Town Manager's Report - August 5, 2019

Community Block Party
Just a reminder that there will be a community block party on Friday, August 9th at Deerfield Park, 70 Colton Street. This event runs from 4:30 PM until 7:30 PM and admission is a school snack donation for the Weekend Wheels Program. Enjoy carnival games, arts and crafts, face painting, music, bounce-house, food and more! There will be prizes and giveaways. This event is created by youth in the Summer Teen Employment Program (STEP) in partnership with the Windsor Police Department to promote family fun and community spirit in a substance free environment. Call (860) 285-1990 for more information.

 

Windsor Citizen’s Academy
More than 200 Windsor residents have graduated from the Windsor Citizen’s Academy.

The program is a fun opportunity to learn more about the services the Town of Windsor provides, how they are funded, a look at our day-to-day operations, and how you can get involved. The interactive Citizen’s Academy meets on Thursday evenings beginning September 26th and focuses on how daily government operations contribute to a better community.

This is a free program for those who register by calling 860-285-1835, by going online at townofwindsorct.com or by email at: jubrey@townofwindsorct.com.

 

National Night Out
The Windsor police will be sponsoring an event for “National Night Out” on August 6th from 5:00 PM to 9:00 PM at Sage Park Middle School. National Night Out is an annual community building campaign, and another opportunity for our officers and other first responders to build relationships with Windsor folks on an informal basis. At the event, a rock wall, DJ, dunk tank, inflatables, food and drink will be available.

 

Traffic Enforcement
The Town Council recently received communications from a resident expressing concerns about speeding.  This type of complaint is one of the most common the police department receives.    All officers are expected to conduct traffic enforcement activities in addition to responding to a wide range of calls for service throughout their shift.  We have 2 officers that are assigned as a traffic unit and their primary duties relate to traffic enforcement.

We are continuing to work on specific neighborhood traffic concerns and have a multi-disciplinary staff team that meets regularly to review traffic data such as volumes, speed, vehicle type and time of day.  This information helps the police to deploy limited patrol resources in a more efficient and effective manner.

Overall in FY 19, officers made a total of 11,912 traffic stops.  This is nearly 11% greater than in FY 18.   Also, the percentage of vehicle accidents with injuries has decreased slightly from 13.4% in FY 18 to 12.5% in FY 19.  We have averaged 81 accidents with injury per year over the past 3 years.

Both the police department and I will continue to work on this important town-wide public safety and quality of life issue.

 

Farmington River Update
Town staff continues to remain in contact with state agencies regarding the June chemical release.  At this time, the state is awaiting test results from fish tissue, surface water and the waste water treatment plant.

The consultant for Signature Flight is slated to submit plans to the CT Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) for an ecological assessment along the river as well as soil testing along a section of Rainbow Road where foam was extruded from manholes onto the roadside.

Work by the consulting engineer to identify and select a sampling of private wells to be tested is ongoing.  The sample size will be determined by several factors such as well depth and type of construction.  Town staff reviewed records for various properties as part of this process.

Like other type of events, I and other town staff have reviewed our response to the incident. Each event or incident is different and unique but by taking time to review, we can identify possible ways to strengthen our response.

As you know, the primary agency for this incident was DEEP and we took direction and guidance from them under a modified Unified Command model.  Our Director of Public Health was notified by the state on the morning of June 9th.  Later in the morning, the State finalized the issuance of the advisories and sent out a media release.  By 1:00 p.m. multiple media outlets had broadcast and posted information to the general public through various social media tools regarding the release and the advisories.

That afternoon the town, in support of the state agencies, posted advisory signs at several public access points along the Farmington River as well as the boat launch at East Barber Street in case boaters put their boat in there and traveled north to the Farmington.

Several days later, staff at the suggestion of a resident via Mayor Trinks, worked with the state to have the signs translated into Spanish and posted them.  Information also was posted on our website.

Going forward, we are looking at how to incorporate different ways of ‘pushing out’ information – for example, use of the Everbridge Community Notification system which is similar to Reverse-911 and the town’s email subscription service.

Just this past week, we used larger signs (in both English and Spanish) on sandwich boards as well as Everbridge to notify Rainbow Reservoir users and neighbors of the algae bloom.

While our partners at the state agencies have been helpful and I appreciate their efforts, in the future town staff and I, if need be, will be more assertive in making requests as well as offering local resources and solutions if appropriate.

As I noted earlier, each event or incident is different and unique but we can learn and strengthen our response from each one and that is what we have and will continue to do.

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