ENFIELD TOWN COUNCIL
A Regular Meeting of the Enfield Town Council was called to order by Chairman Vayda in the Council Chambers of the Enfield Town Hall, 820 Enfield Street, Enfield, Connecticut on Monday, March 4, 2002.
MINUTES OF A REGULAR MEETING
MARCH 4, 2002
PRAYER The Prayer was given by Councilman Strom.
PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE The Pledge of Allegiance was said.
ROLL-CALL Present were Councilmen Edgar, Egan, Falk, Fiore, Hall, Kaupin, Mangini, Strom, Tait, Tallarita, and Vayda. Also present were Town Manager, Scott A. Shanley; Assistant Town Manager, Daniel Vindigni; Town Clerk, Suzanne F. Olechnicki; Assistant Town Attorney, Mark Cerrato; Director of Public Works, John J. Kazmarski.
MINUTES OF PRECEDING MEETINGS
MOTION #5751 by Councilman Falk, seconded by Councilman Mangini to accept the minutes of the February 19, 2002 Special Meeting.
Upon a SHOW-OF-HANDS vote being taken, the Chair declared MOTION #5751 adopted 10-0-1, with Councilman Kaupin abstaining.
MOTION #5752 by Councilman Mangini, seconded by Councilman Tallarita to accept the minutes of the February 19, 2002 Regular Meeting.
Upon a SHOW-OF-HANDS vote being taken, the Chair declared MOTION #5752 adopted 9-0-1, with Councilman Kaupin abstaining.
PUBLIC COMMUNICATIONS & PETITIONS
Connie Boyajian, 165 Sherman Road
Questioned why the Green Manor pool cannot be filled in after the summer season. She went on to note in the past she had requesting lighting around the footbridge in Green Manor Park since its very dark in that area. She added perhaps they could have more trash bins in the area of Green Manor Park and the Taylor Road area. She pointed out theres a lot of litter in this vicinity.
Kenneth and Roberta Kalva, 177 Elm Street
Mr. Kalva stated they are directly effected by the proposed road work in the area of Asnuntuck College and Elm Street. He stated his understanding the State of Connecticut wants to create an entrance/exit at Asnuntuck College and once the work is complete, there will be six lanes of traffic in this area. He pointed out this will bring Elm Street ten feet closer to the surrounding neighborhood. He noted children in this area walk to the Henry Barnard Elementary School, and surrounding residents feel this road work will create a safety problem. He added the closer proximity of the traffic will create more noise and air pollution problems.
Mr. Kalva questioned the need for additional lanes. He stated his belief this will increase the speed of traffic in this area and cause more accidents. He pointed out there are other intersections on Elm Street that have only four lanes with no middle turn lanes, i.e., Elm Street and Shaker, Brainard Road and Enfield Street, Alden Avenue and Enfield Street.
He stated his belief keeping this four lanes without a middle turn lane would be an alternative to consider. He pointed out this would decrease speeding and not bring traffic closer to the neighborhood.
Mr. Kalva stated they are not against this work and would like to see the southern section go through as planned. He noted they would like to see this project continue with minimal impact on the north side.
Mrs. Kalva stated there isnt much traffic flow going into this neighborhood, therefore, they dont see a need for a turn lane. She noted at the present time the traffic flow is working. She stated her belief there isnt the need for the number of lanes proposed because it would cause more of a safety concern for residents entering and exiting Elm Street.
She pointed out a couple years ago a petition was taken up by the surrounding neighborhood. She noted this petition was signed by people against the widening of Elm Street. She stated the Asnuntuck College has a very low speed zone which is not adhered to by tractor trailers, and the speed of the traffic is increasing. She noted they are very concerned about safety issues.
COUNCILMEN COMMUNICATIONS & PETITIONS
MOTION #5753 by Councilman Strom, seconded by Councilman Mangini to move Item 12a under Items for Discussion up to Item 9a. on the agenda.
