Land Record Fraud Alert

Town of Colebrook Launches Fraud Alert to Notify Property Owners of New
Transactions

Through IQS, the Colebrook Town Clerk is providing a free new tool to help property owners protect one of their most valuable assets.

With Fraud Alert, you can sign up to receive alerts whenever a document, such as a
deed or mortgage, is recorded under your name. Documents can be viewed online or at
the Clerk’s Office.

“This is an easy way for homeowners to have peace of mind,” said Town Clerk, Debra
McKeon.

You can sign up now at https://searchiqs.com/fraudalert/?CC=CTCOL.
Please note there may be other property owners in the town that share the same name.

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Informational Emails

Would you like to receive reminders of delays in trash pick up due to holidays?

Would you like to receive notifications of road closures in town due to construction?

Would you like to receive information regarding community events?

Emails are sent out from the 1st Selectman’s office with this type of information and more as appropriate. If you would like to be on the list to receive these emails, contact Karen Odell at 860-379-3359 x 201 or kodell@colebrooktownhall.org.

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News from Colebrook Town Hall

Greetings from Colebrook Town Hall.
Tonight, the Board of Selectmen will present its fiscal year 2024/25 proposed budget to the Board of Finance. Key components of the Selectmen’s budget are funding for Town Hall, the Department of Public Works, Fire Department, Community & Senior Center, and curbside trash/recycling pickup.
We are currently projecting a year-over-year decrease of approximately 5 percent in the Selectmen’s budget, as we work closely with the Board of Finance and the Board of Education in our quest to achieve a level overall Town budget, and keep the Mill rate flat.
Approximately one-third of our total Town budget is our share of operating Northwestern Regional 7 Middle School/High School. Each of the towns in Region 7 pay their portion of the total budget based on the number of students they have enrolled. Our budget assessment is currently expected to be .5 percent less than last year. In the coming weeks, the Region 7 Board will host public meetings in each of the member towns, including Colebrook on Wednesday, March 20th, at Colebrook Town Hall. Colebrook representatives on the Region 7 board are Lisa Fragale and Terri Kenneson.
Last week, we opened bids for the Colebrook Consolidated School HVAC project. The School Building Committee met Tuesday night to review bids-and discuss how to prioritize the project to address our most pressing needs. More to come.
The Colebrook Associates will be opening a food pantry in the foyer of the Community & Senior Center on Monday, March 4th. Hours are 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays, 8:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. on Wednesdays, and 8:30 a.m. to noon on Fridays. This is intended exclusively for Colebrook residents and visitors to the Community & Senior Center. Donations can be left at the Pantry, or in the lobby of the Post Office. For after-hours Pantry needs, please call the Associates at 860.469.2208.
We are delighted that Tyler Rae is the newest member of our team at Town Hall. Tyler is a student at the Highlander Transition Academy at Region 7 and works after school as our custodian four afternoons a week.
As noted last week, registration for the Colebrook Recreational Baseball League closes March 8th. Details can be found here<drive.google.com/file/d/1oXh7izxDMumYJsqyddFTMoff-HeKWi8D/view>.
Upcoming Town events:
The Colebrook Community & Senior Center is hosting a Leap Year Community Bingo tonight (Thursday, February 29th) from 6-9 p.m.
This Saturday, March 2nd, the Colebrook Associates will host its first Winter Warmer in the Town Hall meeting room from 2-4 p.m. All are welcome and there is no cost to attend.
On Sunday, March 17th at 4:30 p.m. at Town Hall, the Colebrook Land Conservancy will host a presentation on creating backyard pollinator habitats. Learn more at colebrooklandconservancy.org<colebrooklandconservancy.org/>.
Upcoming municipal board meetings:
Board of Education – Wednesday, March 6th at Colebrook School at 7 p.m.
Board of Finance – Thursday, March 7th at Town Hall at 6 p.m.
If you have any questions or concerns, please contact me at bbremer@colebrooktownhall.org<mailto:bbremer@colebrooktownhall.org>, or call me at 860.379.3359, extension 202.
Cordially,
Brad Brad Bremer Colebrook First Selectman 860.379.3359 ext. 202 bbremer@colebrooktownhall.org
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News from Colebrook Town Hall

