GRAND LIST INCREASE
The 2022 Town’s Grand List grew $652,715,407, an increase of 29.23% over the prior year. The growth rate was primarily due to the revaluation and the increased value of residential property. Connecticut law requires that all property be revalued for assessment purposes every five years. The purpose of this requirement is to insure uniformity in real property valuations by eliminating inequities that may have developed since the previous revaluation. The grand list factors into the Town’s mill rate calculation as we continue through the budgeting process.
As First Selectman, it is very important to me to create a responsible budget for our Town. Southbury’s 2023-2024 budget was completed having only a 2.51% increase over our current year and was approved by the Board of Selectman at their March 2nd meeting. During this time of increased inflationary pressures such as: rising gas prices, increasing supplies and materials costs, and the increase in minimum wage, I feel this a very respectful town budget. It will increase town services while staying well below the current U.S. inflation rate of 6.4%. The budget also includes an additional police officer which brings the total number of officers in Southbury to 25; the most police officers in our Town’s history. When I took office in 2017, there were only 17 officers on staff. The Town budget will now go to the Board of Finance and then the Public for their vote.
SOUTHBURY’S PLAN OF CONSERVATION & DEVELOPMENT (POCD)
Southbury’s POCD, including the PA 490 updates approved by the Board of Selectman, was adopted by the Planning Commission on February 21st. The new POCD is effective as of March 1st. The complete POCD document is posted on our website and printed copies will be available in the Land Use Office by the end of next week.
SOUTHBURY PUBLIC LIBRARY SURVEY
I encourage residents to participate in the library survey. By doing so, you will help guide us in shaping our library’s Strategic Plan. The plan is a guiding document that outlines the library’s goals and priorities over the next 3 to 5 years. To take the survey, please visit www.southburylibrary.org/blog-entries/southbury-public-library-survey.
The Center for Research & Public Policy (CRPP) presented the results of the 2023 Southbury Community Survey regarding the future of the town pool at Ballantine Park. The full reports of the phone & online survey are posted on the Town website for your review. Thank you to all our residents who participated.
Silver Petrucelli is working on revised quotes for the pool options. A new quote is also being provided based on the pool survey results with the features residents felt most important.
UPCOMING PARKS AND RECREATION EVENTS & PROGRAMS
Spring Egg Hunt
All children up to 12 years of age are invited to Southbury’s Spring Egg Hunt at Ballantine Park, Saturday, April 1 at 10:00 a.m. sharp. There is no fee but all participants are asked to bring a non-perishable food item to support the Southbury Food Bank.
Candy Counting Contest
Stop by the Parks & Recreation office during business hours before April 1st to guess the number of candies in the jar. Whoever guesses closest to the count will win the candy! The winner will be notified the first week of April. Good luck!
Programs & Classes
Pick up a new hobby or sport for yourself or sign up your children for camps, swimming lessons and more. Our Parks and Rec has something for everyone. Go to southburyct.myrec.com to view programs and register.
SENIOR CENTER DIRECTOR RECEPTION
Last week I attended the Senior Center Director’s Reception. Southbury Seniors were excited to welcome our new Director, Andrea Corcoran. Senior Center staff did an excellent job coordinating and hosting this well-attended event. Ms. Corcoran brings extensive experience to the Southbury Senior Center having worked at several Connecticut senior centers and senior living facilities. She holds a Master of Science degree in Nonprofit Management & Philanthropy as well as a Bachelor of Arts in Human Development & Family Studies with Minors in Sociology and Gerontology. I’m confident the Senior Center is in good hands with Ms. Corcoran.
Although our area is facing a highly competitive job market, I am happy to report the Town of Southbury is continuing to attract exceptionally qualified candidates.
I’m very excited to announce our new Tax Collector, Azra Sholtes, started her position earlier this week. Ms. Sholtes’ credentials include an M.B.A. in Finance and B.S. Degree in Accounting. She is a Certified Connecticut Municipal Collector with over 10 years combined experience working in two different municipal tax collector and fiscal offices. Please join me in welcoming her to Town Hall.
Current Full-Time Employment Opportunities
The Town of Southbury Police Department is hiring a Full-Time Emergency Dispatcher. The position is 40 hours per week and includes a comprehensive benefits package. Applications are available at www.PoliceApp.com/SouthburyCT. The deadline for receiving applications is March 10, 2023.
Seasonal Employment Opportunities
We are currently accepting applications for Seasonal Positions in our Public Works and Parks and Rec Departments. Please go to our website www.southbury-ct.org/employment for more details and to apply.
RESTAURANTS IN THE NEWS
Two Southbury restaurants were awarded Best in Connecticut in their specialties.
On February 7th, Laurel Diner (thelaureldiner.com) was featured in a spot on WFSB’s television news show “Great Day @ 9” honoring their designation by Food & Wine magazine as Connecticut’s Best Diner. It’s wonderful to see one of Southbury’s restaurants get national recognition by such a prestigious magazine. To view the clip go to www.wfsb.com/video/2023/02/07/best-diner-ct.
Another local restaurant receiving accolades is Lucas Local Oyster Bar (lucaslocalct.com) who received recognition in Connecticut Magazine’s 2023 Best of Connecticut January issue. The winning results were based on the magazine’s annual reader survey and selections from their panel of experts. They received awards in three categories: Best Raw Bar in Connecticut, Best Hidden Gem in New Haven County and Statewide Runner-up for Best Seafood Restaurant in Connecticut.
Congratulations to the owners and staff at Laurel Diner and Lucas Local for being recognized as Best in Connecticut and for bringing award-winning food to Southbury and area residents!
UPCOMING 350th ANNIVERSARY MARCH EVENTS
We are continuing to move full speed ahead with our year-long 350th anniversary celebration. Learn more about the 350th Celebration at www.southbury-ct.org/350.
Southbury Civic Day
You are invited to join us at the Southbury Town Hall from 1-3pm on Saturday, March 11th for Civic Day. Our 350th Anniversary Committee has done a great job organizing this program.
Town Historian, John Dwyer and former Town Clerk of Southbury Lynn Dwyer, will present “Historical Events Impacting Southbury Government: Tales from the Town Journals” on the influence key historical events, such as the Civil War and WWII, had on government. I will join in to discuss “Governing through Historic Challenges” like the ones we experienced during the tornado and COVID.
Special guest, artist David K. Merrill, who painted the mural in Town Hall depicting 42 scenes of Southbury, will provide a tour and discussion of his work. A book of David’s murals will be available for purchase with an opportunity to have it signed by the artist. Notecards featuring a selection of paintings from the Southbury Town Hall mural will also be sold with proceeds benefiting the Southbury Historical Society.
Tours of the Town Hall will be offered, including the Town Clerk’s vault where both current Town Clerk, Alice Maisano, and previous Town Clerk, Lynn Dwyer, will be on hand to explain the memorable artifacts and historic documents of Southbury contained inside.
Lastly, in the spirit of Civic Day, residents can register to vote and sign up for various volunteer opportunities. The Town welcomes and encourages your participation in Town commissions, boards and events. Refreshments will be served. Preregistration is required at www.southbury-ct.org/350-event-registration.
A history talk titled “The Irish in Southbury” will be presented on Saturday, March 25 at 1:00pm in the Southbury Library. Preregistration is required at www.southburylibrary.org/event/person-irish-southbury.