Deep River Ice — Ice Cream and Italian Ice Opening in Early July

/

Chelsea Fremut said she and her fiance David McDonald love Italian ice, and they wanted to share it with Deep River. And just in time for the summer heat, they are opening Deep River Ice – a new ice cream and Italian ice stand on Main Street. “There’s not really much else anywhere local, the closest italian ice is in Middletown or New Haven,” Fremut said. “We want to enjoy the community that I grew up in and see the kids enjoy it.” The italian ice is coming from Micalizzi’s in Bridgeport, where McDonald grew up and became friends with

More

Lamont Strips Oversight of State Contracts, Port Authority Reforms

Funding to staff a board that oversees state contracts and procurements was eliminated in a move the board’s chairman said could be a “fatal blow.” The State Contracting Standards Board was set to see $454,355 to fund five additional staff positions funded in a budget approved by state lawmakers last week, but a bill to implement the budget – which lawmakers convened a special session this week to approve – allowed that funding to lapse back into the general fund. State Sen. Cathy Osten, D-Sprague, co-chair of the Appropriations Committee, said Gov. Ned Lamont removed the funding after lawmakers approved

More

UI Settlement on Overcharges Gets Nod, Performance-based Rates to Move Forward

A settlement agreement for United Illuminating to return money it has overbilled customers is moving forward, say state regulators, after the agreement was amended to address concerns that it could stall the introduction of performance-based rates for Connecticut’s energy providers. Under the settlement, United Illuminating would return the $44.7 million it has overbilled customers since a federal corporate tax cut in 2017. The company also agreed to contribute an additional $5 million which will slightly lower customer rates. Residential customers will see their bills drop by about 5.2 percent starting July 1, in part as a result of the settlement,

More

North Stonington Solar Project Attempts Balance of Environmental Priorities

/

What started off years ago as a relatively uncontroversial proposal to turn an abandoned gravel quarry located in North Stonington into a 9.9 megawatt solar project, has shifted to a plan to  clearcut 44 acres of forestland — North Stonington Solar Park is latest example of friction in Connecticut between two key environmental priorities: renewable energy production and forest preservation.  In 2016, the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection set out to meet the legislature’s mandate to contract with developers to build new renewable energy projects to supply the state’s utilities.  The choice of an abandoned quarry was a

More

CTDOT Talks Haddam Roundabouts, Accidents, Traffic Headaches

/

HADDAM – One of the more notable changes of many slated for Tylerville is a plan by the state to install two roundabouts on Saybrook Road at the intersection of Bridge Road and the Route 9 connector. Turning north onto Saybrook Road from the connector can be a nightmare already – especially in the evening rush – as drivers waiting at the stop sign for free-flowing traffic on Saybrook Road to clear face backups and long delays. Without the change, the situation is only expected to get worse as traffic increases in the area, according to the Connecticut Department of

More

Eversource Pushes Back Hard on Penalties in Appeal

Eversource has taken to the courts to challenge penalties imposed by state regulators for what they say were failures in the company’s response to Tropical Storm Isaias last August. The legal challenge is the first that PURA Chair Marissa Gillett has seen since she took over the authority in 2018.  It’s a step the company said it hasn’t taken since 2009.  In a 185-page complaint filed in New Britain Superior Court on Thursday, Eversource asked the court to review whether the Public Utility Regulatory Authority overstepped its authority and failed to provide due process before cutting the company’s guaranteed return

More

Rob Smith Explains What’s Next as East Haddam Budget Defeated 274 to 1,242

East Haddam voters overwhelmingly defeated the town’s budget proposal Tuesday night, by a vote of 274 in favor and 1,242 opposed. The budget included $36.95 million in spending – a $2.49 million increase [7.2 percent] over last year – and would have raised the mill rate by 0.62 mills to 31.06 mills.  In a public hearing and on social media, residents raised concerns about several items in the budget, including wage increases for the first selectman and 20 non-union town employees and camera systems in the town office building and at the transfer station. The Board of Finance will hold

More

After Failed Attempts at Tolling, Legislators Levy Mileage Fee on Tractor-Trailers

After a number of failing efforts in previous sessions to pass a highway toll, the Connecticut General Assembly succeeded on Wednesday in levying a mileage fee on tractor-trailers.  Supporters of the bill say that the fee will force heavy trucks to pay their fair share for the damage they cause to the state’s roads. Meanwhile opponents warn that the tax will increase the prices of consumer goods and will fall unfairly on Connecticut-based trucking. In the House, where the bill passed 88-59, every Republican and six Democrats voted against the bill. Two Democrats — State Sen. Norm Needleman, D-Essex, and

