April 01, 2020

Council assesses Dogherty, schedules public hearings

PITTSFIELD – A brief town council meeting was held Tuesday night with the major order of business taking less than 45 minutes and consisting of scheduling future public hearings.

A 45-minute executive session, during which the councilors evaluated Town Manager D. Dwight Dogherty, was held before the regular meeting.

Hearings were set for Dec. 19, including the ratification of a rubbish ordinance that appears to have been put in place just in time.

Dogherty reported to the council that household rubbish was found in the recycling container at Somerset Plaza, a violation of the ordinance passed two weeks ago as an emergency measure.

Dogherty said that the name of a Canaan resident was found on the rubbish and that person will be charged under the ordinance, which carries a $250 fine for the first offense.

The emergency waste ordinance was passed last month after household trash was found in both the Somerset Plaza container and the Grove Hill container.

Councilors were upset with the action, which damaged some recyclables, littered the area and took staff a considerable time to clean up.

Dogherty said then that he was convinced the dumping was in protest to the town’s recent adoption of mandatory recycling.

Other hearings set for Dec. 19 include approval of the 2001 proposed capital budget of $221,000, approval of the operating budget of $2,362,372 and approval of the water and sewer budgets. The figures for the operating budget are preliminary, as workshops will continue into next week.

The proposed purchase of a nonconforming lot on Harriet Street was also set for hearing Dec. 19, as well as a special amusement permit and bottle club registration for Lee Doncet VFW Post 9955 on Outer Peltoma Avenue.

The council also waived automatic foreclosure of a Chester Street property, allowing owners a six-month extension to pay $1,844 due on the 1998 taxes.

Dogherty also reported that nine street signs have been stolen in the past several weeks, each with an approximate value of $50.

The town is offering a reward of $200 to anyone providing information leading to the apprehension of those involved in the theft.

The manager has included an amnesty stipulation to the reward. Anyone voluntarily returning one or more signs will not be prosecuted if the signs are returned before police identify the person as involved.

Dogherty said if anyone is convicted of taking the signs, the reward money could be reimbursed as part of their restitution.

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