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20.18 acres of Pinnacle Business Park to be Sold for $950,000
The Common Council of the City of New Britain will hold a public hearing on Wednesday, May 25, 2022, at 6:00 p.m., in Council Chambers, City Hall, 2nd Floor, 27 West Main Street, New Britain, Connecticut, for the sale of city-owned property known as Pinnacle Business Park for $950,000 to Polamer Precision, Inc. This is an exciting time for the City of New Britain, as Polamer Precision expands its operations in New Britain, bringing more jobs to our city's residents and adding to the city's tax base. The City of New Britain built the supportive roadways and infrastructure to serve Pinnacle Business Park and sold an 8.26-acre parcel to Polamer Precision, Inc. in 2012 for the development of an industrial manufacturing plant on the site. Polamer Precision, Inc. has since owned and operated a successful manufacturing plant at the 8.26-acre parcel at Alton Brooks Way in Pinnacle Business Park, which has produced high-quality jobs for residents of the community and contributed to the economic growth of the city. At this public hearing, interested parties may be heard and written communications may be received. Copies of items are also available for public inspection during normal business hours in the Office of the Town and City Clerk, City Hall, 27 West Main Street, New Britain.
The Nancy Sarra Era
A rally is in the works in support of Nancy Sarra, the current Superintendent of the Consolidated School District of New Britain. The event is being organized by Matthew Cannata, who is the School District’s Safety and Communications Manager. The rally will be held in Central Park in New Britain, across from City Hall on February 24th at 5:00 pm. According to the event page on Meta Platform’s Facebook, “Issues have arisen over Nancy Sarra, who will be retiring. Four members of the New Britain Board of Education have called for a special meeting on Thursday, February 24 at 6 PM to ‘review the performance of the superintendent and discuss her contract and a potential buyout.’ Furthermore, "In the wake of recent events, the community has made it clear they are concerned about safety in our schools, and action needs to be taken to ensure the safety of our students and staff. With the impending retirement of the superintendent, we want to ensure that changes are made and resources are allocated to keep our staff and students safe." Cannata continued to state that, “The blame for the troubles in the school system - mainly around behavioral issues - has been placed on Superintendent Sarra. However, those in the school district and embedded in the community understand that this is a community problem, and blame cannot and should not be placed on one individual. The behavioral issues have persisted for many years before Superintendent Sarra and will continue for many years after her if the community - as a whole - does not work together to find the root of the problem and take steps to solve it. Looking to make Superintendent Sarra a scapegoat for these problems and having a vacancy with just a few months left in the school year is not what is best for the school district and the city. Superintendent Sarra has given more than 25 years of her life to the Consolidated School District of New Britain and has made a tremendous impact within the District and the City. With her set to retire at the end of this school year, she deserves better and a chance to leave on her terms.” On the other side of the political aisle, BOE member Anthony Kane has stated that, “The schools are unsafe, especially the secondary level. Nancy continues to create new positions and spend money we don’t have, especially in academics. She hasn’t been to an in-person meeting in two months, and barely participates since she announced her retirement. All of our requests to make changes in the system have been met with resistance or flat out lies, and there isn’t any plan for safety improvements at any schools. It will only get worse. Teachers doing a walk-in basically means even they want support and safety.” The Democrats, who are supporting Nancy are calling the New Britain High School shooting a community issue. However, according to Tina Santana, “Let's be honest, as a parent, I send my kid to the high school trusting that he is safe. This shooting was not a community issue; the superintendent failed his parents by not keeping their kid safe on school grounds.”
Cannabis is on the Table in New Britain: Common Council to Debate Local Access and Prohibitions
There will be a meeting of the Committee on Administration, Finance, and Law on Wednesday, January 05, 2022 at 7:00 PM in the Council Chambers of City Hall, 2nd Floor. The address of City Hall is 27 West Main Street, New Britain, Connecticut. This meeting is being held to discuss four items on the agenda, the first of which includes item No. 35632. This item is a proposed amendment to Sec. 2-8 of the Code of Ordinances and puts forth the city's policy on the use of cannabis with regards to Public Act 21-1 (State Law). The most current draft of the proposed ordinance would make the city’s prohibition on such use to be more restricted on city grounds. The proposed draft ordinance states in part that: “Smoking, ingesting or use or consumption of any tobacco or cannabis product in any form shall be prohibited in City Hall and any other City owned or leased building or property, or vehicle, or within 25 feet of any doorway, window or air intake vent of City Hall or any other City owned or leased building. This includes but is not limited to lighted cigarettes, cigars, pipes or similar devices such as electronic cigarettes, e-cigarettes, hookahs, vape pens, electronic nicotine delivery systems, as well as chewing tobacco and snus.” In addition to defining prohibitions on cannabis use in and around public property, the discussion will also pertain to where cannabis dispensaries or groceries may be located. The proposed language would allow for a dispensary or production facility as long as it is 500 feet away from a school or church. It is presumed that the city will follow the guidelines set forth in the state statute limiting the number of dispensaries allowed based on population.