Greetings from Colebrook Town Hall.
In 1988, Colebrook passed an ordinance establishing the Town’s Capital Improvement Program Committee. The group is comprised of representatives from the Board of Selectmen, Board of Education, Board of Finance, Planning & Zoning Commission, Fire Department, and the public-at-large. We define capital projects as those that exceed $5,000 and have a life expectancy greater than 10 years. The capital budget the committee proposes is voted upon by the Town at our annual budget referendum.
Current year (FY 2023/24) capital projects include technology upgrades and a new roof for Colebrook Consolidated School, and Town matching funds for a new HVAC system. Also funded are Fire Department gear, and matching money for State-supported Town paving projects, and our three new bridges. Last week, the Capital Improvement Program Committee met to discuss the investments that have been approved by the Town, and to consider future needs. On March 28th, they’ll finalize a proposed 2024-25 budget that will be on the May referendum ballot.
Debbie Crowell, Director of the Colebrook Senior and Community Center, will be leaving in March, relocating to Kentucky to be closer to her daughter’s growing family. Debbie has done an outstanding job over the past three years and will be sorely missed! The Town Senior and Community Center Advisory Committee will develop a succession plan to ensure that the job opening for the new Director role is well outlined, and to plan a thoughtful job search and interview process. Above all, the level of program quality and community engagement must continue.
Yesterday, we met with State Department of Transportation engineers to discuss potential solutions for the drainage issue in the Post Office parking lot. On Friday, March 1st, we’ll be meeting with an Eversource arborist to discuss tree work planned for later this year. Details on both of these initiatives to follow.
The Town Annual Report we referenced last week can be found here<www.townofcolebrook.org/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/Annual-Report-2022-with-cover.pdf>.
Finally, if youth baseball registration is open, can Spring be far behind? Registration closes March 8th. Colebrook Recreational Baseball League details can be found here<drive.google.com/file/d/1oXh7izxDMumYJsqyddFTMoff-HeKWi8D/view>. Clinics begin February 24th. Learn more here<docs.google.com/document/d/1qnx1i1TEGPWY7B9GFOgLOlkuyY9_H8eK/edit>.
Upcoming Town events:
The Colebrook Associates will host its first Winter Warmer in the Town Hall meeting room Hall meeting room on Saturday, March 2nd from 2-4 p.m. All are welcome and there is no cost to attend.
The Colebrook Community & Senior Center is hosting a Leap Year Community Bingo on Thursday, February 29th from 6-9 p.m.
Upcoming municipal board meetings:
Board of Selectmen – Monday, February 26th at Town Hall at 5 p.m. Board of Finance – Thursday, February 29th at Town Hall at 6 p.m.
If you have any questions or concerns, please contact me at bbremer@colebrooktownhall.org<mailto:bbremer@colebrooktownhall.org>, or call me at 860.379.3359, extension 202.
Cordially,
Brad Brad Bremer Colebrook First Selectman 860.379.3359 ext. 202 bbremer@colebrooktownhall.org
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Colebrook Consolidated School HVAC Upgrade

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Financial Statements for Regional School District 7

NOTICE

TOWN OF COLEBROOK

Notice is hereby given that the audited Financial Statements for Regional School District No. 7 for the year ending June 30, 2023, as prepared by King, King & Associates, PC, are on file at the Town Clerk’s office and available for public inspection during regular office hours.

Dated at Colebrook, Connecticut, this 8th day of January, 2024.

