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Questions and Comments…Feedback from Website Visitors
(click on the box to the right to leave your question/comment)

1. Comment:There is a Tolland home at the Vernon end of Loehr Road that advertises a business in front of their home. I would think that this is a zoning violation in a residential area and would like to see the sign(s) removed. Thank you.

Town’s Response:This Home Occupation has received a permit from the Planning Office. This use is allowed a single 3 square foot sign on their property. The other sign that is posted at Route 31 is in the Town of Vernon. We will, however, advise the property owner that Tolland does not permit that additional sign in our Zoning Regulations.  Thank you for your inquiry.

2. Comment:When returning home from work, I often find Merrow Road backed up from Route 74 back to Old Post Road. Many drivers bypass this line using Tolland Green between Old Post Road and further contribute to the backup.

One thought I had would be to either alter Tolland Green to be one way (north or south) either full-time or temporarily (e.g. from 4 pm to 6 pm M-F) to help alleviate traffic. I don’t think this would cause much of an inconvenience to those homes on the road and may even be desirable, as there would be less traffic.

Is this something the town has considered?

Town’s Response: Thank you for taking the time to write. There is an on-going Route 195 Corridor Study looking at, amongst other things, traffic on Route 195. Route 195 being a state road makes it unlikely that it would be made one way as an option to alleviating traffic.

The Route 195 Corridor Study Committee information can be found on the CRCOG website (click here) and on the Town’s website (click here).

The next meeting of the Route 195 Corridor Study Committee is on Thursday, October 23rd at 7:30 p.m. in the Tolland Public Library Program Room and public comment is always welcome. The Program Room is located in the back right corner of the Library.

3. Comment: I would like to purchase and install an indoor oil-wood combo furnace. The furnace will use my existing flue and replace our oil furnace. The brick chimney goes up to the roof. The manufacturer is TARM. Do I need a permit for this work and who should I check with as far as the town is concerned.

Town’s Response: Yes, furnace installation does require the approval of a Building Permit. The Building Permit application can be obtained in the Planning and Community Development Department, which is located on the 3rd level of the town hall. The permit fee is based on the cost of the furnace and its installation. The fee is $20.00 for the 1st thousand and then $12.00 for each additional thousand worth of cost. The person to contact for this is the Town’s Building Official, whose office is in the Planning and Community Development Department, at 871-3601.

4. Comment:I live in the area of Tolland Stage Road and Dunn Hill Road. We have a vandal in the area, and there have been quite a few things spray painted. The “Welcome to Tolland Green” sign on the NW corner of Tolland Stage and Dunn Hill has had graffiti on it since the winter. I look at this sign every morning and it sets my perspective on the town. When is someone going to clean that? Also, what is being done to prevent this graffiti in the future?

Town’s Response:We will try to remove the graffiti on the sign as soon as possible. The Town has a “no tolerance” policy if it can determine who was responsible for the vandalism in terms of seeking restitution for the cost to repair any damage. If residents are aware of any graffiti on public signs or buildings please let us know and we will attempt to repair the damage as soon as possible. We seek the public’s help in being respectful of Town property and if you notice any acts of vandalism we ask that you report such acts to the State Police immediately. The Resident Troopers can be reached at 875-8911. Thank you for taking the time to write.

5. Comment: I like very much the updated street signs. I am wondering why all the signs have not been updated throughout the town.

Town’s Response: Thank you for your comment. We have received many positive comments on the updated street signs. The update is an on-going project that is being done in stages. In stage one, the street signs were replaced at the intersection of Town roads and State roads. In stage two, we are replacing signs at the main Town-owned intersections. The final stage will be the replacement of street signs in residential areas. It is anticipated that the full replacement program will take approximately two years to complete.


6. Comment: Bulk waste is only picked up once a month. What can be done about people who put piles of stuff out at the road weeks before the pickup date? It is unsightly and can be a hazard if it blows into the road. I don’t know if people just don’t read the waste pickup information or they just don’t care. Is there any regulation concerning this problem? If not, there should be one.