More

A 410-Mile, Two-Year Paddle the Length of the Connecticut

From a muddy puddle along the Canadian border, down to the Fenwick lighthouse, it took 31 days of off-and-on paddling spread out over two years for Bill Ballou to traverse the entire 410 mile Connecticut River with his canoe. Beginning the last leg Monday morning at the Baldwin Bridge, Ballou, a semi-retired newspaper reporter from the Worcester Telegram and Gazette, his wife, Debby, and fellow paddlers Randy Koopman, Charlie Thompson and Allen Wilson fought the wind to paddle their canoe along the last three mile stretch to the Fenwick lighthouse.  The paddlers said town officials told them they would prefer

More

Democrats Punt on Carbon Caps as Republicans Claim Victory on Taxes

/

As Democratic leaders announced their intention to forgo consideration this year of the multistate Transportation and Climate Initiative — an emissions compact that would also raise gasoline prices — advocates of the policy rallied for them to reconsider, while Republicans claimed victory. Speaker of the House Matt Ritter, D-Hartford, and Senate President Martin Looney, D-New Haven told reporters on Friday that the Transportation and Climate Initiative pushed by Gov. Ned Lamont and his administration would not come up for a vote this year, according to the Associated Press. The announcement followed weeks of Republicans rallying opposition to initiative, and debates

More

‘Prevailing Wage’ for Solar Development Passes, Survives Debates Over Uncertain Cost

Legislators broke largely along party lines in approving a bill that will require developers of large solar projects to pay workers the prevailing wage. The bill faced vocal industry opposition warning that the law will add to the expense of solar energy and slow development of additional solar capacity. On Tuesday night, the House voted to approve the bill by a vote of 89-59 , with one Republican voting “yes” and five Democrats voting “no.” The bill later passed the Senate on Thursday night by a vote of 24-12, with Democrats voting in favor and Republicans opposed.  The debate in

More

State Bottle Bill Increases Deposit to 10 Cents

/

In a move proponents hope will revitalize recycling at a time when the state is facing major decisions about what to do with its waste, Connecticut customers will see the deposit they pay on bottles and cans double in 2024. The bill doubles the bottle deposit from 5 cents to 10 cents, requires a deposit on more beverages – but not wines and spirits – and increases the handling fee for redemption centers. The increase represents the first major update to the state’s bottle bill, coming nearly 40 years after bottle redemption was first introduced in Connecticut and after years

More

State Senate Passes Bill to Reform Connecticut’s Port Authority

A bill meant to add transparency to the embattled Connecticut Port Authority passed the Connecticut Senate on Wednesday with the vocal support of southeastern Connecticut lawmakers. The bill – proposed by area lawmakers after several years of high profile issues tied to the quasi-public agency established in 2014 to manage the state’s ports – passed the Senate 34-0 on Wednesday. It still needs approval from the House. Along with giving the chief elected official of the three cities that host deep water ports in Connecticut a seat on the Port Authority Board of Directors, the bill would require the Port

More

Essex Takes its Cue of Old Saybrook and Starts a Diversion Program for Food Scraps

/

ESSEX — The truckloads of trash from Essex to the regional incinerator in Hartford have been lighter over the past weeks, as residents have pulled about 1,800 pounds of compostable food scraps out of the waste stream. Waste has become a key issue for municipal leaders as MIRA, a major collector of trash in the region, tries to figure to transition away from its outmoded incinerator by next summer. Reducing waste — long a concern for environmentalists — could soon have a significant impact on town budgets as MIRA considers the costly alternative of trucking that waste out of state.

More

Report: 1 in 10 Chance Electricity Needs Outstrip Supply this Summer in New England

/

Summer heat always carries the risk of power shortages as electric customers use more power to keep themselves cool, but a new industry report says predictions based on extreme and less likely weather scenarios could result in power shortages in New England this summer. Those scenarios are based on above average levels of heat and humidity that have a one-in-ten chance of happening. A report the North American Electric Reliability Council released on Wednesday identifies New England as one of five regional electric grids where demand for electricity is likely to exceed available supply if temperatures are higher than normal.

