THURSDAY MORNING UPDATE

BUDGET PETITIONS SUBMITTED

Two petitions to send the city’s 90-million dollar budget to referendum have been submitted to the New London city clerk’s office. The spending plan increases the tax rate by more than nine-percent. Petitioner Dan McSparrin says that doesn’t sit well with local residents.  “We as citizens have the right to question our government.  We can’t just roll over.”  McSparrin says the city’s 41-point-7 million dollar education budget really sticks in his craw. In his opinion, the school district has too many highly-paid administrators and not enough teachers. McSparrin says he expects the petitions to be certified by the city clerk sometime in the next two weeks.

 

VOLUNTEERS STEP UP

George Whitney, who has a lease to run the Waterford Speedbowl, put out a call for volunteers to help get the track ready and locals responded. For those who showed up, fans and drivers alike, they say the love of the sport was key to their excitement about the new season and prompted them to help out. The arrest of owner Bruce Bemer on sex trafficking-related charges in March did not stop the season and supporters hope that it has not deterred people from coming out. The first scheduled race is June 24th.

 

DOG PARK GONE

Last night, the Stonington Board of Selectmen agreed, unanimously, to settle a lawsuit filed by a couple against an “illegal dog park” in the borough. The agreement calls for the town to remove signs that state that dogs can be off leash and adding those that state they must be leashed . Also, a gate will be locked in the “open” position. The property next to the sewer treatment plant will still be open to the public just not as a dog park.

 

CAR TAXES DELAYED

The Norwich City Council approved a city budget on Monday using guesswork on anticipated state revenue. As a result, tax bills will be mailed by the usual date of July 1st. However, tax officials cannot do the same for motor vehicle tax bills. The Council has approved a resolution delaying those taxes until October 1st. City officials have no way of estimating the vehicle tax rate until the state passes a budget, because there are too many variables to consider.

 

DOLLIVER GETS A RAISE

Norwich Schools Superintendent Abby Dolliver and nearly 200 other non-union school system employees received a 2% raise late on Tuesday. The Board of Education also concluded it’s performance evaluation of the superintendent and voted in favor of a positive evaluation. Dolliver said yesterday that she “appreciates their faith” in her and that she is committed to the position and to the students and their families. She also received a contract extension.

 

NO SWIMMING YET

Spaulding Pond in Norwich’s Mohegan Park is not open for swimming, yet. The reason, a delay in the hiring of lifeguards due to the possibility of the pond closing because of budget cuts. Now that the budget has been finalized, the city is actively recruiting lifeguard positions. Once the full staff, five lifeguards and a supervisor, is in place, they will open for the season.