BUDGET TALK TENSE
Budget negotiations are getting tense in New London. The 92-point-8 million dollar spending proposal for the upcoming fiscal year includes a 488-thousand dollar increase in taxpayer funding for the school district. City councilor John Satti has been blunt with education officials, saying he believes the schools should be flat funded. He says Satti says administrative salaries for educators in New London are through the roof, but school board president Mirna Martinez says that’s not the case. The city council has already approved the first of three budget readings. The proposed spending plan represents a 3-point-2 percent increase over the current fiscal year. It would raise the city’s tax rate by point-43 mills.
DESTROYED SHED CAUSES ANGST
A shed that carÂpenÂtry and elecÂtriÂcal stuÂdents built durÂing the 2013-14 school year was torn down last week by contractors working on the new Ella T. Grasso TechÂniÂcal High School. State Sen. Heather Somers took to Facebook to critÂiÂcize the deÂciÂsion, calling it wasteÂfulÂ and for deÂvaluÂing stuÂdent work. Grasso Tech PrinÂciÂpal PaÂtriÂcia Feeney said the shed was schedÂuled to be taken down as part of the origÂiÂnal conÂstrucÂtion plan for the new school. She noted that stuÂdents reÂmoved valuÂable comÂpoÂnents, like sidÂing, winÂdows and doors. The missed opÂporÂtuÂnity for pubÂlic use was what got Somers upÂset. She quesÂtioned why the school couldn’t have doÂnated the shed to GroÂton SoÂcial SerÂvices, the GroÂton SeÂnior CenÂter or Noank School PubÂlic GarÂdens, and sugÂgested a nearby greenÂhouse be doÂnated to a comÂmuÂnity garÂden. Somers said it showed a disÂdain for the carÂpenÂtry proÂgram, which is being phased out.
LEDYARD CHOOSES AMERICAN
The town of LedÂyard may have a new amÂbuÂlance serÂvice comÂpany. A committee seeking new service has recÂomÂmended AmerÂiÂcan AmÂbuÂlance to beÂcome the town’s new amÂbuÂlance serÂvice provider. The fiÂnal terms of a conÂtract with AmerÂiÂcan AmÂbuÂlance still need to be neÂgoÂtiÂated. There are several issues that would need to be worked out. AmerÂiÂcan AmÂbuÂlance proÂposed a guarÂanÂteed maxÂiÂmum price of $75,000 that would remain conÂstant over the next 15 years of the conÂtract.
GOLF COURSE SUBCONTRACTOR APPROVED DESPITE TIES
A land surveying company owned by a member of the Golf Course Authority has been given the ok by the Norwich City Ethics Commission to do work as a subcontractor. With a unanimous vote of approval, Gerwick Mereen Land Surveying & Land Planning will be doing work for the firm selected to build a new pond and well watering system at the city-owned golf course. The city’s ethics code allows city board and commission members to be hired by the city as long as the work was part of a competitive bid process.
PROJECT O CUT
AdÂminÂisÂtraÂtors at Project OceanolÂogy, the GroÂton-based edÂuÂcaÂtion nonÂprofit, learned last week that the proÂgram’s state fundÂing will may be cut by more than 75 perÂcent. Less than 10 years ago, they were getting $800,000 through the state’s Interdistrict CoÂopÂerÂaÂtive Grant ProÂgram. In fisÂcal year 2018, which ends June 30, the proÂgram alÂloÂcated Project O, as it is known, just over $400,000. For the next fisÂcal year, it won’t get more than $100,000, acÂcordÂing to the state Bureau of Choice ProÂgrams. A Project O chairman said the proÂgram, founded by a group of teachÂers and adÂminÂisÂtraÂtors in 1972, has alÂways strugÂgled to draw fundÂing from the state.
TWO OF THE BEST BEACHES HERE
The Boston Globe’s list of the top 20 beaches in New England includes DuBois Beach in Stonington Borough and Rocky Neck State Park in East Lyme. The Globe recognized the 160 camp sites and it’s “long white sands”. DuBois is recognized as “a perfect spot for kids to enjoy gentle waves lapping on a sandy shore” and it’s views of the sunset.