WEDNESDAY MORNING UPDATE

HEAVY RAINS PROMPTED FLOODING

Moodus bridge out (WFSB)

Heavy rains moved into the re­gion Tues­day evening, with some parts of New Lon­don County get­ting more than 6 inches of rain­fall, and more overnight.  Gro­ton picked up just an inch and a half of rain at the air­port, while Le­banon re­ported 6.79 inches, the high­est in New Lon­don County. Norwich got a little over six inches and that caused the Yantic River to flood, closing West Town Street and the Norwichtown Commons  until mid-morning.  The city’s Emergency Operations Center opened for about two hours to deal with flooding.  It closed about 6:30 as the Yantic started to recede.  Flash flood warn­ings were issued until late last night in Nor­wich, Led­yard, Gris­wold, East Had­dam, Le­banon and Waterford. In Lebanon, several water rescues were performed and Route 207 was closed as were local schools.  School districts in Norwich, Franklin, Bozrah, Voluntown and Preston delayed opening for two hours.

SUGGESTIONS FOR A BETTER HARBOR TAKEN

About 15 local residents attended last night’s public hearing by the Norwich Harbor Management Commission. The theme was – frustration! The commission was looking for ideas and suggestions from the public for ways to enhance the city’s waterfront.  Resident John Blanchette said something needs to be done to beautify the harbor.  He said they it needs hotels and restaurants to bring people down there.  Officials hope to find another boat launch outside Brown Park and to improve the docks there.

BURGER KING HEARING POSTPONED

Last night’s Norwich plan­ning com­mis­sion meet­ing and pub­lic hear­ing on a con­tro­ver­sial pro­posed Burger King on Town Street was postponed until tomorrow. City of­fi­cials said the no­tice of the spe­cial meet­ing of the Com­mis­sion on the City Plan was not prop­erly ad­ver­tised. The drive-thru por­tion of the pro­posed Burger King on Town St. is the only ma­jor item on the agenda but the com­mis­sion will not act on the ap­pli­ca­tion un­til the Oct. 16th meet­ing.

CRYSTAL AVE IDEAS SURFACE

Thames River Apts

With the City of New London in the process of buying the 12-acre parcel of the former Thames River Apartments property on Crystal Avenue from the New London Housing Authority, a couple of ideas were suggested with what to do with the formerly tax-exempt property. Two proposals were submitted. One was for demolishing the apartment buildings and using the land primarily for bulk shipping and storage facilities. Mayor Michael Passero declined comment on the proposals but said the high-rises on the site remain a liability for the city.

“THE DAY” LAYS OFF  REPORTERS

A rev­enue de­cline and sharp in­creases in the cost of newsprint are blamed for The Day Pub­lish­ing Co. laying off nine em­ploy­ees.   Four of the lay­offs are in “The Day’s” news­room, with oth­ers com­ing in the pa­per’s ad­ver­tis­ing de­part­ment. Remain­ing em­ploy­ees are be­ing asked to take five un­paid days off by the end of the year. Two un­filled po­si­tions, one of them in the news­room, also were elim­i­nated. Day officials said the cost of newsprint jumped monthly dur­ing the first six months of the year and was up 26 per­cent over the same pe­riod the pre­vi­ous year.

UNION COMPLAINS ABOUT BILDA

John Bilda

The union rep­re­sent­ing su­per­vi­sory work­ers at Nor­wich Pub­lic Util­i­ties has filed three com­plaints against NPU and Gen­eral Man­ager John Bilda. The al­leg­ations are that Bilda at­tempted to cre­ate a new high-level po­si­tion and ap­point some­one to it with­out fol­low­ing con­trac­tual pro­ce­dures. A complaint also says he threat­ened union lead­ers. One com­plaint quoted Bilda as say­ing he would make union Pres­i­dent Rob Har­ris’ life “hell” and would make “the union’s life hell” if the union did not al­low him to forego the post­ing and name some­one to the po­si­tion. Bilda said he hopes to meet with union of­fi­cials to re­solve the is­sues.

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