THURSDAY MORNING UPDATE

POSITION NIXED

About a month after Griswold officials signed a newly created town administrator contract, a bureaucratic snafu has led to its nullification. Although the previous board, led by previous First Selectman Kevin Skulczyck, agreed on the appointment while in executive session, there is no record of a motion being made or a vote occurring and there are no meeting minutes posted on the town’s website. The town administrator position was the first of its kind for Griswold.  It was created when it was learned a first selectman cannot manage a spouse.  Newly elected First Selectman Todd Babbitt’s wife is the director of the senior center.

BURST PIPES CAUSE TROUBLE FOR OL

A water pipe break in Old Lyme will result in several town buildings being closed Thursday. Lyme-Old Lyme Middle School, Center School and Town Hall will be without water. Middle school students will report to the high school for classes today, and middle school staff will provide class locations once students arrive. Middle school parent conferences scheduled for today also will be held at the high school. Due to limited parking at the high school, parents should park at the middle school for conferences or student drop-off and pick-up. Pre-kindergarten classes are cancelled due to the closure of Center School, which also houses the Region 18 school district central office.

SCHOOL CONSOLIDATION UP FOR VOTE TONIGHT

The Ston­ing­ton Board of Ed­u­ca­tion meets tonight at seven in the Ston­ing­ton High School Com­mons and is ex­pected to vote on con­sol­i­dat­ing the town’s two mid­dle schools.  A dis­cussion will take place to close Paw­catuck Mid­dle School and have all mid­dle school stu­dents at­tend the larger Mys­tic Mid­dle School. The con­sol­i­da­tion is un­der con­sid­er­a­tion be­cause of a de­cline in en­roll­ment, which is pro­jected to con­tinue.  The board also is ex­pected to vote on when the con­sol­i­da­tion will take place, if ultimately approved.  An update on the consolidation has been posted on the school dis­trict web­site, ston­ing­ton­schools.org

SOLAR COMPANY BUYS LAND

A pur­chase op­tion agreement for 271.5  acres of property,  in­clud­ing the for­mer Tar­ryk and DoLit­tle farms on Can­ter­bury Turn­pike and swaths on Lawler Lane in Occum has been secured by Aurora Solar LLC, a Port­land, Ore.-based so­lar com­pany. Aurora’s pos­si­ble plans for the property or the purchase price were not disclosed. The prop­erty has been for sale for sev­eral years. Any so­lar project would need ap­proval by the Con­necti­cut Sit­ing Coun­cil, which also would re­quire a pub­lic hear­ing. Nor­wich Public Util­i­ties spokesman Chris Ri­ley said the city util­ity has not been con­tacted by any­one as­so­ci­ated with Aurora So­lar or its par­ent com­pany and could not spec­u­late on any pos­si­ble in­volve­ment by NPU. Norwich Mayor Peter Nystrom feels it’s not the best use of that land, but said it’s a use that pro­vides tax rev­enue.

CORONA DISTRIBUTOR BUYS PIECE OF LOCAL RUM MAKER

Constellation Brands, best known for distributing Corona beer, and with $7.3 billion of sales in 2017, has acquired a minority stake in The Real McCoy Rum of Mystic.  Bailey Pryor, who launched the rum in 2013, said he, his wife Jennifer and other company officials will continue to oversee operations but Constellation will expand distribution and marketing. Pryor said the rum has experienced significant growth over the past few years but declined to discuss sales.

GROTON, FAIRVIEW SETTLE

A settlement has been reached with the Town of Groton and Fairview, Odd Fellows Home of Connecticut. After receiving its Oct. 2015, tax assessment, Fairview challenged it as excessive and unlawful and filed a lawsuit. The town argued at the time that the nonprofit should be assessed on the full value of its property once it exceeded $25 million. Fairview disagreed. Based on the agreement and current value of the property, Fairview would pay $100,000 to Groton, $60,000 in PILOT money, plus an additional $40,000 in taxes, or the amount due on the assessed value over $25 million.