PLAINVILLE - The Town Council honored Dan Hurley, the longtime chairman of the Memorial Day Parade Committee, who is retiring after 34 years, with a proclamation Monday.
Town Council Chair Kathy Pugliese praised Hurley for his help in making the parade successful since 1985.
“Thank you for your leadership, your guidance, your compassion and your volunteer spirit,” she said. “Hopefully, you will enjoy the parade next year sitting in the front row, somewhere comfortable in the shade.”
Hurley said it was “humbling” to be recognized by the council.
“We have a town full of people who are patriotic,” said Hurley. “They volunteer, they step forward and help, and if they didn’t, none of this would ever happen. I am grateful for the opportunity to serve and I thank the town for all the years of support it has given me.”
Three of four school Memorial Day essay contest winners read their essays at the meeting. The contest is held every year at the local elementary schools and the Middle School of Plainville.
Each winner, chosen by their school, received $50 and got to read their essays at a ceremony after the Memorial Day parade. The students thanked soldiers for sacrificing for their freedoms, acknowledged family members who had served and discussed the history of the holiday.
Before the meeting, during a work session, Town Manager Robert E. Lee told the council that a $130,000 state grant that had been budgeted into the $310,000 capital improvement budget would not be coming.
Lee said that the state is not requiring the town to pay $107,000 for teacher retirements in this budget, so he suggested the money set aside for that purpose to be used to cover some of the costs. The remaining $23,000, he suggested, would be covered by an additional appropriation.
Lee said the council would not have to make a decision right away. It could be done by the end of next year.
Councilor Dan Carrier said he was comfortable with Lee’s idea for making up the funds.
Councilor Chris Wazorko said he also is OK with Lee’s plan and wants to start a special fund for teacher retirement costs.
Councilor Rosemary Morante also said she would support Lee’s plan.
Councilor Jesse Gnazzo agreed, but warned against budgeting while assuming grants will be given to the town before the money is received.
Pugliese said she wants to study the issue further before making a final decision.
No action was taken at the meeting.
The council also discussed the proposed second phase of the five-year, $5 million road repair project. A public hearing was set for the council’s July 15 meeting.
“I think that there’s unanimous support from the council for the second phase of the road bond project,” said Pugliese.
The town will complete the last year of the previous road repair project this year. It focused on roads that hadn’t been resurfaced in more than 30 years.
This second phase of the project, if approved, will cover roads that haven’t been repaved since the mid-1980s and early 1990s. Those could include Homestead Avenue, Ciccio Court, Beckwith Drive, Maiden Lane, Canal Street and a portion of Redstone Hill to Town Line Road.
The council also approved additional appropriations of $400,000 to cover police overtime and $40,000 to address a pension payment.
A Department of Energy and Environmental Protection-mandated ordinance requiring the town to monitor illegal discharges into the sewer system was also approved after a public hearing.
Town Manager Robert E. Lee said town departments would be taking care of a lot of the costs “in house” by having staff assume more duties. However, the town will still have to pay about $5,000 a year for sampling and testing.
During the public hearing, resident John Kisluk, who frequently speaks at council meetings, said the town needs to have the ordinance.
“We can’t have businesses dumping hazardous materials down into our sewers,” he said.
Brian M. Johnson can be reached at 860-973-1806 or firstname.lastname@example.org.