 2018, which ends June 30, the pro­gram al­lo­cated Project O, as it is known, just over $400,000. For the next fis­cal year, it won’t get more than $100,000, ac­cord­ing to the state Bureau of Choice Pro­grams. A Project O chairman said the pro­gram, founded by a group of teach­ers and ad­min­is­tra­tors in 1972, has al­ways strug­gled to draw fund­ing from the state.

TWO OF THE BEST BEACHES HERE

Rocky Neck State Park

The Boston Globe’s list of the top 20 beaches in New England includes DuBois Beach in Stonington Borough and Rocky Neck State Beach in East Lyme. The Globe recognized the 160 camp sites and it’s “long white sands”. DuBois is recognized as “a perfect spot for kids to enjoy gentle waves lapping on a sandy shore” and it’s views of the sunset.

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