Town’s Response:At this time we are working on revising the town’s Solid Waste Regulations which will address this issue and help with enforcement. We will continue with our efforts to get the word out on how the program works and when you should place your waste at the curb. To date we have had information on the website, within the Solid Waste Disposal Guide that was issued with the new rolling totes, in newspapers, and in the Tolland Monthly. Recently an e-mail was sent through the town’s e-mail subscriber service to remind residents of the importance of placing bulky waste items at the curb as close to the date of the scheduled pick-up as possible. If residents are aware of violators of this policy, they can let us know and we will have a notice delivered to the household informing them of the concern.


7. Comment: Although it is summer, I think one way we can conserve a few dollars, is to reduce the sand and salt applied at least in half! On my street, we don’t need as much as main thoroughfares. I would assume there are other streets in town that fall in to this category.

Town’s Response: Over the next three months, we will be reviewing our snow and ice policy including the size of the routes and application procedures. While reducing the amount of sand and salt we use by 50% would be difficult, reductions in some cases may be warranted. We are moving toward a true 2-1 mix of salt to sand which should lessen considerably the amount of sand left on our streets and provide for better road traction during winter months. We will continue to examine this issue with the goal of reducing costs without impacting safe access during winter storms.

8. Comment: Paper bags are becoming harder to obtain at stores and many people are going to cloth bags. Most stores continue to use plastic bags. Newspapers are supposed to be placed in paper bags for trash pick-up. I can’t see buying paper bags as they become harder to get and tying them up is a hassle for seniors. Junk mail has been picked up in plastic bags for years, why can’t they be used for newspapers?

Town’s Response: We understand your concern about the use of paper bags vs plastic bags to contain paper goods being put out for recycling pick-up. The issue with plastic bags is that they jam the machines in the facility at Willimantic Waste. Willimantic Waste has in the past picked up paper recycables in the plastic bags, however, they have informed us that they can no longer continue to do this since it does jam their machines and that going forward any paper recyclables put out in plastic bags will not be picked up. We understand that many grocery stores are encouraging the use of cloth bags vs paper, however, it is hoped that they will still stock the paper bags, as the only acceptable methods for paper recycables pick-up is to put them out in paper bags or to tie them with twine or string.


9. Comment: I live on Metcalf Road and often travel east to Goose Lane via Anderson Road. I have, over the last 5-7 days, found that the visibility is mostly blocked at the corner of Anderson Road and Goose Lane due to vegetation growing at that corner. I am putting in a request for that vegetation to be mowed down to improve the visibility and decrease the likelihood of an accident. Thank you very much.

Town’s Response: Thank you for your e-mail. The Highway Department is presently working their way around town on problem areas such as this and will take care of your issue this week.


10. Comment:
Lack of childcare options in Tolland – I was disappointed that my two grade school children are on a wait list for the Family Resource Center program. I am surprised that the FRC doesn’t staff up to take all possible children as I am assuming that this is a profit center for the town/schools…I was especially surprised given that if space is an issue, Parker may soon be vacant. My comment is that perhaps the town/BOE can consider how to profit from some sort of daycare program by using local UCONN Education students as help…even given the 2 newer centers in town, Tolland is in dire need of more daycare options for infants/toddlers. I greatly miss the larger, “standardized” and terrific care provided by the franchise chains in my former town…Tolland greatly needs one of these as another option for those of us not comfortable with one of a kind/family run centers. Perhaps the town council can consider how to bring a child care franchise to town to service the children of employees who may soon work in businesses along the Route 195 corridor…this would also benefit those of us who live in town (ALL daycare centers have no space for my under 3 child for the upcoming school year!!!!) Thank you for your consideration.

Response from the Board of Education: The Family Resource Programs at Birch Grove and Parker Schools take as many school age children in the Before and After Care Program as we can staff. Our staff to child ratio is 10 students to 1 adult and for safety reasons we always have 2 adults with a group of children. It has been a challenge to find appropriate adult supervision from 7-8:30 a.m. and 2:30-6 p.m. Space is not the issue, finding appropriate adult supervision is the problem.

In total, there are 40-50 school aged children in the Before and After Care Program at each school depending on staffing. We do not provide child care for children who are not school aged.