Debra L. McKeon, Town Clerk

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Found Keys

A large set of keys was found on Prock Hill Road. If you are missing keys or know someone who did, please contact the Selectman’s office. 860-379-3359 Ext 201
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Brush disposal

The Town Garage will no longer accept brush, tree limbs, tree trunks or any other residential yard waste. Please bear with us until we are able find a way to dispose of this waste.
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Energy costs expected to increase; Shop, Sign up, and Save!

Folks,
I received this information from our Eversource representative and I am passing it along for your perusal.

Regards,

Chris Johnstone

As it did last winter, the cost of energy supply is expected to once again increase when we transition from summer to winter rates on January 1. We’re encouraging customers to take control of their energy costs by shopping for a third-party supplier at EnergizeCT.com.<link.edgepilot.com/s/304d5f51/PfUB-jVJAkyXosOehJ0hhQ?u=https://energizect.com/>

We recognize the financial burden that high energy prices place on our customers, especially as the costs of other goods and services have increased. We’re reaching out to all our stakeholders to make them aware of the likely increase and encourage them to take action and help make their residents and constituents aware of the ways they can shop, sign up, and save.

We’ve launched an educational campaign to reach as many people as possible through digital advertising, media and social media, customer emails, billboards, and website messages to encourage customers to compare rates offered by third-party suppliers on EnergizeCT.com. Eversource customers who’ve never shopped before can find help navigating the process by going to Eversource.com/supplier<link.edgepilot.com/s/d85943bb/GvUVyh7JUESR1xKM6P840Q?u=http://www.eversource.com/supplier>.

As you know, Eversource does not produce electricity. We purchase power for our Standard Service rate on behalf of our customers on the open market and directly pass those costs on without any markup. International factors continue to affect the seasonal winter cost of natural gas, which is used to produce roughly half of New England’s electricity. While we do expect the electric supply price to rise this winter, it is not expected to increase as much as it did last winter. We’ll file proposed rates with PURA in mid-November, and the approved new rates will take effect January 1, 2024, for customers on Standard Service.

In addition to shopping for a third-party supplier, customers can visit Eversource.com/manage-cost<link.edgepilot.com/s/8fa5e590/F0Fz5PwGRUqXlu4WenLpLg?u=http://www.eversource.com/manage-cost> to learn about the other programs and services that are available, including:

* Our Budget Billing Plan helps avoid seasonal spikes on their energy bill by letting customers pay a fixed amount each month based on their average annual usage. * The Matching Payment Program can lower the amount customers owe on energy bills. For every dollar they pay and every dollar they receive from the Connecticut Energy Assistance Program, we will subtract a dollar from the amount owed. * The New Start Program forgives overdue balances for electric customers as on-time monthly budget payments are made. (For example, if your budget payment amount is set at $150 per month and your past due balance is $1,200, for every month you make your required $150 payment towards your bill, we will reduce your past-due balance by $100.) * Payment Plans are available to all customers to help pay their past-due balance over time. * A new Low-Income Discount Rate will take effect December 1, which can give customers with financial hardship either a 10% or 50% discount off their electric bill per month. Customers can qualify to receive the discount based on household income or receipt of a public assistance benefit. For example, if a customer has a $100 monthly bill, it would be $10 less if they receive a 10% discount or $50 less if they receive the 50% discount. * Residential customers are encouraged to take advantage of seasonal energy-saving tips, offers, programs and rebates to help reduce energy use leading up to and during this winter.
Attached to this email you will find a bill help fact sheet that can be also be shared with your residents.

