Town Council hears manager’s spring report
Quite a few items were discussed at the Town Council meeting on April 21, 2021. This was to be expected, as they had released an 18-point agenda earlier in the week. Besides the discussion and votes pertaining to the proposed acquisition of a portion of the Overlook property, a few other tweaks were made to the Warrant for the Financial Town Meeting.
The council voted to include the request for $1.3 million for a replacement fire truck. Town Manager Maryanne Crawford asked to have one item, $1.5 million for housing for town employees, removed since she
did not as yet have a finalized plan of action for this item. The council removed the item, then voted to include the next item, $2 million for the Housing Board. See the full warrant on page 15.
The council also considered the notice of the Department of Environmental Management Agency’s proposed raising of parking fees in Galilee. The proposal is to double all fees in the State Lot for placards, and raise the daily rate to $15 a day. No town councilors were supportive of the DEM proposal. Councilor Keith Stover mentioned that you do not always get a spot in the summer on busy days, and that if they are doubling the price then it should guarantee a parking spot. Second Warden Sven Risom called the action egregious, especially considering they have already cashed our checks and now want to raise the rates without any increase in service. First Warden Andre Boudreau and Crawford both suggested that the council should get some talking points and possibly a resolution together ahead of the May 12 hearing in the State Legislature.
A public hearing date of May 19, 2021 was set to discuss the proposed zoning change for Plat 18, Lot 2-3, from low density residential to medium density residential to support affordable housing. A public hearing date was also set for May 19 to discuss changes to the General Ordinances Article 4, sections 8-9 governing Motorized Cycle Rental. There is currently a temporary restraining order to preserve the
status quo and prevent the town’s newer amendments from being implemented. The amendments specify the location and type of training that moped renters must undergo, including a training video, quiz, and
road test. The amendments also shorten the daily operating hours for mopeds, as well as prohibit renting to visibly intoxicated people.
Crawford’s spring report hinted at a return to some normalcy, with the library planning outdoor events for the summer, and the Ball O’Brien park reopening. Camp Mohegan is planning activities and already has a waiting list. Youth sports are in full swing, with volleyball wrapping up and softball, baseball, and Little League ready to begin. The Shad Bloom Race is on for May 8, and is expecting at least 150 participants. The Shellfish Commission is stocking the Great Salt Pond with market-size quahogs, beginning in May. Race Week will begin Father’s Day weekend and has 100 vessels registered.
There was a question raised during the public comment portion of the meeting about the broadband installation and whether there would be additional charges for multiple buildings at the same address. There will be additional charges, as only one drop is provided per parcel. The charges for multiple drops at multiple buildings will vary and will be based on the individual circumstances of each property.
Crawford mentioned that the return to in-person meetings is in the works, with the in-person swearing in of the new police chief scheduled for May 2. Discussions with the Town Council regarding their meetings are ongoing. She anticipates further guidance from the governor’s office, with the possible utilization of a hybrid system to continue to allow wide public access.
The meeting ended with another closed session regarding the town’s various lawsuits, with nothing to report. The council sealed the minutes of the closed session before adjourning.