Thursday, March 31, 2011

DPW at the Dog Park

I’ve always said, “No good deed goes unpunished in New Milford.”  The complaints on this page about the work being done at the Dog Park make my case.

To get the facts, I spoke with Mike Zarba, Director of Public Works.

“We have a responsibility to maintain that parking lot,” he said.  “Hundreds of people use it every week.”   “There’s no point in having a park if people can’t get to it safely or can’t use it at all.”

Mike said that Public Works does maintenance work at all the Town’s Parks including Lynn Deming.  “Parks and Rec called and asked us to take care of the mud problem at the Dog Park parking area.  We’re using road millings to fix the problem.”   Why road millings?  “The asphalt plant isn’t open yet so we’re doing jobs around Town that don’t require it.”

After hearing about the use that the Park gets, I called Marla Scribner, the Mayor’s Executive Secretary, and asked if she could give me a better idea about numbers.  “We don’t have an official count but judging from the dozen or so calls I get every week from people saying that it’s a great place, I’d say the Park is extremely popular.”  She also said that many recent calls have been from dog owners asking about the parking area.   She said that a common question is, “When will it be safe to park so that I won’t get stuck in the mud?”

So whoever you are complaining about the work, I hope this addresses your issues.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Pat Erickson: 'Hire More Police Officers'

I had to call the New Milford Police Department as a result of a recent incident.  I saw a tremendous improvement and was very impressed by many of the Officers I met.  It's obvious that Shawn Boyne, our new Chief, is doing a great job and if given the proper support we can once again have a Police Department that is effective.

My daughter's pocketbook was stolen from, of all places, the Childrens' Room at New Milford Public Library! Hers was not the first to be stolen recently. For the first time in many years, I spent an entire day downtown and what I witnessed was very disturbing.  As a lifetime resident, our Town no longer feels like the safe little community that I grew up in.

As you are aware, there have been many robberies and an increase in drug problems. I talked to many people and they all said they do not feel safe in Town. What I believe to be the major problem is a shortage of police officers.  I am hoping that readers will encourage the Mayor, the Town Council and the Board iof Finance to add police into our budget.

I realize things are extremely tight financially but I believe that it is a matter of safety for our Town and the Officers who presently serve.  If we have only a maximum of 7 officers on a shift if someone is sick or going to court or on vacation our numbers go down. We are the largest Town in Connecticut and after seeing what I saw downtown yesterday I can stay silent no longer.

I ask that your readers go to Town and just watch with their own eyes to see what is going on. I then ask, would they feel safe letting their children go into Town alone? Would they feel safe leaving their grandchildren in the library?  I ask anyone who agrees to PLEASE  contact the Mayor at 860-355-6010 and request that more officers be hired as soon as possible. Thank you, Pat Erickson

Friday, March 18, 2011

NMPD Promotions

Congratulations to Lieutenant Larry Ash and Sergeants Ed Hannan and Jim Dzamko!


Sunday, March 13, 2011

Spectacular Performance at Chinmoy Washout

This morning at 11:00 a.m. Mayor Murphy held an on-site meeting for residents of Chinmoy Lane so they could get an update on the culvert washout that isolated them from the rest of Town.  Together with Mike Zarba, Director of Public Works, Chief Shawn Boyne and Public Works Aide Laurene Beattie, they described the work that has been done and the current "emergency plans."

The work that's been done to get access to Town roads for these residents is nothing less than spectacular.  In about 36 hours, tireless workers built a road on property between Chinmoy and West Meetinghouse.  It's a bit steep but it works!

Think about it.  Engineering, permits, tree cutting, excavation, hauling.  All done in just a few days.  Bravo!  Of course, this could not have been done without the cooperation and generosity of the Gold Family, owners of the property on which this temporary road was built.

Although the exact cause of the washout may never be known, Mike Zarba explained that it is likely that trees washing downstream came to rest on the sides of the culvert and debris began to collect putting a huge strain on the sides.  The collapse from the weight was inevitable.

Those in attendance showed their appreciation for the Town's efforts by giving a hearty round of applause.

The pictures that I have seen in the newspapers don't sufficiently reflect the conditions.  Take a look at this first picture to get a better idea.

A good perspective of the size of the problem: a man looks over the cliff down at the streambed below.

Parts of the temporary, 100 foot bridge that will be erected over the streambed.  Mike Zarba said that he hopes that it will be completed by the end of this coming week.

From left to right, Mike Zarba, Director of Public Works; DPW Aide Laurene Beattie; Chief Shawn Boyne and Mayor Pat Murphy.

The Meeting was well-attended.

The new, temporary road that starts from the Chinmoy cul-de-sac and ends at West Meetinghouse Road.

Route 7 Southbound Reopened; Northbound To Reopen Soon

These pictures were taken a few minutes ago, just seconds before the southbound lanes were reopened.  Just one small area of water in front of Southworth's is holding up the reopening of the northbound lanes.  Those are expected to reopen by around 1:00 p.m.  You may also travel directly from the bridge onto Peagler Hill.


Thursday, March 10, 2011

Council Passes Budget; Next Stop: Board of Finance

Last night, the Town Council passed the Mayor's Budget for 2011/2012 with the addition of $272,000.  These are unofficial numbers:  $2,000 for the Womens' Shelter;  $100,000 for fuel;  $50,000 for Finance Department Software;  $30,000 for the Economic Development Corporation;  $23,000 for the Economic Development Commission to promote the Town; and $67,000 for a new snow plow.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

New Milford Police Department: More Developments

A recent examination for a Lieutenant's position gives Chief Shawn Boyne another opportunity to make changes that, together with a recent termination, will no doubt improve the Department's productivity and increase morale in the ranks.  

It is eminently clear that "business as usual" at the NMPD ended on October 15, 2010, when the new Chief took over.