11. Comment:There could be more expression of steps the various aspects of the town government are taking to trim costs and hold budget increases to 3% or less, keeping in mind that a 3% increase each year actually provides more tax revenue over the prior year. For example, the library budget was trimmed for ’07 but reinstated for ’08. Why? Certainly a step in the wrong direction and a negative signal to taxpayers. I recently visited my mother in Nashville, TN and particularly noted the hours of several libraries in the Nashville Metro Library system. All were 40 hours per week. Closed Monday, open Tuesday and Thursday 10 to 5 (I assume working hours from 9 to 5:30) and Wednesday, Friday and Saturday from 1 to 8. The people I saw in the libraries seemed content and there was no line to the librarian queuing up to ask that more tax dollars be spent for more hours. These dollars are not huge but seem to be very demonstrative of the reluctance of the Tolland town administration to seek reductions of any size wherever they can be found with minimal impact to citizens, certainly less that the impact of having to pay more taxes during these tough economic times. And how about that threatening letter about our school system?? That will be sure to surface again at budget time and waved like a banner around a request from the school system for another 6 to 8% hike. I love life in Tolland, but not because of all of the wonderful services provided by the town but because of the semi-country feel. The NEW schools, NEW fire engines and trucks, MULTIPLE town cars and trucks seem excessive. My grammar school (graduated in ’53) is still there, still in use with portable class rooms added on, and my high school (graduated in ’57) are still there, still in use. There are so many things about the psychology of spending in this town and state that are very discouraging. Find ways to do more with less and give the tax payers some relief. I hope there will be a strong effort next year to keep the tax increase close to zero, certainly below 3%, both by the town and the taxpayers. Thank you.

 


12.  Comment:
   A resident regularly drives past the Town Hall and was wondering why at 4:30pm, they see every outside spotlight lit around the building. This means we are running expensive floodlights 3 1/2 – 4 hours that it is still daylight, 6 days a week.  Also, as the time has changed for the spring and the Town Hall is not open on Fridays, the resident sees no need for any outdoor lights to be on after midnight Thursday/Friday (since the parts of the building that are open on Friday are only open during daylight hours.)
 

Town’s Response:
  The timers were broken and new parts have been ordered.  The problem should be resolved soon.        
 

13.  Comment:   A resident asked if the Town does any weed control.  There is a tremendous amount of poison ivy growing from Town property out onto the road.  This is located near the old Town garage on the left as you go up Bald Hill Road.  Not a good thing for children walking by this or any one for that matter.  


Town’s Response:
  The Town doesn’t handle any weed control other than in the Parks in Town.
15.  Comment:  

I noticed the Town is sweeping Old Stafford Road, are there plans to sweep Cook Road?  Also, there are areas on Cook Road that need mowing.  Vegetation is growing into the road which creates a safety issue for walkers.

Town’s Response:  The sweeper should get to Cook Road either later this week or early next week (week of 6/21 or 6/28) .  A work order for the road side mowing on Cook Road has been entered. 

14.  Comment:  There is a house down the street from me that has animals in the yard.  As far as I can tell they have chickens and roosters and sheep.  The number of animals that they have has increased through the years and the noise is becoming quite frustrating.  The roosters are extremely loud and can be heard all hours of the day and night.  Neighbors of ours have complained to us that they too are frequently woken up in the middle of the night by the roosters.  Is there anyting we can do?  Isn’t the rooster noise just as annotying as someone with a barkding dog?

Town’s Response:  

“Farming activities” are not regulated by the noise ordinance.  Whereas a rooster can certainly be as annoying as a barking dog, raising fowl is classified as farming under state statute.  Connecticut Statutes declare that there is a “right to farm” and that farming is not a nuisance; however, the Zoning Regulations do put some limits on keeping animals normally associated with farming.  In order to classify as a “farm” for keeping farm animals the property must be at least 2 acres.  Your e-mail did not specify an address where this rooster is kept; if you will provide me with the address I will check to see whether the property qualifies to keep farm animals and whether the property complies with all other requirements.