DEEP and DCP Urge Tree Health Assessment

Posted on October 15, 2018 by admin


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The Department of Energy and Environmental Protection and Department of Consumer Protection have recently released a notice urging homeowners to ‘make an assessment of risky dead trees’ while they still have leaves.

DEEP and DCP advise homeowners to look for the following:

Signs you have a risky dead tree

Most healthy hardwood trees would have retained their leaves until the end of September, while unhealthy or dead trees would have already shed or may have never produced leaves this growing season.  The lack of greenery during the growing season is clear indication a tree is dead and should be removed if it is a threat to property.

What you should do before hiring a contractor

  • Shop around: Get multiple quotes to ensure you are hiring the best person to work on your property.
  • Verify a contractor has the proper credential: Anyone making changes to your property, including removing trees, must have a home improvement contractor registration. If someone is doing more detailed work such as correctively pruning a tree, or doing other work associated with prolonging a tree’s life, they must have an Arborist’s license from DEEP.
  • Have a contract: Home improvement contractors are required to have a written contract with you before work may begin.

** It will be helpful to know how long the work is anticipated to take, the costs, the final outcome and what responsibilities you may have in the process**

  • Ask for references: Ask your potential contractor for references from homeowners who have had that contractor do tree removal work on their property.
  • Be aware of scams: Avoid contractors who display signs of being a scammer.

**If you have a complaint regarding a home improvement contractor that you haven’t been able to resolve by contacting that individual or business, you are encouraged to file a complaint with DCP by emailing dcp.complaints@ct.gov**

According to DEEP and DCP, starting in 2015, Connecticut experienced three consecutive years of expanding Gypsy moth caterpillar defoliation caused by dry springs.  This drought inhibited a moisture dependent soil fungus that solely impacts gypsy moth caterpillar from emerging. In addition, the statewide establishment of Emerald ash borer is causing extensive ash mortality.

Connecticut has been long recognized as having the highest WUI indices in the United States. WUI otherwise known as the Wildland-Urban Interface, is a term that recognizes the proximity of peoples’ homes to forests, wetlands and grasslands. A common term used in fire prone areas of the US, many are surprised at Connecticut’s WUI ranking which is caused by a high percentage of tree canopy cover over a densely populated area. WUI helps explain why so many Connecticut residents are impacted by forest pest outbreaks and severe storms.

DOT Public Meeting – Route 151 Bridge over Shady Brook in East Haddam

Posted on October 1, 2018 by admin


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Dear Friends and Neighbors,

I’m sharing a recent announcement from the State Department of Transportation regarding the Route 151 bridge over Shady Brook.  On October, 18th 7:00 p.m. at East Haddam Municipal Office Complex 1 Plains Road, Moodus, there will be a public meeting about the culvert replacement project. The project is expected to begin in 2021 and it is anticipated that the road will be closed to traffic for 2 weeks.

Read below for more information:

Public Information Meeting – Bridge No. 06887,

Route 151 over Shady Brook in East Haddam

Location: East Haddam Municipal Office Complex, Conference Rooms 1 & 2, 1 Plains Road, Moodus, CT  7:00 pm

The Department of Transportation (Department) will conduct a Public Information Meeting concerning the proposed replacement of Bridge No. 06887, Route 151 over Shady Brook, East Haddam.

The purpose of the project is to replace the existing 84-inch and 72-inch diameter ACCMP culverts with a 12-foot by 8-foot precast concrete box culvert with a depressed invert to accommodate a natural stream channel bottom through the structure. The existing structure needs to be replaced as the corrugated metal pipe is deteriorated and is showing areas of complete section loss.

It is anticipated the culvert replacement will require Route 151 to be closed to vehicular traffic for approximately two weeks.  During this time vehicles will be detoured via Route 149 to Route 82 to Route 151.

There are right-of-way impacts associated with the proposed improvements It is anticipated that three partial takes and three temporary construction easements will be required.

Construction is anticipated to begin in spring 2021 based on the availability of funding.  The estimated construction cost for this project is approximately $2.2 million.  This project is anticipated to be undertaken with 80 percent Federal Funds and 20 percent State funds.

The Public Information Meeting is being held to afford a full opportunity for public participation and to allow open discussion of any views and comments the community may have concerning this proposed project.

The meeting facility is ADA accessible.  Language assistance may be requested by contacting the Department’s Language Assistance Call Line at (860) 594-2109, requests should be made at least 5 business days prior to the meeting.  Persons with hearing and/or speech disabilities may dial 711 for Telecommunications Relay Service (TRS) and must instruct the operator to contact (860) 594-2243.  Language assistance is provided at no cost to the public and efforts will be made to respond to timely requests for assistance.