More

Non-Residential Customers Face Shutoffs for Unpaid Gas and Electric Bills Starting June 15

Gas and electric utilities will be allowed to disconnect non-residential customers with unpaid bills starting June 15, state regulators announced on Thursday. “While there was never an ideal time for this to occur, this is an important transition as we return to our new normal,” Public Utilities Regulatory Authority Chair Marissa Gillett said in a written statement.  Utilities have been barred from disconnecting customers over unpaid bills since March 12, 2020, an early response to the economic toll of government-ordered pandemic protections. PURA is still evaluating whether customer notices are sufficient for most utilities to start shutting off residential customers

More

Five Things to Know About Legalized Sports Betting in Connecticut

Connecticut will join the most states by offering sports wagering, after three years of negotiations ended with the State Senate granting legislative approval to an agreement between Connecticut and the tribal nations on Tuesday night. The agreement Under the agreement reached with Gov. Ned Lamont, the Mashantucket Pequot and Mohegan tribes will be allowed to offer in-person and online sports and fantasy sports betting on their reservations, and to offer online casino games.  The Connecticut Lottery Corporation will be allowed to offer online sports betting, keno and lottery games, and offer in-person sports betting at up to 15 locations, including

More

Connecticut Residential Customers Should See Lower Rates Starting in July

Residential customers of either of the state’s two major electric utilities will see their monthly electric rates decrease this July. Starting July 1, Eversource customers rates will decrease by about 4 percent, and United Illuminating customers’ rates will decrease by about 6 percent. That amounts to about $9.50 for the “typical” residential Eversource customer using 700 kWh of electricity each month, and about $9 for the typical United Illuminating residential customer, according to the Public Utility Regulatory Authority. Because electric customers tend to use more electricity in the hot summer months, however, the actual amount of the bill may still

More

Former Mohegan Sun CEO to Build First Multifamily Housing Complex in Haddam

/

A 56-unit, market-rate apartment complex will become the first multifamily housing project in Haddam next year, after receiving approval from the town planning and zoning commission last Thursday. The Haddam Planning and Zoning Committee unanimously approved a site plan for a 56 unit apartment complex at 1564 Saybrook Road and 3 Brookes Court, near Bridge Street. The developing company, Elm Tree Partners, is owned by former Mohegan Sun CEO Jeff Hartmann. The project includes three apartment buildings and one community clubhouse. Each will be served by its own septic system to satisfy health code regulations, according to Civil engineer Graham

More

Long-time Selectman Kevin Seery Announces Run for East Lyme Office

EAST LYME — With local Republican leaders standing alongside him, long-time East Lyme selectman Kevin Seery announced he would be running as a Republican for first selectman this November. Seery has been serving as one of the town’s three elected selectmen since 2011, and has been deputy first selectman since Mark Nickerson was elected first selectman in 2015. Before that, he served 14 years on the East Lyme Board of Education, including six years as board chair. Seery settled in East Lyme 37 years ago after he finished his service in the U.S. Navy, and he and his wife, Dawn,

More

Regulators Ink Amnesty Deal Returning $9.4 Million to Third-Party Electric Customers

Twenty-two third-party electric suppliers admitting to charging customers higher than expected rates have agreed to return a total of $9.4 million to those customers. State utility regulators at PURA offered amnesty to civil penalties to any supplier that voluntarily admitted that it charged customers higher rates than it told them it would in the “Next Cycle Rate” section on their bills. In each case, the supplier caused the issue by failing to provide utilities with the right information, sometimes for months or years, according to PURA. Twenty-two suppliers agreed to “amnesty agreements” that require them to return the $9.4 million

More

Added Off-Peak Buses Planned for Old Saybrook to Hartford Commuters

Off-peak buses could be running between Old Saybrook and Hartford by Aug. 22 if a proposed transit plan is approved. The proposed schedule for the weekday Middletown-Old Saybrook Express [921] bus includes the same four morning trips from Old Saybrook to Hartford and adds two afternoon trips, which would leave the Old Saybrook train station at 1:37 and 5:37 p.m. The departure times for the four morning buses would each be pushed back 22 minutes from their current schedule, an attempt to better align the buses with Shore Line East trains to New Haven and New London. The proposed schedule

