Saturday, December 14, 2013

Recycling Center Closed Today, Saturday December 14, 2013

The Center is closed because John and Tom will be plowing.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Recycling Center Will Close at 11:30 on Saturday, November 30, 2013

Because of the RunSantaRun Road Race, the New Milford Recycling Center will close this Saturday at 11:30 a.m.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Budget Passes

School 914 yes, 896 no
Town 1015 yes, 790 no

Less than 10% turnout.

Friday, May 3, 2013

Recycling Center Has New Hours of Operation

The summer hours start May 11, 2013.

New Milford History Uncovered In Goldring Building

Workers demolishing the interior of Slone's Pharmacy uncovered this terrific wall of subway tile.  Sources say that this was either from First National Food or Merchant Grocers.  Gary Goldring said that he is going to uncover the rest of the tile and preserve it.  The last picture is of Park Pharmacy, predecessor of Slone's.


Thursday, May 2, 2013

Gary Goldring Is Building A Treat For Downtown New Milford

As we speak, there's a lot of work being done on the building that last housed Slone's Pharmacy on the west side of the Green, the Northwest corner of Bank Street and West Main Street, to be exact.

The property was purchased recently by Gary Goldring who has taken a great deal of interest in improving Downtown New Milford and he's doing some great things to enhance our Town.

Take a look at the artist's rendering of the final product.  Look closely at the detail.  Then look at the pictures that I took today and you'll see some of the detail emerging from under layers of block and siding.  See the pointed caps?    This is going to look great.  I am looking forward to seeing that clocktower.  It will be a centerpiece for generations and will rival the one at Grand me at the Clock anyone?


Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Free Prescription Discount Card For All New Milford Residents

From the Mayor's Office, April 29, 2013:

A FREE Prescription discount card will be arriving in your mailbox shortly!

Mayor Pat Murphy is pleased to announce that The Town of New Milford, through its association with the Connecticut Conference of Municipalities (CCM), the statewide association of towns and cities, is now providing a new prescription discount card that will provide uninsured and underinsured residents steep savings on prescription medicines.

In early May, each residence in New Milford will receive a “Town of New Milford Prescription Discount Card” by direct mail which they may use at any participating retail pharmacy.  Cards may be used by all town residents regardless of age, income or existing health coverage.  There are no enrollment forms, membership fees, restrictions or limits on frequency of use for residents.  Cardholders and their family members are encouraged to use the cards any time their prescriptions are not covered by insurance.

The “Town of New Milford Prescription Drug Discount Card” helps residents save money on their prescription medications any time their prescription is not covered by insurance. 

This new prescription discount card will provide immediate fiscal relief at the pharmacy counter for uninsured and underinsured residents and offers the following features and benefits:

-- Anyone can participate regardless of age or income;
-- All prescription medications are covered including pet prescriptions that can be filled at a pharmacy;
-- There is no cost to the municipality or to participating residents;
-- Cost savings average 45%
-- There are over 63,000 participating pharmacies nationwide, including CVS, Rite-Aid,Walgreens, Wam-Mart, Stop and Shop, and Big Y, and many independent pharmacies;
-- Discounts are also offered on other medical services including vision, hearing and Lasik services.

More information can be found by calling 1-877-776-2285 or visiting .   Additional cards can also be printed by visiting, and selecting New Milford from the drop-down menu. 

Loaves and Fishes Should Move to Faith Church

Art Cummings is right about homelessness.   "There are no easy's a complicated and challenging issue," the News-Times Editor Emeritus wrote.  His comments were part of his series of Opinion pieces that, however insightful and thought-provoking, were bereft of some of the realities that make moving Loaves and Fishes from its present location to Faith Church a great idea.

Loaves and Fishes is a terrific organization that is staffed by wonderful, dedicated volunteers who work tirelessly to feed the down-and-out.  Most of its clients aren't homeless but people who migrate to New Milford from other towns or cities like Danbury, where there are State services, because they've been told that the food and shelter here are better than those that are available elsewhere.  Some drive.  Some take the bus.  Some are dropped off by the police from other local Towns, the majority of which have no services for the homeless at all.  One car even has New Jersey license plates.  Thus, New Milford has become an attraction because of the services that are offered here including the meals at Loaves and Fishes.  That's a good thing for those truly in need but it's a bad thing because we are also a dumping-ground for another type of "homeless."

Some of the Loaves and Fishes clients are convicted criminals.  Some have been arrested in New Milford.  There was a payphone on the Green that provided just enough shelter to allow people to urinate there repeatedly.  One such repeat offender was dubbed "The Urinator."   He was caught in the act by a photographer and the activity resulted in the removal of the phone.   He was a Loaves and Fishes client.

Parents and their kids have frequent problems in the Library with Loaves and Fishes clients who hang around there for shelter and bathroom use and some parents are afraid to bring their children there at all.  One parent told me in graphic terms that she and her daughter couldn't use the bathroom because of a problem created by someone who was there waiting for Loaves and Fishes to open.   Extra clean-up is frequently necessary for the bathroom, floors and furniture.

