Brookfield First Selectman Bill Tinsley has delivered his State of the Town address. Tinsley started out his half hour address by acknowledging what he called an obstacle, unnecessary and in Brookfield's way of achieving full potential and completely within local control to resolve.
"Some of the experiences and surfaced surprises of the past several years have served to magnify divisions and create trust issues among us. These must be attended to. While we must work to rebuild trust, I don't believe it is possible to do so without thoughtful, serious and respectful dialogue."
Tinsley says he wants to engage in respectful, face to face dialogue.
He says the town is set to meet budgetary needs for next year without increasing the property tax rate. Tinsley says the budget setting season has only begun, and a few significant unknowns still exist. He says that includes the level of funding that will come from the state.
Tinsley says decline in age demographic across the state must be solved. He says part of that can be tax mandate relief for young people. With the aging population, Brookfield has to evaluate and possibly expand programs and operating hours of the Senior Center.
Tinsley said this week that the Board of Education will soon conduct Phase 2 of a demographic study aimed at guiding decisions about school facilities. He is concerned with the condition of Huckleberry Hill Elementary School.
When it comes to traffic on Federal Road, Tinsley says it's a good news bad news scenario. Yes, the traffic is bad. But he says that means people are out and spending money to help the local economy.
He says there needs to be consensus about the future of the library. Among the questions are: if the town needs a new library, what functions should it serve, the best location, and how it would it be paid for.
Tinsley says a town center at the Four Corners is coming to fruition. By the early part of May, residents will see demolition of several buildings to make way for a private, $22 million mixed use development there. By 2016, the first two buildings of eight should be completed. Also during that time, there will be roadways, sidewalks and street scaping done in the Four Corners area. STEAP grant and LOCIP funding will help pay for the $1.5 million project.
During that time, Tinsley says he hopes to start and finish construction on the Still River Greenway. 20 percent local funding is matched by a federal DOT grant for a total $2.2 million. The Greenway will extend from Junction Road to Route 202 by the Newtown Center.