Who is Stanley?
For those that do not know, 2021 was a year of many milestones. Not only was Mayor Erin Stewart elected for a historic fifth term, she was elected during the city's 150th Anniversary. In honor of our city's thriving and robust return to economic prosperity, and to serve as a reminder of local history, a series of short story teller quick-takes were made.
In New Britain, An Abandoned Building is Being Demolished to Make Way for New Construction
A boarded-up structure in the center of New Britain's downtown will be razed on Wednesday. While saying goodbye to the past, the city has huge ambitions for the future. Right now, all eyes are on the former Burritt Bank. It's been vacant since the early 1990s, but it'll be demolished on Wednesday to make way for a new development. Change has finally arrived in downtown New Britain after a long wait. People turned out in anticipation of the demolition, calling the structure an eyesore in the neighborhood. “It's past time for it to come down. It's been empty for quite some time. Parts of it have lately fallen off,” said Alden Russell, a New Britain resident. Construction on a new project to re-energize the city's center will commence after the structure has been demolished. There are going to be 107 apartments and 5,700 square feet of ground retail wrapping around Main and Bank Streets. Now it's time to get to work tearing down the structure brick by brick. Mayor Erin Stewart estimated the renovation will cost about $19 million. The demolition and cleaning are estimated to take around six weeks. The new project will be completed by the end of 2022.
Roll Out the Red Carpet for the R.T.C. Endorsement Night, Tonight!
The New Britain Republican Town Committee will be endorsing a strong slate of candidates for elected office tonight. For Alderman at-large, probable candidates include incumbent Willie Pabon, Matthew Malinowski, Desiree Costa, Luz Ortiz, and Alden Russell. In Ward One, incumbent Howard Dyson and Peter Scirpo are vying for recognition in the southern portion of New Britain, which includes the campuses of New Britain High School, Slade Middle School, and Vance Elementary School. Valerie Ruby Ingram and Jerrell Hargraves are working hard to get approved for Ward Two, which covers the Roosevelt Middle School and Chamberlain School campuses in New Britain. Ward Three, which encompasses both North and Oak Streets, will be represented by Sara Piatti and Jeffrey Gumbs. Ward Four incumbents Robert Smedley and Michael Thompson will be supported, which has made and continues to make significant advances in the Belvedere region among CCSU off-campus students. Ward Five will be represented by Paul Catanzaro and Kris Rutkowski. On the ballot for the Board of Education are incumbents Athena Tina Santana, Anthony Cane, and Matthew Marino. Sheryl Mala and John Board want to run for the Board of Assessment Appeals. Last, but not least, incumbents Richard Moreno, Alan Zaniewski, Sean Steele, and Kenneth Haas are among the four candidates for Constable.
Mayor Erin Stewart Slams Juvenile Justice Leniency
"I refuse to stay silent when innocent people are dying because of criminals who have no regard for life. Elected officials at the State Capitol are the only ones who can change these laws, and they need to take action..." Mayor Erin Stewart slammed the Connecticut juvenile justice system on social media on Friday, July 2nd, following the death of a victim in a hit-and-run in New Britain on Tuesday. Henryk Gudelski, a 53-year-old marathon runner, has been confirmed as the victim. The driver, a juvenile, was apprehended. State legislators are now asking for revisions to juvenile criminal legislation. According to Gudelski's fiancée, Henryk was a highly decorated marathon runner. Republicans have advocated for a bipartisan bill to improve juvenile justice legislation. Citing several occurrences around the state as well as anger with a lack of legislative authority to prosecute repeat violent criminals. Vin Candelora, the Republican House Minority Leader, stated, “Here we are today with this crisis that continues to play out; people are now dying.” State Rep. Candelora put an amendment to tighten the juvenile laws up for a vote during the regular legislative session. Republicans persuaded some Democrats to join them and vote yes. However, it was insufficient, and the amendment was defeated. According to the Democratic House Speaker, the situation is complicated stating that car thefts have decreased in the previous five years. WTNH News 8: https://bit.ly/3jxYBBj FOX61: https://bit.ly/3jBcbnn NBC Connecticut: https://bit.ly/3hxihCr Lee Elci - The Voice of Freedom: https://bit.ly/365VKaG
Come and Meet with Mayor Erin Stewart (Plus Elle the RTC Mascot) at Frisbie's Dairy Barn
Come join Mayor Erin E. Stewart at Frisbie's Dairy Barn today! The event known as the Mobile Mayor's office will running from 10:00 a.m. until 11:30 a.m. and will be located outside in the parking lot. Also, come to the event and meet Elle, the new Republican Town Committee mascot.
