Rep. Smith Update: Emergency Road Closure for Rt. 37 North of Big Trail in Sherman

Posted on September 5, 2018 by rjoslyn


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Dear Friends & Neighbors,

Please see the message below from the Connecticut Department of Transportation regarding an emergency road closure of Rt. 37 in Sherman that may impact your travels.

 

 

Emergency Road Closure for Route 37 North of Big Trail in Sherman Due to Slope Failure

The Connecticut Department of Transportation is announcing the closure of Route 37 north of Big Trail for emergency repairs on Route 37 beginning on Thursday, September 6, 2018 at 9:00 AM in Sherman.  The closure will be in place for roughly two to three weeks while repairs for a slope failure between Route 37 and Quaker Brook are performed.

DOT Project No. 0127-0090 was awarded to Waters Construction Company at an estimated cost of $245,000.00 on August 17, 2018, and is scheduled to be completed by September 30, 2018.

A detour route will be signed for all through traffic to use Route 39 between Sherman and New Fairfield. Local traffic will be available south of Big Trail toward New Fairfield and north of Durgy Road toward Sherman.

Rep. Smith Signs Petition to Call a Special Session and Stop Governor’s $10 Million Toll Study

Posted on July 24, 2018 by rjoslyn


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HARTFORD – State Representative Richard Smith (R-108) today signed a petition to request a special session for the purpose of prohibiting the expenditure of taxpayer funds to study and evaluate the establishment of tolls in Connecticut.

Last week, Governor Dan Malloy issued an Executive Order directing the state Department of Transportation to prepare a plan implementing tolls and study its impacts. He is requesting to borrow $10 million for the study from the Bond Commission, which he chairs.

The study would explore tolls on all major Connecticut highways, including Interstates 95, 91, and 84, along with the Merritt and Wilbur Cross parkways. This past spring, the legislature refused to consider a similar study costing only $5 million.

“The General Assembly represents the will of the people of Connecticut, which is why for the past five years the legislature has heeded the public’s strong opposition and refused to support tolls on our highways,” said Rep. Smith.  “Now, our lame-duck governor wants to circumvent the legislative process and the will of the people by demanding to borrow $10 million in taxpayer money in order to study tolls, which would continue his ruinous policies that have brought Connecticut to the brink of financial collapse.  Instead of spending money we cannot afford to waste, how about looking for ways to improve our economy without increasing taxes or adding new fees? I, along with my republican colleagues, have offered alternatives to fixing our crumbling infrastructure without the imposition of tolls, but the governor’s need to spend your money is insatiable.”

“Enough is enough. That is why it is imperative the legislature convene a special session and put a stop to the governor’s unilateral request to borrow more money as he prepares to head out the door in January.  I hope my colleagues will join me to help protect taxpayers and commuters alike,” added Rep. Smith.

The State Bond Commission is scheduled to meet on Wednesday, July 25.

Rep. Smith Update: Saying “No” to the Governor’s Request for $10 Million to Study Tolls

Posted on July 19, 2018 by rjoslyn


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Dear Friends & Neighbors,

As you may have heard, Governor Malloy this week announced he is requesting $10 million in borrowed money to pay for a study on the impact of electronic tolling in Connecticut.

Toll legislation has been considered by the General Assembly each of the past five years, and it has never gotten a floor vote.  Thus far, significant public opposition to putting another financial burden on Connecticut taxpayers has prevented its passage in the legislature.

In the face of that opposition and despite several studies done prior, the governor nonetheless issued an Executive Order to proceed with a study that he says will show us what a toll proposal would look like and how much it would cost commuters.  I can tell you right now we don’t need a $10 million study to figure out that tolls will place yet another serious financial burden on our residents.

What we should be studying are ways to reduce the tax burden on families and businesses, not more ways to collect revenue from them.

In that vein, Republicans sent a proposal to Governor Malloy to address our transportation needs without imposing tolls – proposals that have clearly been ignored.

To that point, I would like to share with you a letter my colleagues – House Minority Leader Themis Klarides and Finance Committee Ranking Member Chris Davis – wrote to the governor asking him to remove the request from the Bonding Commission’s agenda.

I stand with my Republican colleagues in urging the Bond Commission to refuse the governor’s $10 million request as well.

The Commission is scheduled to meet on July 25.

Click on the image below to read the full letter:

 

Rep. Smith: Storm Recovery Update

Posted on July 3, 2018 by rjoslyn


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As our communities continue to recover from the unexpected and devastating storm that hit our part of Connecticut in May, I wanted to update you on the status of storm recovery efforts and clarify the degree of anticipated help from FEMA.

