BUDGET TALK TENSE
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
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
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.