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Legislatively Speaking
Legislatively Speaking: Small Town Issues

By Russell Gray, CT State Grange Legislative Committee Member

  APRIL 10, 2015 --

Governor Dannel Malloy’s proposed 2015 budget leaves towns in just the same position as last year.  But, the budget that he has proposed leaves a great deficit and that money has to come from somewhere.  It will be the task of our State Legislature to find ways to save money and at the same time, reduce spending, to bring the budget closer to being balanced.  The question is what will be affected?  Will it be education?  Will it be town aid highway money or something else that could/would affect small towns?

Every town budget in Connecticut is hurting due to Mother Nature’s “gift” of snow, sleet, ice, freezing rain.  Not only salt, sand, additional manpower hours, but roofs that had to be cleared, potholes that have cropped up everywhere and what about all that water when the snow melts!  Water can create devastation and not only on roadways but in buildings as well.  Some municipalities had roofs collapse, either on homes, barns or other businesses in their towns.

In Sterling, State Highway Route 49 was due to be resurfaced this year, but now that had gone on the back burner.  Riddled with potholes, Route 49, like numerous other state highways that pass through towns and villages, desperately need upgrading.  Where is the money going to come from? 

Widening some highways, expanding rail service and upgrading bridges.  He has also proposed a “lockbox”, whereby funds could only be spent on transportation needs and infrastructure.

He also has proposed a freeze for all except critical state job positions.  Unfortunately, small towns, especially in Eastern Connecticut, tend to be forgotten while major cities and towns with businesses and industry are better served.  Do not hesitate to write your legislators about issues that concern your town.  While help may not be forthcoming, at least they are kept abreast of issues of their constituents.


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