TUESDAY MORNING UPDATE

REGULATORS SAY MILLSTONE POWER STATION AT RISK

The Department of Energy and Environmental Protection and the Office of Consumer Counsel urged the Public Utilities Regulatory Authority (PURA) to designate Millstone Power Station in Waterford an “at risk of closure” status. That would give Millstone’s proposals an edge against many hydropower, solar and wind power producers who are competing with bids in the zero carbon auction. If PURA agrees, regulators will score the plant’s proposals as if it were a new power resource. DEEP says it will select bid winners by the end of the year, and PURA says it will make a final determination on Millstone’s at-risk status by Nov. 28th.

FIRE DEPARTMENT MAY BENEFIT

City Hall Norwich

A proposal being considered by the Norwich City Council would allocate savings from several completed capital projects in the city to the Occum Volunteer Fire Department. It would be used for station lighting, and firefighter gear and equipment needed to respond to accidents on Interstate 395. The new purchases by the council’s Public Safety Committee would receive almost $28,000 in savings from capital projects.

SKEETERS HAVE TRIPLE E

Researchers have detected the presence of a mosquito borne illness, known to affect animals more than humans in Connecticut. Researchers and scientists at the State’s Agricultural Experiment Station announced four mosquitos were tested positive for a severe mosquito-transmitted disease called Eastern Equine Encephalitis, or EEE for short. Researchers said one of the EEE carrying mosquitos was located in Hampton in mid-September and three others were located in North Stonington last week. Officials say EEE is usually found in rural areas, and while horses are more prone to infection and symptoms of the disease, humans can contract it.  One human fatality from EEE was reported five years ago.

JOB CENTER NEEDS HELP

PictureA recent drop in state and local funding for its programs has New London’s Opportunities Industrialization Center making a public appeal for help. Executive Director Nekeisha Grant calls it a “financial emergency.” They’re looking to close a 12 percent budget gap, or about $70,000, to help maintain free programs that prepare low-income, underserved and under-educated people for the workforce. Twelve employees run its programs with a budget of just under $600,000. That’s down from a $1.1 million budget in 2003. The OIC has already closed its doors on Mondays as a cost savings measure.

NO MORE LEAF PICKUP

With the state budget forcing Connecticut towns to make cuts, the Town of Stonington has slashed its Leaf Pickup Program. That means residents will no longer be able to put leaves near the curbside for the town to vacuum them up. The town expects to see a $100,000 saving that funds the manpower and equipment for town infrastructure projects. The town will still pick up leaves in common-use areas prone to flooding to make sure they don’t get into catch basins-the original reason the pickup program launched and then expanded over the years. Some residents said they don’t mind the program cut. They either dispose of, compost or push the leaves into the woods on their own.

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