EDITORIAL: 4 things we liked this week, 5 we didn’t

We liked this week

The State Bond Commission approved $4 million for Ulbrich Heights, Wallingford’s largest affordable housing complex. The Wallingford Housing Authority manages the 132 units, off South Elm Street. The funds are to be used for kitchens and bathroom upgrades, as well as replacing siding and exterior windows. “Everyone deserves to have access to safe and modern affordable housing, and these funds bring us one step closer to achieving that goal here in Wallingford,” said Democratic state Rep. Mary Mushinsky, in a statement.

It looks as though the latest addition will be something new to the Meriden Mall, a seafood restaurant called More than Just Lobster, that expects to open March 1. “We have never had a seafood based food court tenant so this will do well,” Meriden Mall Manager Chris Powers told the Record-Journal. “We hope it attracts many customers and maybe workers from the hospital as well.” MidState Medical Center is located near the mall.

The Wallingford Health Department will hold vaccination clinics, a chance for a vaccine dose or COVID-19 booster, each Thursday in January. Appointments are not required for the clinics, held at the Wallingford Parks and Recreation Department, 6 Fairfield Blvd.

The Colony Project LLC was approved by Meriden officials as the top qualified bidder to purchase 9-11 Colony St. and 13-17 Colony St. As the Record-Journal reported, The Colony Project had the financial resources to remediate the two buildings, which are in disrepair. “We’ll bring some life back to Colony Street,” said Johnny Grunblatt, one of the New Haven developers that formed The Colony Project LLC. “Some of the buildings here are beautiful and historic. You have the beautiful new train station and the beautiful Green. With the updates and new management, it’s going to be beautiful.”

We didn’t like this week

The surge of the omicron variant of COVID-19 during the Christmas holiday season has affected all aspects of society, from schools and libraries to sports and, in particular, health care, and served as a harsh reminder that the risks and challenges presented by the coronavirus pandemic are not over. Vaccinations, mask-wearing and social distancing remain the most effective responses as the pandemic nears the two-year mark.

Though she was just reelected, Wallingford Democratic Town Councilor Gina Morgenstein will step down from the position before the new council term starts in the new year. Morgenstein, who was elected to serve her third term on the council, cited personal responsibilities, including elder care, as the reason for her resigning. “During this pandemic, family comes first,” she said. “The pandemic has become untenable, really untenable.”

Wallingford Electric Division customers will see a rate hike for the first half of 2022 because of an under collection of nearly a half a million dollars. The average residential customer will see an increase of about $9.62 in monthly bills. The increase comes as a credit from the town’s settlement with the Connecticut Municipal Electric Energy Cooperative comes to an end. Passing the settlement on to consumers gave the average customer a refund credit of $3.05 a month.

Supply chain issues spurred by the coronavirus pandemic have created shortages in school lunch foods, which is presenting a challenge for nutrition service employees. “You get what you can. And you try to make the best of it and definitely sell it to the kids,” Jenn Koss, a Meriden Public Schools employee, told the Record-Journal. Robert Kosienski Jr. school board president, called the efforts of food service staff “Herculean.”

A new study finds that licensed child care centers in Connecticut are missing out when it comes to millions of federal dollars available for food and nutrition. As the Associated Press reported, the UConn Rudd Center for Food Policy and Health survey of more than 230 centers in 2019 found a lack of awareness and reporting requirements were reasons for non-participation. The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s program reimburses expenses for food that meets certain nutritional standards.


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