1 p.m. UPDATE: Officials in Bridgeport, Trumbull and Monroe have scheduled a gathering at 6 p.m. tonight to shoot the shit, in more ways than one.
City Council members have been summoned to a special meeting at Tashua Knolls in Trumbull to hear a presentation regarding the creation of a regional waste water authority similar to one approved by New Haven, Hamden and Woodbridge. A presentation will take place, followed by a question and answer session. The informational meeting is open to the public.
Council members were each presented with a summons to satisfy freedom of information regulations regarding the potential of a public quorum. Tonight is an important night for Mayor Bill Finch as representatives of the three towns come to together to start the process to create a regional authority in anticipation of a proposal to hook a sewage pipeline from Monroe to Trumbull that’s already connected to Bridgeport.
So what? It means new development opportunities for Monroe and new revenues for Finch who desperately wants the dough to plug into the new budget year that begins July 1. The mayor is up to his eyes in financial grief, and this is one of many steps to cut costs and raise revenues. No other deal is immediately available to the mayor to generate several million dollars.
Shelton-based developer Robert Scinto, raised in Bridgeport, wants to relocate the Jewish Home for the Elderly from Fairfield to a construction site he owns in Monroe. The property, Scinto says, isn’t large enough to accommodate a stand-alone sewage treatment facility so he has worked out an arrangement with officials in the three towns to share property taxes equally for the right to join the Trumbull line connected to Bridgeport.
Bridgeport stands to gain several million dollars as part of the deal. But many members of the Bridgeport City Council aren’t convinced what’s on the table is enough to offset the additional strain and upkeep of the city’s sewage treatment system.
The merits of the Scinto proposal will not be heard tonight. What council members will hear is the first step in the official process to create a regional authority made up of Bridgeport, Trumbull and Monroe.
Creation of the authority presumably would require sign-off from the respective legislative bodies of the three towns. As a result, Bridgeport City Attorney Mark Anastasi is expected to attend tonight’s meeting in Trumbull to advise on the legal niceties.
Governor Jodi Rell in her recent budget address encouraged communities to create regional authorities to save money and improve services. Rell stressed that communities to do so would be rewarded with state grants. Rell’s declaration could give Finch additional cover to sell this to the council: this is what the governor wants, we all make out.
Scinto says if he cannot do the deal in Monroe, he’ll relocate the Jewish Home to a site available in Trumbull and then Bridgeport ends up with nothing. A little leverage?
Any of you watch Barack’s speech Tuesday night?
And what are you giving up? Fire away.
Book signing: this Saturday, 2 p.m. Borders Books, Post Road Fairfield center, for Bow Tie Banker, my biography of David Carson, retired chief executive of People’s Bank. Carson will join me.