Owners of Former Israel Putnam School to Receive Blight Fines
The former Israel Putnam school located at 43 Osgood Avenue has been a longstanding eyesore for that area of town. This building is owned by two private developers and continues to fall into greater disrepair. On Tuesday, June 15th the City of New Britain Health Department sent them the a notice of violation citing the following matters: 1. Openings/Windows boarded with unpainted wood; Boarded up, but some or all of the material used has been broken, pried off, or otherwise vandalized; 7-42(b)(2)(a)(ii)(iii)
2. Exterior facades (masonry) which contain damaged or absent siding, holes, breaks, lose or rotting materials, which are not properly surface coated to prevent deterioration, or the paint on which is significantly discolored or faded; 7-42(b)(2)(b)
3. Chimneys and similar appurtenances which are in a state of disrepair; 7-42(b)(2)(e)
4. Damage to roof; 7-42(b)(2)(u), 13-142 The owners of this building have been given 30 days to rectify ALL of these issues or face a fine of $99 per day, which will be enforceable by a lien on their property. New Britain's blight ordinance was updated by the Common Council and signed off by Mayor Erin Stewart in July of 2019. The ordinance was a product of the Building and Health Services Department's continued efforts to remediate blighted properties within the city.
Nation's Most Legendary Mayor Announces Budgetary Comeback for Local Community
“I am here tonight to present my Mayor’s budget to all of you,” is how the live feed to New Britain residents started on April 14th, 2021. “I’m going to be putting forth a budget this evening that proposes to lower the tax rate in the City of New Britain by one mill.” When Mayor Erin Stewart first took office, she was staring at a $30 million operating deficit. “That was really scary,” Stewart said while expounding that she came in as a new mayor and looked at that type of debt that we were facing.“ From trying to figure out okay how do we fix it to here, [where] we are now, [eight] years later… I can sit here and say that I’m finally at a point where we can lower taxes for our residents, and honestly, it couldn’t come at a more important time and for many of us who are in desperate need of some assistance no matter how small at it may be.” The one mil reduction will amount to a 2% tax cut on personal property, real estate, and motor vehicles. That means property taxes will go down from 50.50 to 49.50 mills, and the rate on vehicles will go down from 45 to 44 mills. That amounts to around $350 a year in savings for the average family of four. However, what exactly led to the decrease in the mill rate? Where did the extra revenue come from? The answer is growth, new anticipated major development, and added state dollars. Over 1,400 new businesses were created under the public administration of Erin E. Stewart. Mayor Stewart has been notably one of New Britain’s most entrepreneurial mayors, often saying that “businesses invest in cities that invest in themselves.” That has proven to be a sound political theory that has increased our city’s Grand List substantially; the Grand List has grown for eight consecutive years. Essentially, a grandlist is the basis for the amount of all taxable property within New Britain. Also adding to our new revenues is the expected sale of City property for major private developments off of Hartford Rd. and Osgood Avenue. Additionally, as a direct result of aggressive lobbying by the Mayor, the City is expected to receive an additional $3.8 million in PILOT (payment-in-lieu-of-taxes) monies owed to the City. Mayor Stewart’s proposed budget also makes an increased investment into New Britain Schools. Included in her budget is an additional $500k to place into the Education Savings Account she created as another source of revenue for the Board of Education to utilize towards student needs. This investment into our City’s education system comes at no additional cost to taxpayers. The Mayor also devotes $1 million in this budget to Anti-blight. This money will be used for projects such as the demolition of Saint Thomas Aquinas High School, which is a building that is crumbling and has become a hazard to the neighborhood of Kelsey and East Street. It’s clear that the Mayor takes a holistic approach in her budget to meet the needs of the City in this time period and keeps the taxpayer in mind.
Open Letter to Candidate Strong
Dear Democratic Candidate for Mayor Alicia Hernandez Strong, You have made serious, false, and defamatory allegations about the New Britain Journal. According to a Facebook post you stated that, “The New Britain City Journal is a straight-up propaganda paper. It has almost always been funded by New Britain’s wealthy landlords, developers and real estate agents. It’s reappearance just before a municipal election and it’s commitment to exclusively targeting those who challenge Stewart makes this quite obvious. Wealthy landlords in the state are politically organized and and extremely powerful, even at the municipal level. They feel threatened by me because I dare to call out the ways they use their money to influence politics and oppose the rights of renters. I am not talking about working people who own a few properties for extra income. I’m talking about landlords that own 100+ units who involve themselves in state and local politics. Many of whom don’t actually live in the city themselves. But y’all know me. I’m a fighter. I will not stay quiet while working people are silenced and disregarded by politicians who are funded—directly and indirectly—by absentee landlords. If you ready to take on this fight with me donate and sign up to volunteer for my campaign.” Just to be clear the New Britain City Journal was a newspaper written by Robin Vinci, who has since retired. In fact, the New Britain Journal has no relation to Vinci’s paper. We are a politically independent online newspaper, with no ties to the Democratic Party nor the Republican Party. Still, our authors may share their political beliefs in association in their respective authorship. As well, we are not funded by any landlords and will not be going away after any election. We ask you, Candidate Strong, to do what is right and retract your defamatory allegations in as public a manner as that in which they were made. Sincerely, The New Britain Journal