EB EXPANSION DETAILED
Electric Boat last night unveiled plans for an $850 million project to expand and improve its Groton shipyard. It will include a new construction bay to build a new class of ballistic-missile submarines. It plans to construct a floating dry dock to accommodate this work in its south yard. The intent is to bring many of the materials into the site by water to help reduce congestion on roadways and construction traffic. Some of the neighbors in the immediate vicinity of EB’s south yard are unhappy with the plans, and had met with representatives from EB several times prior to Thursday’s meeting to air their concerns.
The state gained 1,100 net jobs from July to August and the employment rate dropped to 4.3 percent, according to the Connecticut Department of Labor. The national unemployment rate is 3.9 percent. The Norwich-New London-Westerly labor market area lost 200 jobs over that month, but it gained 1,500 jobs since last August, a 1.2 percent increase that gives the region a rank of third out of nine areas for year-over-year growth. Education and health services saw the most new jobs in August, at 1,000, while construction had the largest percent increase, at 0.8 percent. Overall, the state has recovered 88.5 percent of the 119,100 jobs lost in the Great Recession.
CGA DORM MOLDY
Mold is growing in several rooms in Chase Hall. That’s the main residence hall on the Coast Guard Academy’s campus in New London. This after employees first cleared it from the building in August. The rooms were not designed for air conditioning, which, combined with a particularly humid summer created a good environment for mold to grow. Engineers adjusted the air conditioning temperature, but that did not prevent the mold from coming back. Because temperatures are expected to drop into the upper 60s this week, the air conditioners will be shut down in the A and B units. The academy has formed an action team made up of doctors from the medical clinic, a cadet and occupational health experts to develop a plan to prevent the mold from returning.
A Plainfield postal worker has been charged with stealing federal money orders that prosecutors said were later cashed for more than $60,000. A federal grand jury returned a five-count indictment charging Michelle Barbeau, of Brooklyn, and James Lebel, of no certain address, with offenses related to the theft of U.S. postal orders. Barbeau and Lebel allegedly conspired to take blank U.S. Postal money orders from the Wauregan Post Office and imprint them in various denominations. Lebel then cashed more than $60,000 in fraudulently imprinted postal money orders at other post offices. Barbeau is facing a 20 year sentence and $250,000 fine. Lebel has also been charged with four more counts of wire fraud. Barbeau was released on a $100,000 bond. Lebel was detained on Wednesday pending a Sept. 26th hearing.
FLEET GETS NEW LEASE
New London’s commercial fishing fleet has agreed to extend its lease to continue its operations on the Fort Trumbull peninsula. That opens the door to future expansion. The lease agreement was approved yesterday and, for the time being, dispelled concerns by the fleet of being evicted from the site. The new agreement, effective Oct. 1, provides options to extend the lease for a total of 15 years and replaces a month-to-month arrangement that for years had led to uncertainty for the fleet.
BURGER KING OPPONENTS GATHER IN CEMETERY
While a public hearing is scheduled for next Tuesday, opponents to construction of a proposed Burger King in Norwichtown gathered yesterday at the historic colonial burying grounds to hear historic preservation advocates express concerns that the project could impact the cemetery. Dane Roux, president of the Leffingwell Inn says it is up to residents to protect what he calls one of Norwich’s best assets. The rally, hosted by representatives from the Norwich Historical Society and the Society of the Founders of Norwich, urged those in attendance to attend the public hearing.
BRIDGES IN BAD SHAPE
The report on the condition of Connecticut’s bridges, released Thursday finds that 308 of the state’s 4,254 bridges are rated as “structurally deficient.” The report does not suggest that the bridges are putting drivers at risk, and had that been, the bridges would have been closed. But it’s still a problem in Connecticut. Thirty-two of the structurally deficient bridges are in New London County. In New London County, the most heavily traveled structurally deficient bridge is the one that carries I-95 over Route 161 in East Lyme, which was built in 1958. DOT plans to go out to bid in 2020 to replace that span.