Upon a SHOW-OF-HANDS vote being taken, the Chair declared MOTION #5753 adopted 11-0-0.
Councilman Egan stated she and the Town Manager attended the CCM legislative meeting. She noted at best the Town will possibly get the same amount of funding as they received last year, however, that is still in doubt. She pointed out the only way they will do that is by raising taxes, and she noted it doesnt sound like theyll do that in an election year. She stated if Enfield does get what they received last year, they will still be about $200,000 less than what was promised for this year, therefore, the economic outlook is not great.
Councilman Tait referred to e-mail exchanges about the structural engineer looking at floor loading for Loaves and Fishes and he requested an update. He went on to note there was an agreement at the last meeting about setting up a joint meeting with the EMS Committee. He questioned whether theres any tentative schedule for that joint meeting. Chairman Vayda responded no, however, that will be on the agenda for the next meeting.
Councilman Hall stated the entire Council received a copy of a letter from Brad Robertson from DEP regarding the aerial spraying application. She noted this letter was sent to all the permittees that aerial sprayed last year. She stated if theres a consensus to do so, she would like the Town Manager to draft a letter to DEP strongly urging the State to take a stance such as Enfield has regarding the denial of aerial spraying taking place within 200 feet of their roads. She added in that letter she would also like to thank the State for re-looking at their policy and reinterpreting what they have on their books.
Councilman Mangini commended everyone involved in putting together a good Home Show.
Councilman Mangini questioned the status of the Hazardville Water Company. She noted shes been receiving phone calls from residents in Hazardville. She explained it appears the prices are climbing on the water bill. She stated her understanding the Town has a subcommittee that attends the Hazardville Water Company meetings. She noted she would like to get the status as to what the situation is with respect to the rates and whether there are any items of interest to the Council that they should be made aware of.
Councilman Mangini requested staff look into the complaint by Ms. Boyajian concerning litter in the area of Taylor Road.
Councilman Kaupin expressed his appreciation to the Council for supporting the replacement of the Green Manor pool. He stated his hope other issues regarding Green Manor Park, such as lighting and trash will be considered in any plans for this park.
Councilman Kaupin stated he too would like to see the pool remain open this summer, however, the structural engineer felt it should be closed from a safety standpoint. He suggested perhaps something else could be considered for activities at Green Manor Park this summer until a new pool can be built.
Councilman Kaupin referred to an e-mail from Tim Slade which contained a series of questions. He noted Mr. Slade requested he submit this list of questions to the Town Managers office and that responses be supplied.
Councilman Kaupin stated a resident on South Road questioned whether the name of South Street can be changed due to mail confusion. He stated his understanding South Street is a very short street, and South Road is a very long road. He pointed out these roads receive a lot of cross mail, prescriptions, pizza delivery, and police showing up at the wrong house.
Councilman Kaupin questioned if theres an ordinance regarding door-to-door solicitation. Mr. Shanley noted he will provide an answer via e-mail tomorrow.
Noting he is a liaison to the Cultural Arts Commission, Councilman Falk informed the Council about upcoming events. He noted on Sunday, March 10, 2002 the High Road, an Irish step dancing group will be at Asnuntuck Community College at 2:00 p.m. He stated on Tuesday, May 7th, the United States Air Force Band of Liberty will perform at Enrico Fermi High School. He noted this is a free event, but tickets will be required and distributed on a first come/first serve basis. He stated the Parents in Education (PIE) organization has a whole week of activities planned starting March 11th to encourage families to do things together.
Chairman Vayda stated the Green Manor pool condition has reached a point where a failure could occur and cause an injury.
Chairman Vayda stated he received a letter from the American Red Cross stating blood supplies have dwindled since September 11th. He noted blood donations will be emphasized during the month of March.
TOWN MANAGER REPORT & COMMUNICATIONS
Mr. Shanley stated the Town looked at every angle to try and keep the Green Manor pool open, however, with the analysis in hand, it was determined it is time for this pool to be closed down.
