Lee names new town clerk, details airport improvements

Lee names new town clerk, details airport improvements

During the Dec. 7 Town Council meeting, Town Manager Robert Lee announced that he has appointed Cindy Porrini to serve as Town Clerk beginning Jan. 4. This will allow for some overlap time with outgoing Town Clerk Carol Skultety to acquaint Porrini with the office.

Seventy-four applicants expressed interest in the Town Clerk position. On Nov. 12, eight candidates were interviewed by a panel consisting of Skultety, Human Resources Director Stacy Buden and Newington Town Clerk James Krupienski.

The Interview Panel unanimously recommended Porrini, of Bristol, as the top candidate for the position. Porrini is a certified Town Clerk and is currently serving as the Assistant Town Clerk in West Hartford, a position that she has held since 2014. Before that she served in the Bristol Town Clerk’s Office in several supporting capacities for 14 years.

Also, Lee reported that, this summer, Eversource Gas notified town staff that they were planning to make some substantial upgrades to their distribution system in Plainville over the next 10 years. This was immediately concerning because the plans included replacing gas lines in recently-paved streets.

For the last five years, town staff had annually contacted utility companies, including Eversource, requesting their future construction plans in order to avoid a situation where a town road was to be dug up shortly after being re-paved. At no time did Eversource Gas inform town staff of their plans until this summer.

When these plans were received, town staff immediately contacted Eversource to express the town's displeasure and notify them that they would have to make some adjustments to their replacement schedule.

Town staff has had several meetings with Eversource representatives, and some changes have been made to the schedule. For example, Eversource planned to replace gas lines on Whiting Street in 2026. However, the town is planning extensive work on this road next year after receiving a state grant. As a result of these discussions, Eversource agreed to perform the work starting next spring before the town project begins.

In addition, Eversource has stated that they plan to move forward with extending gas service on Redstone Hill Road and the neighborhood that includes Hollyberry Lane, Skyline Drive and Highland Drive. This was originally discussed with town staff about 18 months ago, but plans were delayed. This expansion work is expected to begin early next year.

Lee also updated the council on Robertson Airport projects. The reconstruction of the taxiway is being done by Tilcon and is about 90 percent completed. This is a $2.72 million project that is being paid through a grant provided by the F.A.A.

Additionally, the town has made some improvements to the airport facilities utilizing monies in the Airport Fund. Improvements that have already been made include the painting of three hangars (including the administration building) and the replacement of several heating/cooling units. The town is also looking to replace the metal roof on Hangar 4, as it currently has some leaks and has reached its useful life.

Interstate Aviation and the town have also agreed to make improvements to the administration building. The interior floorplan is being modified by Interstate, and the Airport Fund will contribute to some of the exterior work including new windows and doors and a new handicapped accessible ramp to the main entranceway. The plans also include improvements to an adjacent patio area which will allow residents to have a place to observe the airfield.

Interstate is also planning to construct a small café inside the administration building. The improvements to the building are expected to begin during the winter months with the replacement of the Hangar 4 roof occuring next spring.

Information taken from the municipal website.

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