NON-PROFITS COACHED UP ON TAX EXEMPTIONS
A new task force is being formed to look into questions after several local non profits were notified by Norwich assessor Donna Ralston, they were being denied tax-exempt status. She said nearly three-dozen nonprofits were not exempt from property taxes. A training forum was held last night at the Otis Library with about 50 local residents. Gian-Carl Casa of The Alliance: Voice of Community Nonprofits says they will talk to candidates for office this year to get laws changed. Casa said The Alliance takes tax exemption seriously and it’s not just occurring in Norwich but around the state. He said more than 40 municipalities have had this issue.
CITY COUNCILORS TORN
New London city councilors are torn on what to do about a proposal that would require New London police to obtain a judicial warrant before arresting or detaining anyone sought by federal immigration officials. City councilor Marty Olsen says the measure seems to grant New London status as a sanctuary city and is “misplaced.” City councilor Efrain Dominguez says opponents of the measure are simply trying to demonize illigal immigrants. The measure was defeated in committee last night, but councilor Alma Nartitez utilized a provision called a minority report, allowing her to place the item on a future city council agenda. It’s expected to come up for action on June 18th.
CHELSEA GARDENS WILTS
The Norwich City Council voted unanimously last night to terminate a 75-year lease agreement with Chelsea Gardens Foundation. It put an end to a 24 year effort to build a botanical garden on 80-acres of Mohegan Park land. Councilors called it an effort that was either bad luck, bad timing or just a bad investment. The agreement terminates the lease “fully and unconditionally,” effective May 31.
CRUISE SHIP DOCKS IN NEW LONDON
For the first time in four years, New London yesterday played host to a cruise ship. The Noble Caledonia line’s Hebridean Sky docked at City Pier. It was the first time that particular ship had been to the United States. After New London, the 109 passengers were off to Newport, Martha’s Vineyard, Boston, Maine and Canada.
W.B. MASON PARTNERS WITH NORWICH COMPANY
Two longtime businesses are establishing a partnership. The office supply company W.B. Mason will run its trucks out of Consumer’s Interstate, a Norwich office and janitorial supply company. W.B. Mason says it has secured a long term lease at the Consumer’s facility in the Norwich Business Park and plans to expand it. The Massachusetts company intends to locate a furniture showroom, a Whatta Bargain Super Store used furniture outlet and a Chef’s Supply restaurant supply business in Norwich. Financial details of the partnership aren’t being released.
CATALA BACKS OUT
New London school board member Jason Catala has decided not to run for state representative. He had planned to challenge incumbent Chris Soto at the Democratic convention tonight. Catala says he’s just too busy with his job in New Haven and board of education duties as the school district works with a new superintendent.
PLAINFIELD BUDGETS PASS
Town and school budgets in Plainfield have passed. Voters approved the town budget of $12.2 million 98-38. The $35.4 million education budget was given the okay, 100-36. Plainfield’s mill rate will increase 1.96 mills.