As concerns Mr. and Mrs. Kalvas concerns regarding the road work around Asnuntuck College and Elm Street, Mr. Shanley stated the Department of Transportation has asked for a meeting room tonight to meet with anyone who wishes to meet with them after their presentation this evening.
As concerns Loaves & Fishes, Mr. Shanley stated the structural engineer is on vacation and will return mid-March and he will be asked to do an analysis as to what it would take to make the old senior center structurally sound enough to handle the loads required by Loaves and Fishes.
Mr. Shanley stated the picture on the revenue side is very bleak. He stated even the Education Committee was unable to articulate a commitment to do anything more than try to restore ECS to the level projected for 2003.
Mr. Shanley stated he has nothing to report on the Hazardville Water Company, but they will check into this. He noted the Assistant Town Attorney indicated he will check into what it would take to change the name of a street.
TOWN ATTORNEY REPORT & COMMUNICATIONS
Assistant Town Attorney, Mark Cerrato, had no formal report this evening.
REPORT OF SPECIAL COMMITTEES OF THE COUNCIL
Councilman Fiore stated Planning & Zoning has recommended the Family Resource Center back to the Council. He noted the subcommittee of the Town Council that is overseeing the site plan review of that building will be meeting this Wednesday at 7:00 p.m. in the Council Chambers.
Councilman Kaupin stated hes the Council liaison and an alternate member on Hazardville Water. He noted the positions for the two Enfield representatives are open. He stated Hazardville Water hasnt met for months, and he feels they need to meet with Hazardville Water to reconstitute the group.
DISCUSSION RE: ASNUNTUCK/ROUTE 220 WIDENING DOT
Present from DOT were Steven Degen, Project Coordinator; Steven Cibrozyk, Managing Engineer, Michael Galarese from the Engineer office; Herb Mayhem, Mackey Engineers.
Mr. Mayhem stated the sole purpose of this project is to improve traffic control, traffic congestion and enhance the safety near the college. He noted between 1995 to 2000 there was a total of 42 accidents with nine injuries. He stated most accidents occurred in front of Spring Garden Road.
He showed an overview showing traffic volumes for Elm Street and the average daily traffic numbered 26,800 vehicles for both directions on Elm Street.
Mr. Mayhew referred to a drawing which showed levels of service regarding how well traffic is flowing with classifications of A through F, with A being the best and F being the worst. He noted as concerns the existing condition, theyre seeing a C level of service. He stated its believed air quality in this area will be somewhat improved since traffic flow will be improved and less traffic will be sitting idle, thus less emissions will be released into the air.
Mr. Mayhem showed an illustration of the proposed work to be done. He explained the number of lanes at the intersection coming toward the east, they would have a left-hand turn lane and two straight-through lanes and a dedicated right-hand turn lane is what theyre trying to acquire. He shared some numbers illustrating traffic going to the college.
Councilman Fiore stated he does support this project. He acknowledged the sidewalks in this area are heavily used by pedestrians. He stated his understanding that when this project is complete, there will only be about five feet between Elm Street, one of the busiest streets in town, and the sidewalks which the children walk on. He noted hes curious how the State is going to maintain this in the winter when they plow.
Mr. Cibrozyk stated that belt varies in this area. He noted its a minimum of five feet and expands a little wider. He pointed out most urbanized areas have about a three-foot snow shelf with a five-foot sidewalk, and this is in excess of that. He noted they can pile the snow on top of a five-foot snow shelf.
Councilman Fiore questioned whether DOT feels comfortable with children using a sidewalk with a three-foot dead zone between that semi-highway and that sidewalk. Mr. Cibrozyk stated he would be comfortable if certain measures were taken, such as unmountable curbing.
