Accessible stores spur ECDC discussion

The town has shown progress on making municipal buildings more accessible to people with disabilities. Now the attention is turning to private businesses. “The thought was, what about the retail spaces?” said Karen Sulzinsky of the Economic and Community Development Commission (ECDC). “If there was a thought to have a project, have an initiative … to find a way to … read more

Anyone for tennis? Parks and Recreation Commission proposes $4.7-million budget

From pickleball prices and parking plans to staffing shuffles, ramped-up recycling and some 700 acres of grass to be mowed, a wide-ranging discussion framed the Parks and Recreation Commission’s presentation to the selectmen on a $4,736,000 budget proposal that represents a less than 1% increase — up $18,600, or 0.39% — for 2019-20. This request is part of a more … read more

Aquarion Water Company warns of dangers of walking on reservoir ice

With winter in full swing, officials at Aquarion Water Company are warning people not to trespass at local reservoirs when taking part in winter recreational activities. “Over the last few weeks, we have seen an increase in unlawful winter recreational activities on our reservoir properties, including walking on reservoir ice,” said Stephen Stamos, Aquarion’s manager of Natural Resources. “We want … read more

Budget bummer: Town expects insurance bump

With insurance costs a major obstacle to holding the 2019-20 town budget increase down, the selectmen will begin their budget work with four meetings the first week of February. “The big question this year is health insurance, as it is most years,” First Selectman Rudy Marconi said. “We need to figure that out, and no one has yet but we’re … read more

Planning commission will hold listening sessions with other town boards

Climate change and open space, crosswalks and affordable housing — a lot goes into making the town work for the next 10 years, and now town boards and commissions will get a chance to weigh in directly. The Planning and Zoning Commission has scheduled three “listening sessions” to gather public input for the update to the town Plan of Conservation … read more

Ridgefield High School students combat vaping

Vaping — the use of electronic cigarettes containing liquidized nicotine — has become popular among young people throughout the nation, and Ridgefield High School is no different. In response to the rising trend, RHS health teacher Margaret Meriwether came up with an assignment for her students: Create a public service announcement (PSA) about vaping that would resonate with their peers. … read more

Access for all: A study, and a list

Door handles, drinking fountains, toilets, signs, steps and stairs, narrow doorways, high countertops, pathways to be paved — the Institute for Human Centered Design is finding lots of work to do, studying town accessibility problems. The study, started last summer, doesn’t have a completion date in sight. But work to address problems it’s finding has begun. “We’re not waiting for … read more

Planners weigh sustainability options

The electric car recharging station behind town hall can be used from a few sparking spaces, but the area is designated for one-hour parking and a recharge can take two to four times that. Town officials are investigating how to adjust policies. —Macklin Reid photo

Solar farms and driverless cars — it’s not science fiction, but the future the Planning and Zoning Commission is having to consider as it works to update the town’s Plan of Conservation and Development. While commissioners mostly focused on the results of a survey on what the community is concerned about, discussion at its Jan. 2 meeting kept circling back … read more

Fracking waste ban draws support from the public

Opposition to oil and gas fracking and use of byproducts from the process in Ridgefield was widely shared among about 25 Ridgefielders at a public hearing Saturday — suggesting, though some doubts and concerns were expressed, considerable support for an ordinance to ban reuse of fracking by-products that is scheduled for a town meeting vote Wednesday, Jan. 9. “Please do … read more

Troop 19 BSA: A new kind of scouts are trooping around

There’s a new Boy Scout troop in town that’s a little different — they’re girls. Ridgefield’s Troop 19 BSA — the 19 honors the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which in 1920, gave women right to vote — began meeting in October. They meet weekly Tuesday nights, and had group campouts in November and December, with monthly outdoor adventures … read more

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