Town Manager's Report - May 20, 2019

National Public Works Week

I’d like to acknowledge the work and dedication of our Department of Public Works and Engineering employees. Every day the department positively impacts each and every citizen of our town.  To highlight just a few of the department’s responsibilities:

  • maintain 27 athletic fields and play areas
  • mow nearly 100 acres of turf and 47 miles of road sides
  • maintain 150 miles of roads
  • maintain and repair 92 miles of storm water piping and over 3,500 storm water basins
  • care for our beautiful Veterans’ Cemetery

Also, in partnership with the Windsor Schools, the department maintains over 2 million square feet of facilities in over two dozen buildings. The department also provides support to numerous community events ranging from the Shad Derby, voting poll set-up to Memorial Day ceremonies.

Once again, thank you to our 38 full-time employees and numerous part-time and seasonal employees that help keep our infrastructure, public spaces and buildings well  maintained and cared for each and everyday.

 

Town of Windsor Memorial Day Observances

On Monday, May 27, 2019 a ceremony will be held at the Elm Grove Cemetery located in Poquonock beginning at 8:00 AM followed by a ceremony at Veteran’s Cemetery at 9:00 AM.  Following the ceremony at Veteran’s Cemetery, the Memorial Day Parade will proceed to Windsor Town Hall via Poquonock Avenue for the Parade Marshal’s address. The parade usually arrives in the center of town between 9:45 AM and 10:00 AM. The 10:00 AM ceremony at town hall will include a special flag ceremony performed by members of Boy Scout Troop 149.

In case of rain, there will be one single ceremony in the Town Hall Council Chambers at 10:00 AM.  Detailed information on Windsor’s Memorial Day observances can be found on the town’s website at www.townofwindsorct.com.  Contact Enita Jubrey at 860-285-1835 with any other questions.

 

Household Hazardous Waste Day

Windsor residents have the opportunity to dispose of household hazardous waste on Saturday, June 1, 2019 at the MDC Water Pollution Control Facility located at 1222 Poquonock Avenue from 8:00 AM to 1:00 PM.

Acceptable items include pesticides, lawn and pool chemicals, gas, kerosene, antifreeze, driveway sealer, cleaning products, florescent lights and mercury thermometers.  Detailed information as well as alternate dates in neighboring communities is available on the MDC website at: themdc.com as well as the town’s website at http://www.townofwindsorct.com/announcements.php?id=621.

 

Street Paving Schedule

The first phase of street repaving began last week and is expected to continue through next week. Contractors will be working on Faneuil, Barber, Broadview, Allen, East Wolcott, Norman and East Service Road. They will also be working on a portion of Matianuck from Bina to West Wolcott, and a portion of Rood from Matianuck to Green Manor.

Motorists should expect some delays in these area.

 

Delinquent Property Tax Sale

Tax Collector, Cathy Elliot, and her staff conducted a successful tax sale on Saturday, April 27. The criteria for inclusion in the sale was 3 or more years delinquent on payment, or $20,000 or more owed. There were 29 properties that met this criteria at the time of the original listing last October, with a total due of over $550,000. The Tax Collector sent numerous delinquent notices to these property owners, and this was followed up by a letter from the Town Attorney if no response was received. The total amount collected since October and prior to the sale was $343,650 as a result of these collection efforts. Of the original 29 properties, there were 9 properties for which the owners had not paid off or made arrangements for payment terms with the Tax Collector. All 9 of these properties were sold at auction.

From the start to completion of the tax sale process, over $594,000 has been collected as a result of the efforts put forth by the Tax Office staff.

 

High Level Platforms at Existing Train Station

Staff and I recently met with the Connecticut DOT to discuss their continued design of high level passenger platforms at the existing train station to serve the Hartford line and Amtrak.

The east side platform will be increased in height by approximately 36” to 40”.  A new 50’ long platform is proposed to be built on the west side of the tracks to the north of the current at-grade platform.   These changes are required by the Federal Railroad Administration. Ticket vending machines will be installed on each side of the tracks.

The west side improvements will be located within land currently leased from Amtrak by the Hartford Transit District and the town. This may require a lease amendment to accommodate the newer construction.

On the east side, we are working with DOT to finalize easements and the proposed acquisition of a small strip of town-owned land on the east side of the tracks (approximately 1,600 square feet.)  As previously reported, there is the need for an easement to be granted by the town to the DOT as the foundation of the east side platform will be on town-controlled land. To meet certain federal rail regulations, the DOT is proposing to purchase a small strip of town land along the length of the platform.  The value of this land is likely to be less than $10,000, so there is not the need for a town meeting.

 

Wayside Horns

The DOT is still planning to install ‘wayside horns’ at each crossing from Meadow Road to Central Street.  The electronic wayside horn devices are designed to direct the warning signal to a more immediate area around the rail crossing rather than the current practice where the train engineer controls the horn and the noise can be heard from quite a distance from the railroad crossing.

The DOT currently has the horns operating at one crossing in Wallingford and one in Meriden.

One challenge with the wayside horn signal is its application in areas that have buildings very close to the crossing. The devices are directed at the roadways that intersect with the railroad tracks. The decibel level is set per federal regulations.  So for Central Street and Mechanic Street, a horn(s) would need to be ‘directed’ south down Mechanic Street. This points the sound directly at the Windsor Station Apartments.

The DOT and staff will continue to discuss the wayside horn technology and its application in Windsor, as in the long run, it is important to try to mitigate the horn noise.

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