HEAVY RAINS PROMPTED FLOODING
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
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
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.