Sunday, March 31, 2013

Sequester closure date for Connecticut airports

For all the bluster over the dire consequences of sequestration, the only thing that's caught my attention has been airport closings.  I've used Tweed New Haven in the past and could use it again.  But when March 1st came and went and nothing changed, I finished my yawn... having had my views of government officials reinforced.  (That is, they knowingly lie or are too clueless to ask the right questions and get real answers.)

Anyway, for the Nutmeggers who are interested in when the sequestration is supposed to impact CT airports, I found the airport closing list here.  CTs airports are listed as follows:

Stratford (BDR) -- 5 May 2013
Danbury (DXR) -- 5 May 2013
Groton (GON) -- 21 April 2013
Hartford (HFD) -- 5 May 2013
New Haven (HVN) -- 5 May 2013
Oxford (OXC) -- 5 May 2013

Just outside of CTs borders is Westchester Airport.  I don't see it on the closure list.  As well, news reports seem to say that Hartford's Bradley (BDL) isn't impacted.  And I'm guessing that small airports, such as Meriden, don't have towers?  Regardless, I was curious about Tweed.  And I got my answer:  May 5th is the targeted date for closure.

Tim White

Wednesday, March 06, 2013

Summer-only pool?

At the February Council meeting I voiced my opposition to spending more money to fix the bubble damage that occurred during Nemo.  I've been tired of the pool spending for years... as I think a majority of town residents have been too.  But for years the Council had supported the never-ending spending that had been predicated on the 1996 fallacy that the pool would be:

1) open all year; and

2) self-supporting.

But is the never-ending supporting coming to an end?

Is the Town Council's view of the "need" for a year-round pool -- broken from the attached promise of self-sufficiency -- moving?

The MRJ is reporting on that two Council members, Tom Ruocco and David Schrumm, are also voicing spending concerns.  And while Tom has fought the unnecessary pool spending for years, David's shift is significant in the movement toward ending the wasteful pool spending.  While there have been many such pool spending votes, one of the more memorable that comes to mind is the $20,000 that got thrown away on a pool consultant.

The MRJs Eve Britton reports:

Town Council Budget Committee Chairman David Schrumm agreed that a permanent solution has to be found, and if it can’t be, making it a summer-only pool is the only viable option.

If David is serious about moving beyond the bubble, then the Council may finally be moving toward a real solution -- summer only.  As a member of the Council I voted to send the failed $7,000,000 permanent structure to the voters for consideration.  We've already gone down the path of a permanent structure and the voters rejected it 61% to 39%.  And considering the costs involved, I find it hard to believe a not-for-profit will want to take on the pool.

The logical option is summer-only.  Particularly if the cost to fix the bubble -- less insurance reimbursements -- is significant, I hope the Council seriously considers moving to a summer-only pool.

Tim White