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The Winsted Journal Editorial

An imperfect town budget for imperfect times

Winsted’s annual town budget referendum will be held on Saturday, May 27, from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. at The Pearson School.

The proposed budget for fiscal 2017–2018 is $33,438,506, which is an increase of $337,332 from the town’s fiscal 2016–2017 budget of $33,101,174.

If passed, the mill rate will remain the same as last year at 33.7.

Thank you, John Dwan

On Thursday, May 4, John Dwan announced that Super Saver IGA, located at 372 Main St., will close for business.

In March, Dwan announced that he was going to retire and close the store after operating it for almost 36 years, starting back in August 1981.

While it is not a surprise that Dwan is retiring, it is a surprise to many residents that the store is being closed so quickly after his original announcement.

Earth Day should be every day

Over the past two issues we have been covering organizations and groups dedicated to preserving and protecting the environment along with events celebrating the environment.

In this week’s issue we publish articles about the Colebrook Land Conservancy and Barkhamsted’s Earth Day celebration.

In last week’s issue we published articles about Winsted’s Earth Day cleanup, the New Hartford Land Trust and the Winchester Land Trust.

Attorney took wrong strategy with P&Z

On April 10, Winsted’s Planning and Zoning Commission voted 3-2 to reject a special permit application by Community Health and Wellness of Greater Torrington to move its health center to 372 Main St., the current location of Winsted Super Saver IGA.

On April 18, in response to the decision, attorney Joseph Williams of Shipman & Goodwin, who represents the organization, sent a letter to Commission Chairman Craig Sanden and the town demanding that the commission reverse its decision.

Municipal elections: November is not too far away …

This year is, for many of the towns in our coverage area, the year when a municipal election will be held in November.

A municipal campaign is more than politicians grandstanding at parades and festivals, shaking people’s hands and kissing babies while they try to win votes.

It is also much more than a chance for people to show off fancily designed signs on their lawn.

A municipal campaign is really a chance for a town to determine its future direction and to elect people who they feel will lead them in that direction.

P&Z was right to deny health center application

After two meetings and several hours of presentations and residents’ comments during two public hearings, the Planning and Zoning Commission decided against granting a special use permit application to convert the Winsted Super Saver IGA, located at 372 Main St., into a medical clinic for Community Health and Wellness of Greater Torrington.

It was a very tough decision for the commission, filled with emotion on all sides, with many residents sad to see grocery store owner John Dwan announce his eventual retirement and closing of the grocery store.

Town is right to take its time investigating Lambert Kay bid

The long saga of the former Lambert Kay building, which started 15 years ago when residents at a town meeting approved its purchase of the building for $1, continues on into 2017.

The next chapter in the saga comes in the form of a bid submitted in early March for the building by Parker Benjamin Real Estate Services in Unionville.

Volunteers: Save town tradition

The Laurel Festival is a longstanding Winsted town tradition. This year, the Laurel Ball will be held on June 9 at Crystal Peak Ballroom, while on June 11, the Laurel Parade will be on Main Street.

The tradition of the Laurel Festival, along with crowning a Laurel Queen, dates back to 1934, while the new tradition of crowning a Laurel King started last year.

As per tradition, the all-volunteer Laurel City Commission is organizing the festival.

Proposed budget must fully address infrastructure needs

On Monday, March 20, Town Manager Robert Geiger presented his proposed budget for fiscal 2017–2018.

The budget, as presented by Geiger, is $33,438,506.

Geiger’s budget proposes an increase of $337,332 from the town’s fiscal 2016–2017 budget of $33,101,174.

If passed, Geiger said that the mill rate will remain the same from last year at 33.7.

As part of the budget, Geiger is proposing $1,956,412 in capital improvements, including $1,441,000 in road repairs.

IGA closing would be huge loss for town

The Planning and Zoning Commission will hold a public hearing for a proposed change of use for the current location of the IGA Super Saver grocery store on Monday, March 27, at 7 p.m. at Town Hall.

The grocery store, located on 372 Main St., has been owned and operated since 1981 by John Dwan.

If the change of use is approved, the grocery store will shut down and Community Health and Wellness Center,
located 115 Spencer St. since 2011, will move into the
location.