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Area towns cope with COVID-19 consequences

GOSHEN — The 21 municipalities of the Northwest Hills Council of Governments (COG) are continuing to exercise caution in reopening their towns. The group of first selectmen, mayors and town managers met online on Thursday, July 9.

Henry Todd of Falls Village said Town Hall continues to be closed to the public; people needing to consult land records may do so by appointment. The Senior Center remains closed.

Todd said the COVID-19 testing held on Main Street by Charlotte Hungerford Hospital had no positive cases.

Gordon Ridgway of Cornwall said Town Hall is closed and noted the town’s Planning and Zoning Commission is working on a review of the town’s land use regulations.

Jean Speck of Kent said an outdoor concert series had been suspended after people disregarded COVID-19 safety instructions at the first concert.

She said that the entire Bull’s Bridge recreational area on the Housatonic River is now closed. She said the large numbers of visitors in recent weeks were unruly, left a lot of garbage and harassed the volunteers who were trying to help maintain order.

Charlie Perotti of North Canaan said Town Hall is closed; a doorbell was installed so people can get assistance. The tax collector will have a tent outside, weather permitting, for those who prefer to pay their taxes in person. 

Perotti said he hopes to have the town pool open by the last week of July. “At least we’ll get a month out of it.”

And he said the Housatonic Railroad is upgrading the railroad crossing in the center of town, with gates to prevent people from stopping on the tracks while waiting for the traffic light to change.

Salisbury’s Curtis Rand said the situation at the Great Falls on the Housatonic River is “out of control,” with large crowds gathering for the Fourth of July weekend.

“I’m not sure what will happen,” he added (see story Page A1 and this week’s editorial on Page A9).

Bob Valentine said Goshen recently held a town meeting in the school gym. Mask and distancing protocols were observed, and 63 people attended.

Several first selectmen reported a significant increase in applications for pistol permits.

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