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North Branford Town Council Meeting in a Minute: Sept. 4

Joanne Wentworth named deputy mayor, no to high school beach volleyball court, Eagle Scout project update, possible change to gas in town buildings, talk of blight ordinances and more.

The North Branford Town Council got back to business as usual at the Sept. 4 meeting with a full agenda. Here’s the quick rundown of last night’s meeting.

on Aug. 17, which will be reviewed at the Permanent Project Building Committee’s meeting on Sept. 10 and then presented to the Council on Sept. 18. 

The bid specs have been mailed to the state and have to be approved. In the meantime, the Council will meet with the lowest bidder that seems to meet all of the qualifications.

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Auditor David Cappelletti explained the audit process to the Council, discussing the various areas on which he will be focusing. Councilman Vin Caprio questioned how the is examined and Cappelletti assured him the list would be examined.

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Mitch Nowak will be completing an Eagle Scout project at , powerwashing, bleaching and repainting the dugouts. He will also replace the gravel steps to the field with pavers that will be slanted so the water doesn’t pool on the steps.

“I’m looking mostly for material donations,” said Nowak, whose project must be completed by the time he turns 18 in December.

After Nowak’s presentation, Mayor Anthony Candelora said they should talk as he has pavers he would be able to donate to the project. Nowak estimated the total cost of the project at $1,200.

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September was declared Leukemia, Lymphoma Month and a proclamation was signed by .

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The will hold a Business Breakfast on Wednesday, Sept. 12 with several speakers planned. Cost is $10. To reserve a spot, call 203-483-6803.

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Town Clerk Lisa Valenti swore in Joanne Wentworth as deputy mayor. She assumed the position after former .

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The questions regarding Charter Revision for the November ballot and explanatory text were approved.

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Therrien revisited the request for part-time secretary assistance in the Assessor’s Office pointing out that the Town Council reduced the amount of funding for the position in the 2012-13 budget but did not eliminate it entirely. In order for the matter to be discussed, someone who voted ‘no’ to the issue at the last meeting had to begin discussion and no discussion began.

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The Council decided to not send the proposed beach volleyball court at North Branford High School forward to Planning and Zoning (story to follow).

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Tom Cowell, the town’s building official, talked about possible changes to building permit fees. The changes would coincide with a new software program that will be “phenomenal for both staff and public usage,” according to Therrien.

Cowell explained there are many different fees and the suggested changes would roll many of the fees together to “make it more equitable for everybody and to streamline the process.”

The Council approved a public hearing on the proposed changes for Oct. 2 at 7:30 p.m.

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A representative from Southern Connecticut Gas presented the Council with the benefits of converting Town Hall and North Branford High School to natural gas. (Full story to follow.)

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Town Engineer Kurt Weiss updated the Council on the drainage issues on Chidsey Drive, stating that bids later this month with the drainage issue expected to be fixed this fall. There are also talks of running gas lines, too, as the roads will be ripped up.

However, the paving of the road will not be completed until next spring as the drainage work needs to settle over the winter.

Residents of Chidsey Drive were on hand stating their discontent that the project was not completed last year when they received letters. Weiss apologized for the delay and the Council assured them that once bids were approved, the work could begin.

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During the citizen statement portion, Caprio said he had received a letter from a constituent with a complaint about abandoned houses with poor property conditions.

After some discussion, the Council recommended that Therrien and Town Attorney John Gesmonde draft a blight ordinance.

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