PLAINVILLE - The Town Council has set a public hearing for its Oct. 7 meeting on plans to cut sewer user fees this year form the originally proposed 4.8% to 2%.
In 2016, the town had initially planned to have annual increases of 4.8% a year for 10 years to the sewer user fees. This was a result of state mandated water pollution control facility upgrades intended to reduce phosphorus levels.
“The idea was the town would maintain three months of operations expenses in the unassigned fund balance,” said Town Manager Robert E. Lee in his report. “Last year, after a review, the council determined we could do a 3.5 percent increases through 2026 while maintaining this funding level. Town staff is now recommending a 2 percent increase this year and the following five years. The fund balance is currently at a significant level where this is possible.”
Lee said that the unassigned fund balance stood at $9.12 million as of June 30, which he said is approximately 15 percent of anticipated revenues.
Town Council Chair Kathy Pugliese said she is pleased by the proposed lesser increase.
“It’s always nice to get a reduced amount instead of going in the other direction,” she said.
Lee later said that the phosphorus upgrade project along with the renovations at Wheeler School are coming in under budget.
“I anticipate that we will not use much of the contingency funds,” he said.
Lee also announced that a new date, Saturday, Oct. 5, has been selected for the Historic Bus Tour in celebration of the town’s 150th anniversary. The tour was originally planned for this summer, but it was canceled due to extreme heat.
“Buses will leave the Municipal Center lot starting at 10 a.m. and leaving every half hour,” said Lee. “The tours will be offered until 3 p.m. They will take about an hour. Volunteers will be riding on the buses describing the historic sites. People who go on the tour will also get booklets with pictures and information.”
Lee also said the town’s annual Pumpkin Festival will be held, rain or shine, Oct. 19 from 4 to 8 p.m. downtown. The event will be free to enter.
“There will be live music, a kids’ costume parade, kids’ games, a pie eating contest, food trucks, a Haunted House and 50 vendors,” said Lee.
For more information, people can visit plainvillepumpkinfest.com.
At the start of the meeting, Pugliese acknowledged the recent death of a fifth grader at Toffolon Elementary School, Axel Ouellette, who had been diagnosed with leukemia.
“He had received a lot of support and now he is out of pain and suffering,” said Pugliese.
Pugliese said that The Field of Plumbing and Heating at 123 W. Main St. is collecting donations on behalf of the family. People can call the store at 860-793-2864 for more information.
Deb Hardy, chair of the Board of Education, also announced during her report that David Levenduski had been selected Aug. 23 to become the new assistant superintendent of schools. He succeeds Steve LePage, who became superintendent of schools after Maureen Brummett left to become superintendent in Newington. Hardy described Levenduski as “like a clone” of LePage.
Hardy added that LePage “flew into his position” July 1 and “his feet haven’t touched the ground since.” She said that he has been making rounds, frequently visiting local schools.
Hardy also congratulated Marilyn Speranza, a music teacher at Linden Street School, who was named Teacher of the Year this year in June.
Brian M. Johnson can be reached at 860-973-1806 or firstname.lastname@example.org.