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Week in Review

Hello Colebrook Residents,
As this week comes to an end, I would like to bring you all up to date on events and the Status of projects and things that have transpired and things that will be happening next week.
Fritz Road: To all the residents, I thank you for your patience while waiting to have the end of your driveways paved. Once Galasso completed paving Fritz Road, their work crew that finishes the driveway aprons was scheduled to come back the following week. Unfortunately, that has not happened and from what I understand it is a result of their work schedule and problems staffing positions. They have promised to finish the driveways, so I ask for more patience, and I promise that the aprons will be paved.
Old Creamery Road Bridge: Just an additional reminder that as of Monday, August 21st, 2023, the Creamery Road Bridge will be closed for construction. NJR Construction has marked the detour routes. The bridge is located between the intersections of Ruth Cross Road / Old Creamery Road which is to the east of the bridge and Robertsville/ Old Forge Road and Creamery Road which is on the western side of the Bridge.
Sandy Brook Road Bridge: Work continues on the construction of the new bridge however; the two July weather events did cause a delay in the progress. NJR Construction has applied for a three-week extension to their contract which would extend the completion date to the end of November. The request for the time delay extension must be approved by Connecticut DOT. Despite the request for the extension, I am hopeful that NJR will still be able to make up for time lost and finish the bridge in early November.
Pinney Street Bridge: Dayton Construction informed me earlier this week that there has been a delay in the production schedule for the concrete box culvert. Dayton Construction was notified by Fort Miller, the concrete fabricator that the production start date for the concrete box culvert has slipped to the 14th of September, with an approximate seven days for production. This is due to a delay in a shipment of galvanized re-bar, (supply chain issues). I think I can safely say that it will be the end of September before the concrete products are on hand for construction to begin. As I know more about the progress of the production schedule, I will let you all know.
Rock Hall Road: I f you have travelled on Rock Hall Road lately, you will have noticed that our Department of Public Works personnel have been busy prepping the road for re-construction and paving. Right now, they expect to start reclamation of the south end of Rock Hall Road and paving of the north end to begin on August 28th. DPW Foreman Bill Jasmin has indicated that it will take five days to complete this project. So please, plan accordingly, expect traffic delays and a lot of construction for the week of 28 August 2023 – 1 September 2023.
Department of Public Works: Speaking the Department of Public Works, As of Monday, August 14th, 2023 there was a new addition to the DPW staff. Please welcome Mike Girolamo as our new employee. Mike is a seasoned professional and will be a great addition to the Town of Colebrook’s work force!
Lastly, on behalf of the Town of Colebrook, yesterday afternoon, I submitted an application to the Connecticut Office of Policy and Management (OPM) for a Small Town Economic Assistance Program (STEAP) Grant. If the 2023 grant is approved this will provide $418,479.50 which will cover eighty percent of five paving projects with an estimated total cost of $523,099.35. The projects identified in the grant are for paving Pine Road, Eno Hill Road, Robertsville Road, Old Forge Road and the Forge Firehouse parking lot.
I hope you all enjoy the weekend.
Respectfully,
Chris Johnstone, 1st Selectman
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MDC Abandonment Permit

To All Colebrook Residents:
Yesterday the State of Connecticut Department of Public Health (DPH) approved the Metropolitan District’s (MDC) application to abandon its rights to use approximately 10 billion gallons of water stored between elevation 644 feet and 701 feet with in the Colebrook River Lake (aka Colebrook Reservoir). The MDC will still own the rights to 3.5 billion gallons of water stored behind the Colebrook River Dam. The permit was granted and is subject to many conditions identified in the Source Permit. The MDC , Save the Sound, and the Northwest Connecticut Land Conservancy (NCLC) executed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that commits the MDC to granting a conservation easement to the NCLC on 5,500 acres of open space land that surrounds Colebrook River Lake Reservoir. The question that I am sure you all have is what happens to the land? It will have an easement on it that will preserve and protect the land in perpetuity, the MDC will still own the land and has to own the land. In accordance the CT Gen Statute 12-76., the MDC will still be required to pay taxes on the land that they own in Colebrook, assessed at what would be its fair market value were it assessed as improved farmland. That is how the land is currently assessed “Improved Farmland”.
I am sure this news will raise a lot of questions. Before you call or send me an e-mail, please read the DPH Source Abandonment Permit. The Source Abandonment Permit contains a lot of detail and rationalizes why and the process that the DPH used to approve the MDC application.
Respectfully,
Chris Johnstone First Selectman

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