Here are the estimates of the storm damage I received from New Fairfield (subject to change):

  • Debris Removal (assumes 50,000 yards of chipped debris, final disposal  and monitors)  $3,250,000.00
  • Storm Related Costs (Shelter, overtime, equipment, fuel, etc. as of 6/15)  $144,000.00
  • Estimated Home Damage (provided by approx. 220 homeowners, includes property damage estimates and tree removal estimates) $2,500,000.00

 

In the Town of Sherman, $50,000.00 – broken out by public roads and does not include volunteer hours.

New Fairfield, Sherman, and New Milford have each hired contractors and cleanup is underway.

  • Sherman has finished clearing debris from all town roads and some private roads
  • New Fairfield’s debris removal began on Monday and is estimated to continue until August 8, though this could change
  • In Danbury, cleanup is expected to begin after the Fourth of July holiday

 

Officials in New Fairfield, Sherman, New Milford and Danbury have been in touch with FEMA in regards to obtaining federal assistance for public land, roads and utilities.We hope to know soon how much FEMA funding each town will qualify for.

Private/non-profit organizations can also attempt to secure federal assistance for disaster management and recovery.  Visit this link for information from the State of Connecticut on how to apply.

FEMA also has information on applicant eligibility and the steps involved with receiving assistance, available here. Relevant information can be found on pages “9” and “54.”

I have been working in concert with local officials to make sure we receive as much aid as our communities will need.

If you are aware of an unresolved issue from the storm or have questions about applying for federal assistance, please do not hesitate to contact my office and I will be happy to help. You can send me an email at richard.smith@housegop.ct.gov or give me a phone call at 800-842-1423.

Rep. Smith Challenges Legislative Democrats for “Failing to Stand Up” to Governor Malloy

Posted on June 28, 2018 by rjoslyn


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HARTFORD – State Representative Richard Smith (R-108) criticized legislative Democrats on Monday for refusing to override Governor Dan Malloy’s veto of a bill prohibiting future governors from making cuts to education aid in the middle of a fiscal year.

Although there was enough support in the House on a 103-33 vote margin to override the governor’s veto, the override effort failed to achieve 2/3rd support in the Senate and was unsuccessful, meaning Governor Malloy’s veto will stand.  The legislature also failed to override vetoes on several other pieces of legislation that passed this year when Senate Democrats sided with Governor Malloy.

Public Act 18-35 was legislation intended to prevent a Connecticut governor from withholding Education Cost Sharing funds promised to a municipality for the school year, and was a key priority for Rep. Smith.

“This was a common-sense bill that took an executive power away from the governor that severely hurt towns and school district in our community by cutting funding in the middle of the fiscal year, so it is unfortunate these Democratic members chose to stand with Governor Malloy in opposition,” said Rep. Smith.  “The legislature needs  to take steps to ensure predictability and stability not just for the sake of local schools, but for taxpayers and businesses who are trying to remain in Connecticut.  Failing to override other vetoes – like offering a tax credit to manufacturers who train new workers – shows misplaced priorities.  I am determined to pursue common sense policies like this one to support families and businesses in upper Fairfield County.”

All seven of the governor’s vetoes were sustained in a special session of the General Assembly on Monday.

Rep. Smith and Sen. McLachlan Honor President’s Award Winners at the Sherman School

Posted on June 14, 2018 by rjoslyn


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SHERMAN – State Representative Richard Smith (R-108) and State Senator Michael McLachlan (R-24) attended a ceremony in honor of three Sherman School students who won the President’s Award for Education Excellence & Achievement. The two legislators joined middle school students and staff to celebrate the achievements of the graduating eighth-grade class and present state citations honoring the winners of the President’s Award.

The President’s Education Awards program is awarded on behalf of the President of the United States and the US Secretary of Education in recognition of US students for their educational achievements. To receive the President’s Award for Education Excellence, students must meet a minimum GPA of 4.0, while the award for Educational Achievement is given to a student who demonstrates “education growth, improvement, commitment, or intellectual development.”

Sherman School eighth-graders Kate O’Farrell and Liam Scanlon received the President’s Award for Education Excellence. Eilish Foy won the award for Educational Achievement.

“I am very proud of all of the accomplishments of our middle schoolers here at the Sherman School – they all have worked diligently to get to where they are now and set themselves up for a successful high school career,” said Rep. Smith. “The winners of the prestigious President’s Award deserve special praise for going above and beyond the call of duty to achieve excellence and they deserve special recognition in this way. Congratulations and best of luck to Kate, Liam, Eilish, and all of our students at the Sherman School. I am sure they will continue to make us proud.”

“The President’s Award sets a high bar for our students,” said Sen. McLachlan.  “The fact that we have two winners for Education Excellence and a winner for Educational Achievement in the same school speaks to the quality of education provided by Sherman School and the dedication of the students who attend.  It was an honor to meet these young people.  I hope their achievements and the recognition they received will be an incentive to other students.”