Unleashed Dogs Spark Debate About Essex Land Trust Property

Essex locals are caught in a hot debate about dogs and leashes at Cross Lots Essex Land Trust Property. Because the land is privately owned, the town of Essex ordinance in regard to “leash laws” does not apply and some are fed up with what they are saying are “out of control dogs”. Roderick Seurattan, who is currently living adjacent to the Cross Lots property, posted on social media about his frustration with the trust property and how it is being used by locals. That post attracted over 100 comments and ignited a debate about what the policy should be

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Essex Selectmen Agree to a $5 Million Note in Anticipation of a Tax Shortfall

ESSEX — To prepare for a possible cash flow disruption, the Essex Board of Selectmen voted to recommend that the town apply for a $5 million tax anticipation note. “The possibility that we use it is remote and I know some people are concerned that this is just a way to borrow money, but it is really just a very conservative approach to managing cash flow,” said First Selectman Norm Needleman at Wednesday’s selectman meeting. “It is just to smooth out cash flow, it will not impact the budget.” Prior to applying for the tax anticipation notes, the Board of

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Essex Selectmen Propose $24.6 million Budget, Debate Financial Impact of Coronavirus

ESSEX — As they presented the Board of Selectmen’s $24.6 million budget proposal for fiscal year 2020-21 to the Board of Finance in a Thursday night teleconference, First Selectman Norm Needleman and Finance Director Kelly Sterner said that the town has not yet seen the financial impact of the coronavirus, but that Essex should take extra steps to prepare for potential losses of revenue. Board of Finance Chair Keith M. Crehan noted, in opening the remote meeting on Zoom, that Gov. Ned Lamont had suspended in-person public meeting requirements on March 14 in an effort to slow the spread of coronavirus

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State Order Resolved, Essex Shutters Water Pollution Board, Shifts Authority to Selectmen

ESSEX — By a unanimous vote, the Board of Selectmen repealed the ordinance establishing the town’s Water Pollution Control Authority, transferring its responsibilities to the selectmen. The move is part of an effort by town elected officials to professionalize municipal services, and follows measures by the town that have satisfied a state order to address water pollution. Essex First Selectman Norm Needleman explained that waste water management issues in the future will appear as “WPCA business,” on the selectmen’s agenda, much as the board now conducts business as the traffic authority for the town. In 2011, the town hired Lisa

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Essex Loses Rural Grant Eligibility with Shift to Suburban Designation

ESSEX — At the start of the 2018-19 school year, Essex lost its annual Small Rural School Achievement (SRSA) program funding when the town was reclassified as a suburban community by the State Department of Education. The previous year, that funding totaled $34,432 – or about 3 percent of the district budget, the largest grant received by the school district. “The grant used to fund the Bridges program, which helped bring our math instruction to the next level, but thankfully has been fully implemented now,” said Kristina Martineau, assistant superintendent for Region 4, at the most recent Essex Board of

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Opinion: We Owe It To Public Health to Take Action on Vaping

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Late last month, I joined State Representative Jesse MacLachlan and prominent community leaders in Clinton for a panel discussion on vaping. I only wish we scheduled it sooner. In recent months, vaping and associated injuries and deaths have become a pressing issue. We must take it seriously and protect public health. As of November 1, more than three dozen vaping-related cases of lung disease and injury were reported to the state Department of Public Health, part of a national trend of more than 1,800 injuries and 37 deaths. Vaping experts are currently studying and searching for answers as to what’s

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Letter: Needleman Thanks Essex Volunteers and Voters

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We are honored that Essex voters have given me another opportunity to serve the town we all love. It is gratifying that so many of our fellow citizens exercised their right to choose the officials who will help sustain and improve the quality of life in Essex. Our names were on the ballot, but many other people helped make this election a success for us and for all of the candidates endorsed by the Essex Democratic Town Committee. To those who volunteered their time and resources, we am deeply grateful.  Your energy and commitment are essential to keeping our community

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Profiling Candidates for the Essex Board of Finance

ESSEX — Two incumbents and two first-time candidates are on the ballot for seats on the Essex Board of Finance this November. Democrats Campbell Hudson and Mary Louise Polo are both running for reelection against first-time Republican candidates Carolyn Field and Phil Beckman. Beckman has previously run for board of finance and selectman, but this is Field’s first run at public office. Hudson, an attorney and board member of the Connecticut Fund for the Environment, is a long-time member of Essex town government. After serving one term on the Essex Board of Education, he was elected to the board of

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Essex Candidates for First Selectman Sound Off

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With a $900,000 surplus, and a mill rate that has fallen each of the last two years, Norm Needleman, the incumbent running for a fifth consecutive term as first selectman of Essex, says that Essex has never been better. Matt Fleming, his challenger, says that if elected his priority will be to keep costs under control. However, unlike Needleman, Fleming does not think the town has been doing a good job of that. “The mill rate went down, but assessments on houses went up, explain to me how that helps,” Fleming said. “He is passing things in Hartford right now

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Sapia Builders Plans Commerical Development in Essex

ESSEX — Sapia Builders Corp. of Old Lyme, has proposed building a 7,400 square foot office building at 130 Dennison Road in Essex. The design of the two-story structure is intended to resemble a barn.  “I’m an Essex local and I grew up on the road that the building would be on. The area has been undeveloped my whole life,” said Nick Sapia, owner of Sapia Builders. “It’s a residential road, but the property buts up against another commercial property, the railroad track, and Route 9.” The location is close by both Centerbrook Village and the Route 9 Gateway, but

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Life Among the Beavers in Southeast Connecticut

ESSEX — More than any average budget hearing, the meeting is so packed that it had to be moved to an auditorium. Residents as young as 10 came to speak their mind on the issue at hand… beavers. “I still remember that meeting of the conservation commission. It was the most contentious I have ever been to,” said Norm Needleman the first selectman of Essex, about a meeting five years ago following the flooding and destruction of a section of Viney Hill Brook Park near Quarry Pond in Essex. “Yes, we have a beaver problem, like every other town around

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Q&A on the Fourth Anniversary of iCRV

Last week, CT Examiner staff reporter Julia Werth sat down with Dave Williams to get a better idea of what iCRV is really all about and where he expects to go with the station in year five.

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