More

For About a Third of Households, Paying the Electric Bill is a Struggle

When Mercia Ordine lost her job last March, she quickly fell behind on the $200-a-month electric bills in her 600-square-foot, two-bedroom Fairfield apartment. Ordine is far from alone.  Electricity was expensive in Connecticut before the pandemic, and the poorest residents have always struggled to pay their bills. But the pandemic has caused a wider range of people to struggle with electric bills, said Brenda Watson, executive director of Operation Fuel. The assistance program was created during the energy crisis of 1977 as a way to help low-income families who fell through the cracks of government assistance programs. It’s funded primarily

More

As Vineyard Wind Gets Go Ahead, Long-Term Costs for Consumers Remain Cloudy

/

With federal approval of an 84-turbine, 800 megawatt wind farm off the coast of Massachusetts on Tuesday, the path is now clear for a number of outsized wind projects planned off the coast of the northeastern United States. Vineyard Wind, located in the Atlantic Ocean south of Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket, will be the first utility-scale offshore wind project in the U.S., following a much smaller 30 MW Block Island wind project off of Rhode Island and a 12 MW pilot project for Dominion Energy off the coast of Virginia. The $2 billion Vineyard Wind project will provide Massachusetts with

More

Eversource Facing $30 Million Fine for Storm Efforts, and UI $2.1 Million

Eversource and United Illuminating were warned today that each could pay millions of dollars in fines for what regulators say are failures to respond appropriately to Tropical Storm Isaias last August. On Thursday, both companies were issued notices of violations for what regulators at PURA say are failures to comply with performance standards and accident reporting requirements set by state law.  Eversource faces fines totaling $30 million and United Illuminating faces fines of $2.1 million. The authorities can request a hearing to dispute PURA’s findings.  The fines can be implemented in multiple ways, including as a customer bill credit, according

More

$460,000 Stamp Proceeds Fund 21 Local Projects Battling Aquatic Invasives

A new registration fee on boats is giving groups that work to combat invasive aquatic species a steady source of state funding for the first time, providing some help to the uphill battle of fending off fast-spreading plants like hydrilla and water chestnut. Beginning in 2020, all Connecticut boat owners were required to purchase a $5 invasive species stamp to operate a boat, and out-of-state boaters had to pay $25 for the stamp. As of December 2020, the boaters had purchased $460,000 worth of stamps, of which $360,000 was issued as grants.  The Department of Energy and Environmental Protection used

More

Salt Business Files Objection to State Pier Permitting

The owner of a road salt distributor forced off of the New London State Pier to make way for offshore wind developers filed an objection with the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, to permit approvals failing to accommodate his business. Steve Farrelly, owner of the road salt distributor DRVN, which has rented about 3.5 acres on the pier since 2014, said in a formal objection filed with the department that he had been given to understand that existing tenants on the pier would be able to stay through the redevelopment and beyond. Instead, DRVN was told to leave or

More

In Vote, Durham Opts for Multiyear Redevelopment of Korn School

DURHAM – In March, the Korn School appeared to be heading towards demolition, but after a successful petition and referendum, the Town of Durham has decided to take over the empty school after all, with the intention of converting the closed building into a multi-purpose community center over the coming years. Durham residents voted 708-546 to have the town take the school from the Region 13 School District for $1 on Tuesday. They also voted 630-606 to approve drawing $1 million from the town’s building reserve fund for the initial project costs, according to unofficial results that include absentee ballots.

More

Middletown Council Tables Effort to Withdraw From Power Plant Agreement

/

MIDDLETOWN – Despite council members’ objections to plans to build a new natural gas-fired turbine at a Middletown power plant, efforts to end a tax agreement with the plant’s owner have been put temporarily on hold. Mayor Ben Florsheim said during the Common Council meeting Monday night that Princeton, New Jersey-based NRG is open to pursuing a “mutual withdrawal or termination” from a tax stabilization agreement for the company’s power plant on the Connecticut River in south Middletown, which the council approved in 2019. The council voted to table the motion to end the agreement, and to take the measure

More

As Health Information Exchange Launches, Patient Advocates Warn of ‘Subscriptions’ to Private Data

/

After 15 years of false starts and $43 million dollars spent, Connecticut’s long-awaited health information exchange is finally “open for business,” state officials announced on Monday. The exchange is expected to collect and share patient data between healthcare providers across the state, which officials say will improve care, reduce redundant testing and lower healthcare costs through efficiency.  But a funding strategy that charges “subscriptions” for access to that health data has raised privacy concerns for patient advocates who warn of a lack of clarity regarding who will have access to that data. Ellen Andrews, executive director of the Connecticut Health

More
1 2 3 4 5 9