Sunday, March 27, 2011

Crunch Time.

While most of you are huddled around your TV watching the Uconn game,I have been sequestered in my office with stacks of spread sheets and a calculator working on the city budget.

It's been a long haul. This, by far, has been the most difficult and challenging budget I have ever worked on.

I am done, it's at the printer.

I will be presenting the spending plan at the April City Council meeting.

And of course, you wouldn't respect me if I didn't have a few new wrinkles..

Go Huskies...

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

The Proposal That No One's Talking About.

While many parts of Governor Malloy’s budget have come under scrutiny for a variety of reasons, there is one proposal that has flown under the radar.
The Earned Income Tax Credit proposal has drawn little fire from politicians and has not been the focus of discussion at the town hall meetings the Governor is having across the state.
The EITC is a tax credit that will be granted to over 100,000 qualifying residents across Connecticut who file but do not pay state income taxes. The EITC will allow these filers to receive a check from the State of Connecticut of up to $1700.00.
That’s right, with a 3.6 Billion dollar deficit, the Malloy administration is proposing that we give a check to people who don’t pay state income taxes to begin with.
The cost to the State of Connecticut is over 100 million dollars in the first year of the budget. It is by far the most expensive new proposal in the Governor’s spending plan.
In an era when the Governor has spoken about shared sacrifice, once again, a segment of our state will not only be spared, they will recieve a windfall from the Governor’s spending plan.
In an era when the Governor has rightly spoken about a crushing deficit that threatens to derail every corner of our state, he has miraculously found the money to start one of the largest social welfare programs in the history of Connecticut.
One has to wonder what public policy benefit there is to giving away money (that’s your money) to people who don’t pay state income taxes at a time when the state is facing a fiscal crisis of biblical proportions.
If this proposal should make it into law, I’m guessing that the constituencies who delivered the election to Malloy in November will make out very well.
Not quite what I would call shared sacrifice.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Here it comes..

LIGHT RAIN OCCURRING ACROSS WESTERN CONNECTICUT AT THIS TIME…
HEAVY RAIN LIKELY LATE TONIGHT AND FRIDAY MORNING MAY CAUSE MODERATE TO MAJOR FLOODING IN WESTERN CT...

Municipalities are reminded to review their Local Emergency Operations Plans.

At 2:45 PM radar showed light rain over Western CT.  Rain is forecast to very slowly spread to the East during the rest of today and tonight.  Temperatures are currently in the low to mid 40’s.  Warmer and more humid air is currently located in Central NJ and is expected to begin moving into Southern New England this evening.  This storm has the potential to bring another 2 – 4 inches of rain to some locations in the Northeast resulting in 2 – 3 inches of snowmelt in some areas.  The current axis of heavy rainfall is still forecast to be located in Eastern PA and NY, however western Connecticut is very close to the area of heaviest rain and any shift to the East in the axis could bring 2 – 4 inches of rain into the Housatonic River basin.  The rest of the state is forecast to receive 1 – 2 inches of rain. 

Most of the heavy rain from this storm is still expected to occur between midnight tonight and noon on Friday as a very slow moving cold front (currently located in Eastern PA) moves through Western CT late tonight and Friday morning with some embedded thunderstorms.  Urban flooding is likely to begin  just after midnight with small streams and rivers rising above flood stage by daybreak.  The Housatonic River is expected to begin rising around midnight reaching moderate flood levels by daybreak.  Towns are advised to very closely monitor this storm.  Any stalling of the cold front or training of thunderstorms could result in severe urban flooding and major river flooding if total rainfall exceeds 3 inches between midnight and Noon on Friday.  The Department of Environmental Protection is also monitoring this storm closely.  The Department of Emergency Management and Homeland Security will issue another update on this storm at 6:00 PM.

RIVER                                                 CURRENT     FLOOD           CURRENT FLOOD   PRELIMINARY FORECAST
                                                            STAGE           STAGE           LEVEL                                    FOR FRIDAY
Farmington River at Simsbury           11.3 FT            12.0 FT            Below Flood Stage      Rising to 15.7 Feet by 2 PM Sat
Housatonic River at Gaylordsville        9.4 FT              8.0 FT            Minor                           Rising to 12.4 Feet by 2 PM Sat
Housatonic River at Stevenson          12.8 FT            11.0 FT            Minor                           Rising to 15.4 Feet by 2 AM Sat
Still River at Brookfield                       10.2 FT            12.0 FT            Below Flood Stage      Rising to 16.0 Feet by 8 PM Fri*
Connecticut River at Hartford            16.4 FT            16.0 FT            Minor                           Rising to 17.6 Feet by 8 PM Sat
Connecticut River at Middletown         9.5 FT              8.0 FT            Falling then rising        Rising to 9.0 Feet by 6 PM Sat
Quinnipiac River at Southington           4.4 FT              6.0 FT            Below Flood Stage      Rising to 8.0 Feet by 4 PM Fri*
Quinnipiac River at Wallingford            6.0 FT            10.0 FT            Below Flood Stage      Rising to 10.0 Feet by 8 PM Fri*
Pomperaug at Southbury                     5.0 FT              8.0 FT            Below Flood Stage      Rising to 15.0 Feet by 2 PM Fri*

*Estimate based on historical flow records from April 2007 Flood Event.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Rough Weather Ahead.

Based on the weather forecast for the next two days, things could get rough around here.

The National Weather Service is predicting 2"-4" of rain starting late tonight. Coupled with the rain over the last week and all of the melted snow, if their prediction comes true, it will be a challenge.

I have already met with our Chiefs and our Emergency Management officials to ensure that we are as ready as we can be for any potential flooding.

If the forecast holds, expect closures of all of the usual roads, West Street, Newtown Rd., Federal Rd., Kenosia Avenue, Williams Street, as well as other localized street flooding.

Hold on to your neighbor, its gonna get rough..