Plans of the proposed project will be on display for public review.  Department personnel will be available during the meeting to discuss this project.  More detailed information is available at the Department’s Office of Engineering, 2800 Berlin Turnpike, Newington, Connecticut, Monday through Friday between the hours of 8:30 a.m. and 4:00 p.m., excluding holidays.  Anyone wishing to discuss the project may contact Mr. Louis D. Bacho at (860) 594-3212 or by e-mail at Louis.Bacho@ct.gov.  Plans are also available for review at the town of East Haddam.

Location: East Haddam Municipal Office Complex, Conference Rooms 1 & 2, 1 Plains Road, Moodus, Connecticut 06469   7:00 PM

Contact: Louis Bacho, Bureau of Engineering and Construction
Email: louis.bacho@ct.gov
Phone: (860) 594-3212

CT Veterans Stand Down 2018

Posted on September 17, 2018 by admin


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On Friday, September 21st, the Connecticut Department of Veterans Affairs will be hosting the 2018 Stand Down event at the Rocky Hill Veterans’ Home from 8:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. Connecticut’s veterans deserve the services that they have earned.

Many community providers will have booths set up at the event with specialists to help veterans receive and learn about their earned service benefits, employment opportunities, medical screenings, and legal services.

Additional details are below:

  • Gates open at 8:00 a.m. Please arrive no later than 12:00 p.m.
  • No pre-registration required! Attendees are encouraged to bring documentation verifying military service
  • Recovery Based Services
  • Medical Screenings, Dental Services, Eye Care
  • Veteran Benefit Information (State and Federal)
  • Legal and Motor Vehicle Assistance
  • Employment and Educational Assistance
  • Housing Resources and Information
  • Free Bus Transportation provided at designated areas
  • Go to www.portal.ct.gov/DVA and click on “Stand Down 2018” or call 860-616-3803 for general information and the transportation schedule

Cottage Foods Laws

Posted on September 12, 2018 by admin


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Dear Friends & Neighbors,

As you know I have been a strong advocate for small businesses and cottage food producers. This session we passed legislation setting up the process for cottage producers to get licensed, sell their products and comply with food safety regulations.

The legislation takes effect October 1st and I am very excited to see this program get off the ground and help people grow their home businesses!

The Department of Consumer Protection has put together comprehensive resources to help you get started:

I would appreciate any feedback as this new program is rolled out. It has been a long effort to get to this point and I want to make sure that the process outlined in this legislation works for our home producers.

As always please feel free to contact my office with any issues you may have working with state agencies or questions you have about state government melissa.ziobron@housegop.ct.gov or (860) 240-8700.

Tax Free Week – August 19-25

Posted on August 9, 2018 by admin


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Dear Friends & Neighbors,

With the start of school just around the corner, I want to remind you to take advantage of the upcoming “Tax Free Week” which runs from Sunday, August 19 through Saturday, August 25.

This one-week event eliminates Connecticut’s 6.35 percent sales tax on clothing and footwear costing less than $100 per item.

Since sales tax is calculated after the use of any coupons or discounts, if the final price per item is less than $100, the sale is exempt from taxes. Clothing or footwear under $100 put on layaway is also tax-free.

Tax Free Week was first enacted in 2000, and applies to most clothing and footwear purchases intended for everyday use.

Goods not covered under the program include, but are not limited to:

  • Clothing or footwear specifically designed for athletic activities: football cleats, specialty boots for fishing, hiking, skiing and other activities, as well as wet suits, helmets and headbands, etc.
  • Accessories: jewelry, handbags, luggage, umbrellas, wallets, watches, etc.

Please consult with your local retailer, or contact the Department of Revenue Services for a list of qualifying and non-qualifying items.

Update on Tolls Study

Posted on July 26, 2018 by admin


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Dear Friends and Neighbors,

Today the State Bond Commission approved Governor Malloy’s request to borrow $10 million to study the installation of electronic tolls on Connecticut Highways. In response I have joined with my House Republican colleagues in petitioning for a special legislative session to take action and prohibit this costly and unnecessary expenditure.

During the past term legislation regarding electronic tolling was considered, but ultimately was not brought to the House for a vote due to a lack of support. Existing studies and analysis have shown that to reach the revenue goals as many as 78 tolls would have to be installed and that most of the burden would fall on in-state commuters.

I strongly support funding our transportation needs. That is why I supported a compromise budget that added new funding streams to the Special Transportation Fund and increased our current investment. I have also supported proposals to predictably and sustainably fund our transportation needs without raising taxes.

Read the Prioritize Progress Plan HERE.  

I would urge my colleagues regardless of party affiliation in the House and Senate to add their signatures to a petition for special session.