Councilman Fiore questioned if this plan could be implemented, minus one of the left-hand dedicated turn lanes, which would then decrease the amount of land use on the north side. Mr. Cibrozyk stated the westbound, exclusive left turn lane into the college is the most critical lane. Councilman Fiore questioned if theres an opportunity to shift this a little to take land on the south side of the road since the south side has no sidewalks. Mr. Cibrozyk stated as it stands right now, this is unbalanced. He noted the right-of-way left over on the south side is about 15 feet and the one on the north side is in excess of 20 feet, therefore, it already appears the shift is unbalanced towards the south. He added there are also utility poles on the south side to consider.
Councilman Fiore stated currently there are four lanes in this area, and he feels its not a healthy situation. He stated his impression that by just tearing down the brick house, having a common entrance/exit into the college and aligning up the street with proper traffic lights would improve the present condition. He noted if they also included a right-hand turn lane into the college going east, they will further improve the situation. He
stated his hope that he and residents will meet with DOT this evening to further discuss this topic.
Councilman Strom questioned if the only concern about the south side is the moving of utility poles. She stated her belief taking more land on the south side seems a much better solution. She agreed with Councilman Fiore in that its very nerve-racking to have five feet between sidewalks and this heavily traveled road. She stated if theres any possibility at all that it could be shifted to the other side of the street, it would seem to make a lot more sense.
Mr. Cibrozyk stated it is entirely possible to cause that shift. He noted it would lengthen the project a little bit because of the angle points and deflections that are required. He stated hes unsure he would want to throw the entire unbalance onto that side of the road. He noted there is also a grouping of residents who live on the south side as well. He added this could be looked at, and its not totally out of the question.
Councilman Kaupin agreed with comments by Councilmen Fiore and Strom. He stated he would also like DOT to take another look at the south side. He questioned if thats not possible, has DOT thought about the possibility of moving the sidewalks further back on the north side. Mr. Cibrozyk stated the sidewalk located on the northerly side is actually right at the limit of the highway right-of-way, therefore, if they were to shift that sidewalk any further to the north, it would actually be reducing the amount of available space in peoples driveways. He noted they do not want people parking over a sidewalk.
Councilman Egan stated her belief the left-hand turn into the college is very dangerous, and she feels a dedicated turn lane entering the college is imperative if it can be worked out in such a way where its not infringing on the neighbors.
Councilman Mangini agreed with Councilman Fiore in that they need to look more closely at the safety of the residents because there are a lot of pedestrians in that area.
Chairman Vayda stated there seems to be a basic consensus that the Council would like to see this project shifted to the south as much as possible.
Mr. Cibrozyk stated in addition to causing a slight shift to the south, the land that they are asking for to be donated to the state for right-of-way purposes so that the right turn lane can be added, would then be greater in size.
Mr. Shanley requested a time line on this. Mr. Cibrozyk stated if advertising is June 19th with bid opening a month later, award eight weeks later, and notice to proceed another couple weeks, they would then be entering the fall season. He noted this would mean utility not pavement work. He stated changes as proposed could mean at least a three-month delay.
Chairman Vayda requested the Council and staff be kept in the loop in terms of what decisions are made and how far this is going. Mr. Cibrozyk indicated he would do that.
Councilman Kaupin stated he would like the Council kept informed about possible delays to the project.
MOTION #5754 by Councilman Fiore, seconded by Councilman Strom to take a five-minutes recess.
Upon a SHOW-OF-HANDS vote being taken, the Chair declared MOTION #5754 adopted 11-0-0, and the meeting stood recessed at 8:55 p.m.
Chairman Vayda reconvened the meeting at 9:04 p.m.
APPOINTMENTS (TOWN COUNCIL)
MOTION #5755 by Councilman Fiore, seconded by Councilman Strom to remove Item #5 from the table.
Upon a SHOW-OF-HANDS vote being taken, the Chair declared MOTION #5755 adopted 11-0-0.
NOMINATION #5756 by Councilman Fiore to appoint Carmello Brutto (D), 1 Boyle Drive to the Enfield Beautification Committee for a term which expires 12/01/03.
