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Friday: 8:00 am to 1:00 pm
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Brodie Beach sailboat on water, lifeguard chair and people on the beach

First Selectman’s Corner – June 5, 2020

After months of hard work….and a lot of speculation regarding Covid-19, the economy, and how these issues might impact the operations of our schools (local and Regional #7), the Board of Finance approved a budget on Tuesday (6-2-2020) for Fiscal Year 20-21.  Numerous discussions were held, difficult choices were made, and the final result is a small tax increase this year with the “Mill Rate” increasing from 30.25 to 30.63 (about 1.25%).  Approving budgets is hard enough in “normal” times, but with all of the uncertainty and stress related to Covid-19, the challenge was far greater this year.  I’m thankful to all those that participated in several meetings and got the job done.  If anyone has specific questions about the budget, please feel free to contact me at Town Hall for more information.

After weeks of speculation about how the state would regulate beach operations, we were able to get Brodie Beach up and running this week.  I was there on Thursday, and let’s just say that things are working pretty well.  We’ll continue with resident only stickers through the weekend and then evaluate opening up sales to non-residents at that point.  Please keep in mind that we may need to limit capacity at the beach while Covid-19 restrictions regarding safe distancing remain in effect.  Purchasing a “beach access pass” does not guarantee unlimited access to the waterfront.  Please note that these are state restrictions, not local restrictions, so please don’t get upset with beach staff if temporary closures are necessary. 

Keep an eye on our website next week for more information on “camp style” day programs that will be offered this summer.  Traditional summer “Camp Brodie” will not be available this year due to Covid-19 restrictions.  Additional information regarding canoe/kayak rack rentals and boat slips is forthcoming. 

Effective 6-5-2020, I’m happy to report that the sports courts at Callahan Park will be reopened.  The Governor is still maintaining restrictions on competitive close contact sports at this time, so competitive pick-up games are still not permitted.  If your children/teens want to visit Callahan Park and play a little tennis (net should be up next week) or shoot some hoops, that’s great!  Parents please guide your children and let them know that while we’re moving toward getting “back to normal” we’re still not 100% there yet – so just “shoot arounds” for now.   No physical contact please or we may have to revisit this issue.  

Lastly, with regard to park operations – also effective Friday 6-5-2020 – “Funlandia” (aka the Playscape) at Brodie Park and the Skate Park will reopen with the following conditions: social distancing and/or use of masks when social distancing cannot be maintained will be required.  Parents/visitors must provide their own hand sanitizer and all must use it prior to entering these facilities.  Use all of these areas at your own risk.  If you remain uncomfortable with Covid-19, we recommend that you hold off on visiting these areas for the time being.

I continue to encourage all residents to make use of our town’s website.  This is a great way to keep up with ever changing information on summer programs, concerts or other town business.  Please subscribe to Town News and Announcements.  It’s easy and will bring information right into your home via email.  Additionally, feel free to email me directly with any questions you might have (djerram@newhartfordct.gov), I’m always here to help.

Stay safe and enjoy the warmer weather!

Dan Jerram, First Selectman