The What: This Week in Southwest Connecticut

The What is your look around southwest Connecticut for the week of March 6.

The What: This Week in Southwest Connecticut
This week, local budgets are dominating the headlines across the region. (Photo by Kelly Prinz)

Monday, March 6

Happy Monday! You might have noticed from some of the meetings and initiatives we list in this newsletter that many municipalities in our area are working on plans, resolutions, and other calls to action to help mitigate some of climate change’s effects and adapt to others.

Some communities are passing climate change-related resolutions that lay out goals and objectives for them to take to mitigate the effects of climate change, improve infrastructure to help it deal with climate-related impacts, and outline potential next steps. Other communities, even though they haven’t passed a specific resolution, are working on climate-related plans and studies, such as the Resilient South Norwalk project.

With all of these efforts going on, we thought it would be a good idea to highlight some recent plans and actions taken by communities and list some ways for you to get involved with these efforts. (Note: This article is solely focusing on recent activity, within the past year or so.)

Learn more.

As you’ll see in the meetings listed below, we’re entering the heart of budget season. We plan to have a deep dive into all the communities’ budgets soon, but until then, here’s our guide to getting involved with the budget process in southwest Connecticut. And if you’re looking for some historical information—such as to compare how much different departments got last year—check our piece examining how much it costs to run the region.

Let’s see what’s happening around the region.


Mayor Caroline Simmons will present her proposed budget for the city at a special Fiscal Committee/Board of Finance Joint Meeting on Wednesday, March 8 at 7 p.m. Residents are invited to tune in to hear what the mayor’s budget priorities are and see where your local tax dollars are going. Simmons will also give an overview of the capital budget, which focuses on longer term projects, in addition to her operating budget presentation.

The city’s Vision Zero Task Force will meet on Tuesday, March 7 at 9:30 a.m. The city recently unveiled five major projects and investments related to Vision Zero efforts. Learn more.

Other meetings this week include:


The Common Council is hosting a special meeting on Tuesday, March 7 at 7:30 p.m. to set a cap for this year’s budget. The process has been more complicated than usual due to a request for an increase of about 12% from the Board of Education and the fact that many council members said that the finance department hasn’t given complete information. Learn more about the budget cap in this article from NancyonNorwalk.

Other meetings this week include;


The Board of Finance is hosting two public budget sessions to start their deep dive into the Board of Selectmen’s proposed budgets. The first will be on Wednesday, March 8 at 7:30 p.m., followed by the second on Thursday, March 9 at 7:30 p.m.

The Board of Selectmen will meet on Monday, March 6 at 4 p.m. to discuss and vote on plans to address the issues at Penfield Pavilion. First Selectwoman Brenda Kupchick outlined her reasons for recommending that the town repairs the building, bringing it in line with FEMA standards. When the Pavilion was rebuilt following Superstorm Sandy, it was built not in compliance with FEMA standards and using contaminated fill.

The plan backed by Kupchick is estimated to cost about $11.5 million, which she said would come from surpluses the town has set aside over the past two years to prepare for this issue. However, the town has until March 31 to approve this plan—or a plan to knock the building down—or else FEMA will begin downgrading the town’s status. This means that residents would lose a 10% discount on flood insurance and if the problems persist, FEMA flood insurance would no longer be available and the town would not be eligible for disaster funding.

Other meetings this week include:


The Board of Estimate and Taxation Budget Committee has scheduled its decision days on the budget this week, where it takes into consideration all the budget presentations and decides what to recommend to the full board. The first is scheduled for Tuesday, March 7 starting at 10 a.m., and a second scheduled for Wednesday, March 8 starting at 11 a.m. if needed.

On Wednesday, March 8, there will be a Central Middle School Community Engagement Forum at 7:30 p.m. where the project’s architects will share preliminary concepts for the new school with attendees.

Other meetings this week include:

  • Monday, March 6: Representative Town Meeting Committees: Education Committee at 7 p.m. | Finance Committee at 7:30 p.m.| Legislative & Rules Committee at 7:30 p.m. | Public Works Committee at 7:30 p.m. | Land Use Committee at 7:45 p.m.
  • Tuesday, March 7: Planning & Zoning Commission at 4 p.m. | Representative Town Meeting Committees: Health & Human Services Committee at 7:30 p.m. | Parks & Recreation Committee at 7:30 p.m. | Town Services Committee at 7:30 p.m.
  • Wednesday, March 8: Operations Planning Committee at 11 a.m. | Planning and Zoning Board of Appeals Public Hearing at 7 p.m.
  • Thursday, March 9: Board of Selectmen at 10 a.m.


The Board of Selectmen will receive an update on the Great Island property at its meeting on Monday, March 6 at 7 p.m. The town approved plans to purchase the island over the summer, but had an extended 100-day window to close the sale during which they were working to address some concerns that came up during the disclosure process. The due diligence period was extended to March 6 and the closing moved to April 20.

The Planning & Zoning Commission plans to have multiple discussions about statewide and local issues at its meeting on Tuesday, March 7 at 7:30 p.m. The topics include: a review of accessory apartment/dwelling units; walkability and sidewalks in town; and affordable housing, particularly related to the state’s 8-30g law, which allows developers to bypass certain local zoning regulations if a town does not have more than 10% of its housing stock as “affordable.”

Other meetings this week include:

  • Monday, March 6: Representative Town Meeting (RTM) at 8 p.m.
  • Tuesday, March 7: Sewer Commission at 4 p.m. | Board of Finance at 7:30 p.m.
  • Wednesday, March 8: Operations Planning Committee at 8:30 a.m. | Advisory Committee on Sustainability at 12 p.m.| Blight Review Board at 5:30 p.m. | RTM—Parks & Recreation Committee at 7:30 p.m.
  • Thursday, March 9: Darien Police Commission at 4 p.m. | Human Services Commission at 8:30 a.m. | Zoning Board of Appeals—Special Meeting at 4:15 p.m. | RTM—Planning Zoning & Housing at 7:30 p.m. | RTM— Public Works at 8 p.m.


There will be two Board of Finance Budget Hearings this week, both at 7:30 p.m. On Wednesday, March 8, First Selectwoman Jen Tooker will present her budget to the Board of Finance, covering the town side of the budget. On Thursday, March 9, Superintendent Thomas Scarice and Board of Education Chair Lee Goldstein will present the proposed Board of Education budget.

Other meetings this week include:

Please note: All of these agendas and information here are current as of Sunday night. Meeting times and agendas may get adjusted throughout the week.

Thank you for reading!

If you are interested in being a part of our reporting or just want to share your thoughts, please reach out at

Have a great week,

Kelly Prinz

Founder, Reporter at Coastal Connecticut Times