The Senior Center is in the same building as Loaves and Fishes.  There have been incidents of theft and other crimes committed against Seniors, some of whom are now afraid to come to the Center because of the Loaves and Fishes clients.  A very expensive, key-fob security system had to be installed because some clients used to hide in the upper floors of the building so that they could stay there overnight.     

Police resources are already stretched to their limits yet Officers are repeatedly called to address problems in the Building, stops are part of routine car and foot patrols and sometimes Officers must be posted at the site due to fighting among clients.  In the past year, there have been nine criminal complaints, ranging from minor breaches to trouble with clients, six ambulance calls and multiple parking problems.

About a half-dozen "homeless" are a repeated, heavy drain on the understaffed and overworked New Milford Community Ambulance.  It's my understanding that on just one day a short time ago there were three calls to the Green about inebriated persons.  Can you imagine the disaster if there had been a call at the same time for a person having a heart attack?

A lot of damage has been done over the years to the Town-owned property that houses Loaves and Fishes.  In addition to the physical damage, the personnel from the Town's Maintenance  Department frequently respond to maintenance issues like having to clean up feces and other body fluids in the bathroom floors and walls.   There is a great deal of wear and tear on carpets and furniture.  On one occasion, windows and doors were left open and pipes froze and burst. 

The Bandstand requires frequent maintenance because some of the Loaves and Fishes clients pass their waiting time digging and whittling into it.  Others harass strollers by panhandling or threatening.  Some block access to businesses or the sidewalks just for fun.  I know parents and grandparents who are afraid to walk their children and grandchildren around the Green because of these and other unfortunate behaviors.  Some business owners are afraid to report their problems to the Police because they fear retribution. 

You can easily imagine that this activity is very discouraging to people who visit the Downtown with the thought of opening a business.  The Town is working diligently to enhance commerce and this scares it away.

When Loaves and Fishes opened its doors long ago, most of the other services that are available today -- like the food pantry run by Social Services -- didn't exist to the extent that they do today and today the homeless problem is a lot bigger than free meals offered by a soup kitchen.  The Town has added personnel to Social Services and there are myriad programs at the Senior Center, Youth Agency and others to assist those truly in need.

The Town's Clergy have devoted countless resources and space in the struggle to find a resolution to the homeless problem, often to their own detriment.  I hope that they will speak up soon about the problems and let us all know if they support the move from its present location.   It's not very pleasant to have your wedding in one of our grand churches on the Green and have your guests meet the homeless on the way in and out.

For a very long time, the Town has been working to find a solution to the problem that works for the homeless, the taxpayers, the Downtown and local businesses and doesn't adversely affect the economic growth of the Town.  Faith Church has graciously and generously volunteered to host a new facility for the homeless and to provide them with other necessary services.  No one is trying to move Loaves and Fishes, they are just trying to find it a more suitable location.  The Faith Church idea is a win-win for all concerned and I wholly support giving free HART bus service to needy New Milford residents to get them there.  There are no easy answers.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Recycling Center Closed Today

The Recycling Center is closed today, Saturday.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Am I That Dumb? The Elimination of the Car Tax

Let me see if I got this right.  Governor Malloy said in his speech today that car taxes would be eliminated...Hooray!  Oops, wait a second.  Let me think about that.  New Milford -- like every Town -- has a Budget of $X.  That $X is raised by taxing vehicles, real property and personal property.  If the tax on vehicles is taken out of that equation, OOPS! real property and personal property taxes have to go up to raise that $X.

Well, you say, I'm a renter and I don't pay real property tax.  No?  Well, your Landlord does and guess what's going to happen.  Yes, your rent is going up.

What a cute sound bite.          

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Mayor: Town Working On School Security

This Press Release was issued by the Mayor today:

The tragic events of December 14, 2012 at Sandy Hook Elementary School have motivated all of us to take a second look at how we manage our school campus security.  To that end, our Community, School and Police agencies continue to review, upgrade, enhance and strengthen our policies, plans and infrastructure to meet today’s needs.  In addition, we have decided to hire an outside agency specializing in security to conduct a school vulnerability assessment of each campus.  Through this process our schools can continue the actions necessary to prevent, mitigate and lessen potential risks with continued development of customized school emergency management plans.  We appreciate your suggestions and your cooperation as we work collaboratively within our Community to keep our schools as safe as possible for our children.

Chief of Police Shawn Boyne was tasked by the Mayor to make recommendations for school security enhancements and he updated the Town Council last night in a warned executive session.  On her Editor's behalf, News-Times reporter Sue Tuz voiced an objection to the report being made in executive session even though Town Attorney Randy DiBella opined that the executive session was appropriate.

Section 1-200(6)(C) of the Connecticut General Statutes allows an agency to hold an executive session to discuss, among other topics, "matters concerning security strategy or the deployment of security personnel, or devices affecting public security."  I I think this could not be any clearer.  In addition, I think common sense dictates that the details of the Chief's plans should not be publicly aired; there's no sense in educating a would-be miscreant.