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Bear-feeding ordinance on town agenda in Salisbury

SALISBURY — An ordinance prohibiting the feeding of bears is on the agenda for a special town meeting Thursday, July 7 at 7 p.m. (online).

The other items are to approve the five-year Local Capital Improvement Program (LOCIP) plan and to sell 17 Perry St. to the Salisbury Housing Trust for $1.

In an email Monday, June 27, First Selectman Curtis Rand fleshed out the agenda items.

On feeding bears:  Voters will be asked “to approve an ordinance that prohibits feeding, baiting or attracting bears. There have been several instances of intentional feeding of bears in residential neighborhoods; this is scary for neighborhood residents and it is bad for the bears, who can easily become habituated to food sources. This ordinance would offer a legal way to make this activity cease, including a fine of $100 for the first offence, with $25 increases if activity continues. There will likely be instances of unintentional feeding such as garbage and summer bird feeding, and if approved, we acknowledge the need will be education and patience as residents find ways to lessen the attraction of these food sources to bears without fear of fines.”

On 17 Perry St.: This parcel of land was the site of the former Decker’s Laundry, which was abandoned in the 1980’s. After careful consideration and confirmation of federal and state funding to ensure that remediation would be possible, the Town moved to acquire the property and oversee the clean-up. The three goals for this project were to eliminate environmental issues in the neighborhood, to hold the town harmless for the financial issues, and finally to re-use the property for affordable housing.

   “Any future housing proposal will be subject to final remediation data as well as approval from the Salisbury Planning and Zoning Commission.”

On LOCIP funds: “Everyyear the State of Connecticut gives small towns funds for capital improvements; Salisbury receives approximately $43,000 per year. We can use these funds for capital projects but not things like vehicles, painting, salaries and other non-capital improvements. Towns can accumulate LOCIP funds and Salisbury currently has $143,000 available. Each expenditure must be part of a 5-year plan that has been approved bytown meeting.”

For the agenda and link go to www.salisburyct.us.

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