Happy Labor Day!
We hope everyone had an enjoyable and safe summer. Strange times indeed and we can only hope that things in Rowayton will get back to normal as soon as possible. The Fall is typically a very busy time in town with students returning to school, fundraisers by many organizations, and a range of events, but this year will be different...many traditional Fall events have been cancelled but there are still some things planned.
The next Commissioners Monthly meeting will be held via Zoom on Wednesday September 16 at 7PM. In the interim, the 6TD Commissioners are using this e-blast to share a range of information with residents - both new and old.
Sixth Taxing District News and Information
What is the Sixth Taxing District? And What do we do?
Rowayton's official name is the Sixth Taxing District of the City of Norwalk (6TD) and there are three Commissioners who are elected to run the 6TD. The Commissioners oversee 4 full time, 8 part time and 9 seasonal employees as well as 20 acres of property and a total of 8 buildings. In addition, we work with the City of Norwalk to assist our residents with everything from crime to traffic to property taxes.
In the 1920s, the 6TD was originally created as a lighting district within the City of Norwalk. Over time, we started to provide services that were not being provided by the City including garbage collection, as well as financial support to the Rowayton Library and the local volunteer fire department. These services continue to be at the heart of today’s 6TD. We have grown from a small, part-time entity to a $1.8 mm a year organization. The 6TD now has actual offices above the library, a main phone number 203-854-6666 and its own 6TD website at www.Rowayton6TD.com. All Commissioners and employees have their own email addresses.
Every year, on the first Wednesday in March, the 6TD has its Annual Meeting and the budget for the coming fiscal year, starting July 1, is approved by those residents in attendance. A budget of $1.8 million was approved this March 4th. When a 6TD resident pays their City of Norwalk property tax bill, about 5% of the amount is sent back to your local government, the 6TD. The largest parts of the 6TD operating budget include payroll (25% of the budget), garbage with yard waste pick-up and disposal (20%), and the 6TD's contribution to the Rowayton Library (12%). The budget and the PowerPoint presentation from all annual meetings is on the 6TD's website.
While we work cooperatively with the City and use our relationships as much as we can, the 6TD has no oversight of The Department of Public Works, road repairs, City-provided recycling services, the Police Dept. or the school system.
Sidewalk and Road Safety Improvement Projects in Rowayton
The 6TD knows that many of our residents would appreciate having more sidewalks and footpaths as well as better maintenance of the existing ones. This is a complicated issue as (1) this is in the jurisdiction of the City and not the 6TD; (2) many of our roads are very narrow and (3) State law requires that the property abutter be responsible for maintenance of the walkway. This was discussed extensively at a public 6TD July 2018 meeting (link to the video on the 6TD’s website).
The 6TD is working with the City to improve the situation. After several years of discussion as well as the circulation of a petition (with 300+ signatures), the City has proposed to spend $80,000 on engineering work for sidewalks along Hunt/Witch as well as a section of Rowayton Avenue. This is a key step in the process and this work will determine what is feasible.
In addition, the 6TD has a project to improve pedestrian and vehicular safety in the area of the entry to Bayley Beach. We started by moving the fence off the road and cleaning out garbage, debris and dead trees. We removed the Wee Burn stone gates at the request of the RBA to improve the sight lines and functionality of our sidewalk. The sidewalk is planned to run along Pine Point Road and down the driveway to the actual entrance of Bayley Beach. This is part of a safety improvement and traffic calming plan for the area. The new sidewalk is also meant to be an anchor to a larger project that we hope the City will consider along Roton Avenue such that residents would be able to walk to Bayley Beach safely on a sidewalk.
The 6TD’s sidewalk/intersection improvement plan is on hold for now as the Board of Directors for Roton Point insist on having a vote of its members to approve the plan – this is on hold until after the pandemic is behind us. The City has told us this has to be completed as one project – the sidewalk installation and the intersection improvement. Otherwise, we could have installed the sidewalk now and worked on the intersection after the vote. The project has City Hall approval and is fully funded in the 6TD’s 2020/21 budget.
Promoting Town events/causes
There has been much talk about the Old School Fence and what can and can't be posted on the fence. Prior to the pandemic the Sixth Taxing District worked with all local Rowayton non-profit organizations to develop guidelines for lawn signs, the Banner across the Avenue, the Old School Fence, and this very e-blast you are reading. We met, we debated and we drafted guidelines we all approved. Read full set of guidelines here. Please reach out if you have any questions.
Next Door Rowayton
Next Door is a for profit social media platform that develops walled communities for local neighborhoods. Rowayton is a neighborhood with 4500 people, plus adjoining neighborhoods in Norwalk and Darien. Many times things posted on Next Door Rowayton are from people not living in town.
The 6TD has nothing to do with Next Door Rowayton...we might occasionally post announcements to make residents aware of something, but we do not monitor NDR or use it as an official means of communication.
There are several local monitors who try to make sure that conversations stay civil. But like other social platforms, conversations can include misinformation, opinions that are not facts, and links to sites that have no credibility. Please keep this in mind when engaging.
Route 136 Re-Paving is underway
The Connecticut Department of Transportation has begun a milling and resurfacing project on Route 136 in Darien and Norwalk. The project consists of milling and resurfacing 2.32 miles of Route 136 in Darien and Norwalk. This project is scheduled to occur Sunday, August 23, 2020 through Tuesday, September 15, 2020. The milling segment of this project has been completed and the resurfacing segment of this project is anticipated to be performed on Tuesday, September 1, 2020 through Tuesday, September 15, 2020.
No work will occur from 5:00 a.m. on Friday, September 4, 2020 through 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, September 8, 2020.
The 6TD has been informed that the State will not be addressing footpaths/sidewalks along Route 136 even though we asked many times. In addition, we did notify the City about the mislayed new catch basin in the middle of the footpath opposite the United Church. We have been told that all questions, concerns, etc., should be directed to the ConnDOT Public Relations Officer, Mr. Richard Porter at (860) 597-3057 or via email: firstname.lastname@example.org
The City of Norwalk has declared a Water Emergency and is asking residents and businesses to conserve water after what officials said was ongoing high temperatures and no significant rainfall. City officials, South Norwalk Electric and Water and the First District Water Department request residents reduce or eliminate non-essential water use. A range of activities are no longer allowed and irrigation systems can only run twice a week. More information is available at https://www.norwalkct.org/CivicAlerts.aspx?AID=1988
The 6TD's twice weekly summer garbage pick up has now ended. We are now back to once a week pickup -- either Monday or Tuesday depending on where you live.
Due to the Labor Day holiday, everyone's garbage and recycling pickup will be one day later this coming week. Thus, Monday pick up will be on Tuesday and Tuesday pick up will be on Wednesday.
The 6TD's yard waste pick up continues on Wednesdays (except for this coming week when it will be suspended due to the holiday). If you have excess or overly large yard waste debris due to Storm Isaias, the 6TD's contractor will be calling the City of Norwalk for a one time pickup. This will likely occur this week so have your debris out sooner rather than later.
If you want to get in touch with The 6TD please reply to this email or send to email@example.com