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9 things to know this week in Meriden, Wallingford, Southington and Cheshire

9 things to know this week in Meriden, Wallingford, Southington and Cheshire

Things to know this week include the Meriden school board’s first look at a draft education budget, a proposal to change the way police chiefs are hired in Meriden, a public hearing on the latest designs for the banquet facility at the Meriden golf course and a book discussion in Southington featuring the author of a new wilderness survival guide.

Meanwhile, the School Modernization Committee continues to meet in Cheshire and the Wallingford Board of Education considers a new teacher hire.

Here’s the complete list of 9 things to know.

1.Meriden school board to review draft budget

The Board of Education is expected to review a $105,326 435 draft budget for 2020-2021 when it meets Tuesday. The budget proposal represents a 4.66 percent increase over 2019-20.  Pre-budget increases include $1.2 million in pre-pay health insurance and a one-time city reduction in insurance costs. Drivers include: a $1.9 million increase in salaries, $2.1 million increase in health insurance, $340,000 in tuition increases and $215,320 in utilities.

The district plans to carry over $1 million, and is expected to receive a $1.9 million increase in state Alliance District funding. If approved, the budget would require a $1.7 million increase from the city. 

The full Board of Education meets at 6 p.m. Tuesday. in the third-floor conference room at headquarters on Liberty Street. 

2.Police chief hiring policy change in Meriden

The City Council at its regular meeting Monday is scheduled to vote on a resolution that would change the city’s policy for hiring police chiefs going forward. 

The resolution introduced by Democrat Michael Cardona, chairman of the council’s Public Safety Committee, would allow the city to hire a chief under a contract of up to five years, similar to contracts given to the city manager and superintendent of schools.

Cardona has previously said he likes the idea of having a chief under contract because state law makes it difficult for municipalities to fire a chief and having a contract would give the city more flexibility to move on from a chief. 

The issue of police chief contracts is coming up now because the city is beginning the process of replacing retiring Police Chief Jeffry Cossette, who will leave the city this summer. 

3.Survival guide author discusses work in Southington

Connecticut author Kevin Estela will discuss his new book, “101 Skills You Need To Survive In the Woods,” a comprehensive manual of skills suitable for every outdoors person ―how to make a fire, build a shelter, gather food, find water, use a knife correctly etc. 

The event is Wednesday, Dec. 18 at 7 p.m. To register visit southingtonlibrary.org by clicking on the Events Calendar or call the Reference Desk at 860-628-0947 option 5. 

4.Public hearing on Meriden golf course banquet hall designs

The city is expected to present new designs for a proposed banquet hall at Hunter’s Golf Course at a meeting on Tuesday. The new rendering will reflect cost reductions the architectural firm designing the project recently made to meet the city’s $1.5 million budget for the project. 

Representatives from QA+M Architecture presented a design to the city’s Banquet Facilities Building Committee last month that would have cost around $1.9 million. The firm has since cut the price down by reducing the building’s footprint and removing several aesthetic features, including cupola on the roof, a canopy over the front door, a partition wall, and brick siding on the front of the building. 

The meeting Tuesday, scheduled for 6 p.m. in the council chambers of City Hall, will give the public a chance to give feedback before the project goes to the City Council for consideration.

5.Wallingford BOE considers new teacher, committee reports

The Wallingford Board of Education is slated hold its full meeting 6:30 p.m. Monday at Town Hall Room 205. Agenda items include approval of a new teacher and committee reports.

6.Utility rates in Wallingford

The Wallingford Public Utilities Committee is slated to discuss a recalculation of the power cost adjustment, or PCA, for January to June 2020 and hear an update on the on the sewer treatment plant construction at its meeting scheduled for 6:30 p.m. Tuesday at Wallingford Electric Division offices, 100 John St.

7.Faith Living Church ‘Miracle of Christmas’ in Southington

Faith Living Church’s celebration of Christmas runs through the weekend, featuring “upbeat music, an inspiring drama production” and “exciting programs for the children.”

The event runs Friday, Dec. 20, 7-8:30 p.m.; Saturday, Dec. 21, 5-6:30 p.m. and 7- 8:30 p.m.; and Sunday, Dec. 22 9-10:30 a.m. and 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m. The church is located at 20 Grove St. near Plantsville center. The event is free and open to the public. 

8.Beat the Street Toy Drive in Meriden

Wednesday is the last day to donate new unwrapped toys for children ages 6 to 15 years old for the annual Beat the Streeet Toy Drive. The toys will be distributed at the Center’s Christmas Party on Dec. 21. Unwrapped gifts can be brought to the center at 121 S. Colony St. from 4:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. 

According to Executive Director Larry Pelletier, the agency is looking for toys, games, headphones, cosmetics, and special treats. Unfortunately, agencies that have sponsored in the past years have been unable to give this year. Call 203-213-2136.

9.Cheshire School Modernization Committee

The townwide School Modernization Committee will meet in the council chambers at Town Hall on Monday, Dec. 16.

The meeting, during which the committee is scheduled to hear a presentation that will overview the current school buidlings and their ages, discuss student enrollment history and projections, and other information, starts at 7 p.m. The discussion will also include classroom inventory, the findings of a previous school building master plan from 2017 and an overview of the state's School Construction Grant program.

The School Modernization Committee, whose membership includes Town Council, Board of Education and other community members, will also elect a chairperson and vice chairperson, according to the meeting agenda.

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