MOTION #5757 by Councilman Strom, seconded by Councilman Tallarita to close nominations.
Upon a SHOW-OF-HANDS vote being taken, the Chair declared MOTION #5757 adopted 11-0-0.
Upon a ROLL-CALL vote being taken, the Chair declared Carmello Brutto appointed to the Enfield Beautification Committee by an 11-0-0 vote.
MOTION #5758 by Councilman Strom, seconded by Councilman Tait to remove Item #10 from the table.
Upon a SHOW-OF-HANDS vote being taken, the Chair declared MOTION #5758 adopted 11-0-0.
NOMINATION #5759 by Councilman Strom to appoint William Ragno (R), 4 Coolidge Drive to the Board of Assessment Appeals for a term which expires 12/31/04.
MOTION #5760 by Councilman Tallarita, seconded by Councilman Egan to close nominations.
Upon a SHOW-OF-HANDS vote being taken, the Chair declared MOTION #5760 adopted 11-0-0.
Upon a ROLL-CALL vote being taken, the Chair declared William Ragno appointed to the Board of Assessment Appeals by an 11-0-0 vote.
Item c. remained tabled.
MOTION #5761 by Councilman Tallarita, seconded by Councilman Strom to remove Item d. from the table.
Upon a SHOW-OF-HANDS vote being taken, the Chair declared MOTION #5761 adopted 11-0-0.
DISCUSSION RE: WORLD WAR II HONOR ROLL
Councilman Tallarita requested an update on this item.
Mr. Shanley stated hes expecting a preliminary draft within the next two days, hopefully with some recommendations. He noted staff will refine it and get it to the Town Council as soon as its complete.
Councilman Falk stated at the Home Show a number of people approached him regarding this issue. He noted there was the suggestion that when these plans come back and theres some proposal or something physical to look at, the Council should hold a public forum so that people, other than the Council and veterans committee, would have an opportunity to look at this and comment on it. He suggested some type of open forum or a special part of a meeting be set up specifically to give the public an opportunity to look at those plans and comment on them.
Chairman Vayda stated once the preliminary designs have been provided, perhaps Milone and McBroom can come back and do a formal presentation at a regular meeting so that the Council can have a give and take session with Milone and McBroom in public.
Councilman Falk pointed out he would want the public to be able to comment on those plans as well. Chairman Vayda indicated that can be arranged.
Councilman Tait stated when the Council gets the plan in hand, he would like the Memorial Committee to get a copy as well. Chairman Vayda agreed.
Chairman Vayda stated his hope Milone & McBroom understands this is something the Council hopes they move on quickly. Mr. Shanley stated Milone & McBroom is ready to deliver a preliminary draft product. He noted he will be speaking to them tomorrow and hopefully hell be getting the draft tomorrow as well. He added they will try for a formal presentation at the next Town Council meeting.
Councilman Hall commended Frank Mancuso regarding a letter he sent to the editor of a newspaper regarding an inappropriate comment that was made at a recent public hearing.
MOTION #5762 by Councilman Strom, seconded by Councilman Tallarita to retable this item.
Upon a SHOW-OF-HANDS vote being taken, the Chair declared MOTION #5762 adopted 11-0-0.
Item e. remained tabled.
DISCUSSION RE: GOALS
This item will remain on the agenda until the Council receives the narrative.
DISCUSSION RE: REQUEST FOR TRANSFER FROM ACCOUNT #8030-840 CONTINGENCY TO ACCOUNT #7080-890 CELEBRATIONS & SPECIAL EVENTS - $12,500
This item will appear under New Business on the next regular meeting agenda.
No one wished to speak.
No one wished to speak.
MOTION #5763 by Councilman Hall, seconded by Councilman Mangini to adjourn.
Upon a SHOW-OF-HANDS vote being taken, the Chair declared MOTION #5763 adopted 11-0-0, and the meeting adjourned at 9:15 p.m.