Jun 28, 2023

Woodbury Selectmen Approve Roller Shade Project at Center

WOODBURY — The Board of Selectmen approved a Senior Community Center project, two transfers and a motorcycle ride at a meeting on Thursday, May 25.

Debbie Chester, representing the Friends of the Senior Community Center, was present to request approval for the Roller Shade Project, an effort to install blackout shades for the 22 windows of the O&G Room at the Woodbury Senior Community Center, 281 Main St. South.

With assistance from interior designer Judy Ricciardi of Put It Together LLC, Ms. Chester provided the board with a quote for custom-made shades from Porter Preston in Waterbury for $2,771. The Friends of the Senior Center will cover the cost.

The board moved to approve the project with gratitude. First Selectman Barbara Perkinson said that the shades will make viewing screenings in the room much more enjoyable. Selectman Karen Reddington-Hughes noted Ms. Ricciardi's offer of a 40 percent discount for the project.

Ms. Perkinson presented a request to the board from Dana Natrillo, Woodbury's acting animal control officer, to transfer $800 from the Professional Medical Services budget line to the Building Improvement budget line within the Animal Services Department budget.

The transfer would cover the cost of a heavy plastic, six-by-five-foot shed that would be used for outdoor storage of equipment within the fenced area of the animal services building. Due to changing state regulations increasing the size of dog kennels, storage inside the building will be more limited.

Ms. Perkinson said that a zoning permit is not required, according to Town Planner Will Agresta.

Selectman George Hale expressed concern that the shed would be big enough to meet the needs of animal control not just now but in the future. He also wanted to ensure that the shed was well-built and asked if Building Maintainer Ed McGrath had evaluated the choice of the shed that would be purchased.

Ms. Perkinson said that he had, and the motion to approve the transfer passed unanimously.

The board also moved unanimously to approve a $3,000 pay plan budget transfer to compensate Parks and Recreation Administrative Clerk Judy Bennett for additional work she completed while Parks and Recreation Director Jami Gore was on maternity leave.

Mr. Hale asked if the amount of additional compensation was calculated based on a particular formula. He wanted to ensure that other employees, when taking on additional duties during a co-worker's leave of absence in a similar situation, would be compensated in the same manner to be consistent.

While the $3,000 was a lump sum, Ms. Perkinson explained that the amount was calculated according to the additional hours Ms. Bennett worked.

The board moved unanimously to approve a Dream Ride state police-escorted motorcycle ride for approximately eight miles through Woodbury towards Watertown on Sunday, August 27.

During public comment, resident Paul Zulpa, who is on the Board of Finance, proposed that selectmen form an ad hoc committee to address the town's IT infrastructure. Similar to how the Public Building Commission helps to manage town buildings, the committee would advise the town in the best use of technology.

Mr. Zulpa suggested the committee be formed of people who have working knowledge and familiarity with software, data storage and IT security. They would be able to advise in the research and selection of software, the creation of IT policies and help identify gaps in the current infrastructure.

He provided the example of the Public Works Department, which is currently researching road tracking software, something the committee could assist with.

Ms. Perkinson thanked him for his suggestion and said she would contact VANCORD regarding high security concerns.

Resident Kathy Doyle expressed concern that the Route 6 Corridor Steering Ad Hoc Committee had not met for almost one year. She pointed out the need for the study to be started soon to maintain the possibility of using ARPA funding to correct any issues the study may find.

She also expressed disappointment that the cost of two floodgates had not been included in the upcoming year's budget.

Ms. Perkinson said that she could not include them in the budget because she did not have any information about the costs. She is also looking for grants.

Ms. Doyle suggested installing road signs warning people of frequent flooding until the floodgates can be completed.

Upon asking why the building maintenance line item in the 2023-2024 budget had been reduced from $80,000 to $60,000, Ms. Perkinson told Ms. Doyle that in order to ensure enough funding in the budget for interior renovations at the Parks and Recreation building, she had to cut the funding to the general building maintenance line item on the basis of Board of Finance remarks.

While the board did not make new appointments to any boards, commissions or committees, two vacancies remain on the Shade Tree and Sidewalk Committee and one each on the Board of Assessment Appeals, Building Code Board of Appeals and the Inland Wetlands and Watercourses Agency.

Ms. Perkinson shared a letter received from Russell Blair on Orton Lane commending police officer Mark DeFeo for his work resolving a recent conflict between two parties. She noted that Woodbury has great police officers in town.

She reported that a sprinkler had broken at Hollow Park, leading to an emergency repair in order to prevent $25,000 worth of newly installed sod from being lost. She thanked Mr. McGrath and Superintendent of Parks Mike Lodice for their efforts in the repair.

Ms. Reddington-Hughes shared about the program Fatherhood Initiative, which encourages fathers to be more involved in their children's lives. The Fatherhood Initiative offers a program that can allow fathers paying child support the opportunity to pay something rather than nothing when facing financial duress.

She asked Ms. Perkinson to forward the information to the director of social services.

Ms. Perkinson reminded residents that dogs must be kept on leash according to town ordinance.

Ms. Perkinson began the meeting with a moment of silence for the passing of volunteer firefighter Ralph Panagrosso.

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