Foster Care Awareness Month
I have found a profound sense of gratitude that I was raised by really great parents. I can only imagine the impact a caring foster parent can make in a child’s life in their time of need. I learned from the kind folks over at Family & Children’s Aid in Danbury that May is foster care awareness month.
In addition to the tons of services and resources they offer to Bethel residents, including mental health care, they also recruit and license foster parents. If you have any interest in making a lifetime of difference for a child, there are plenty of short term and permanent foster care opportunities to make an impact. Please visit https://www.fcaweb.org/ or contact Mindy at 1-888-You-Belong.
In a meeting this week with the Chair of Sustainable Bethel and Sustainable CT, we took the first steps toward launching our energy benchmarking program. Soon we will have a greater ability to track our monthly energy use in town buildings in a way that will identify which buildings are performing well and those that do not. This will all be made possible through Sustainable CT at no cost to Bethel residents.
If you like taking pictures around town, please send us a few. The best ones will make it into the upgraded website in the next few months.
St. Mary School Annual Carnival
Looking out my window this week has been quite a sight to see, with the St. Mary School Annual Carnival in full swing! The carnival is open Tonight, Friday, May 19th from 6pm to 10 pm, Saturday from 4 pm to 10 pm, and Sunday from 4 to 8 pm. Sunday is the final day, so take advantage of the opportunity for some family fun!
Memorial Day Parade
This Sunday, May 21st is the day Bethel celebrates Memorial Day. Of course, the big event is the Bethel Memorial Day Parade that steps off at 2:00 pm in the West end of Greenwood Ave. near Whitlock’s Restaurant. The parade will continue East to PT Barnum Square, turn North in front of Burgers N’ Bites and Famous Pizza, and then turn West on School Street. The parade will end in front of the Municipal Center and be followed immediately with a ceremony hosted by our Veteran’s groups.
Memorial Day Ceremonies
In addition to the parade, there are other Memorial Day ceremonies on Sunday:
11:00 am - Stony Hill Fire Company, Memorial Service, 59 Stony Hill Rd.
12:00 pm – Bethel Veteran’s Groups, Wreath Laying Ceremony, Doughboy Statue in PT Barnum Square
Immediately following: Bethel Veteran’s Groups, Wreath Laying Ceremony, Soldier and Sailors Monument in Center Cemetery, South Street next to the Bethel Fire Department.
12:00 pm – Bethel Police Department, Memorial Ceremony, 12 Judd Ave.
12:45 pm – Bethel Fire Department, Memorial Ceremony, 36 South Street.
SLOW DOWN FOR WORK ZONES….ROAD CONSTRUCTION AHEAD!
The town of Bethel Highway Dept. is installing and repairing stormwater drainage on the following roads in preparation for the installation of a new asphalt surface course. The drainage work will continue through early June with paving starting in mid June, weather permitting.
Legislation in Hartford
I intended to send out a separate update, but I decided to include a little in the next few updates instead.
HB 5003 An Act Concerning Educational Funding in Connecticut – Bethel has historically been underfunded by the state for education through the Education Cost Sharing (ECS) grant. HB 5003 will move up the date for fully funding ECS to FY 2025. Passage of this bill could be a big help to Bethel students, families, and educators by giving them the resources they need.
HB 6486 An Act Concerning Extended Producer Responsibility for Tires – You may have seen a shout out a few weeks back to some amazing Bethel residents that cleaned up an illegal tire dump out at Francis J Clarke Industrial Park. These illegal dumping incidents are becoming all to common, including a duping of hundreds of tires in Trumbull this week. Basically, the $5 consumers pay to dispose of tires is pocketed my unscrupulous haulers and the tires are left for us to clean up. This bill would create a stewardship program to work with the tire industry and hold bad actors accountable.
Housing Bills – there are a number of bills being considered in Hartford and my biggest concern is some hybrid of all the bad ones will be up for a vote soon. We thought the 8-30g statute was hard to manage, the “Fair Share” bill sets impossible goals for towns to reach, which results opening up the entire town of Bethel to multifamily dwellings with no influence from Planning and Zoning. It also gives legal standing to outside groups and developers that actually incentivize lawsuits against Bethel. The Work, Live, Ride TOD bill could mandate 20 units per acre of housing downtown.
Food Truck Friday
The first Food Truck Friday is coming back on June 2nd on the Municipal Center Lawn from 5 pm to 8 pm. Stay tuned for more info on the biweekly event including entertainment, food options, and more! Other dates are June 16th, July 7th, August 4th, and August 18th, so mark your calendars!
Bethel Middle School Ambassadors
A BIG shout out and special thanks to the Bethel Middle School Ambassadors who came to visit Town Hall! Thanks for the really great questions. Your feedback and ideas, especially on the Teen Center, will be really helpful to the town! In addition, if there are businesses out there looking for some summer help, please let me know. There are still a few eager folks looking for something to do this summer.
Have a great weekend!