The comment period to ask questions on the budget is open until May 6th
Good morning,

Yesterday, Governor Lamont issued Executive Order 7HH , which suspends "any requirement for a vote on the budgets or mill rates by residents, electors, or property owners including, but not limited to, any vote by annual town meeting or referendum" (this order clarified language issued in Executive Order 7I ).

In working to comply with the executive orders, we consulted with the town attorney. With tremendous collaboration of town hall staff, we developed a solid, vetted plan for the Town.

There have been several inquiries from citizens concerned about not having a town vote take place. Please know no one is trying to remove anyone's right to vote or to be heard. This is an unprecedented time and we are all working hard to take the best actions for our communities, and abide by the changing rules as they are issued. Please use the survey monkey link to let us know your thoughts; you can always send us a letter or email as well. Please also consider attending the BoS and BoF meetings via Zoom - we will send out info on attending BoS & BoF meetings via Zoom shortly.

While there is widespread community transmission statewide of COVID19, we believe our low number of confirmed cases is due to the seriousness with which our community has taken the public health guidance issued. That said, we are not out of the woods. T he close contact and high attendance required for in-person voting greatly increases the risk of transmission of COVID-19 for voters, town officials, and poll workers and would consume a significant quantity of critically needed personal protective equipment.

The Survey Monkey link to submit a question or comment on the 2020-2021 proposed Kent Budget is below. Please keep in mind the comment period is open till Wednesday May 6th at 11:59pm.

Here's the link:

If you would like to view the proposed budget, Please visit the Town of Kent 20-21 budget page on our website.

Once we receive all the submissions, they will be sent to each Board for their response, which will then be read in for discussion at the Board of Finance's May 19th meeting, where the public will be also allowed to ask questions.
Bull's Bridge overcrowding
As the weather has been improving, overcrowding in many public places in Kent has been a growing issue. Our Emergency Management Team has been working with CT State Police, DEEP and our local partners to keep visitors complying with the various Executive Orders issued by the Governor.

The Office has received alot of thoughtful, helpful and creative input from the community for addressing these challenges. Taking all this into consideration, we have put in place a number of efforts to impact what we expect to be a large influx in visitors today and tomorrow:
  • No Parking signs have been posted along the road just south of the Bull's Bridge intersection and enforcement action will be taken;
  • There will be an additional Trooper in Kent both Saturday and Sunday;
  • The Bull's Bridge volunteers will have a presence and will be reminding visitors of the orders;
  • Restaurants have been directed by TAHD to reduce outdoor seating;
  • DEEP will be checking fishing licenses.

Our spring rituals of sitting outside at our favorite eatery, meeting up with friends for a bike ride, or heading to a park have been disrupted by this pandemic. Our best guidance is to follow the Governor's Stay Safe, Stay Home order.
A word about 'contact tracing'
There have been a number of inquires about the mention of contact tracing in the Governor's briefs this week related to the long-term recovery and the CTRecovers plan.

Contact tracing involves interviewing a COVID19-positive person to establish - for a pre-identified length of time - who that person came in contact with during that time, and tracking down every one of those individuals is a specialized skill (visit the CDC's contact tracing page). At the onset of the pandemic, contact tracing was being conducted for COVID19 positive patients, but once we reached the point of widespread community transmission, state officials suspended contact tracing.

The governor announced this week that the CT Department of Public Health will be working with health districts to resume contact tracing, using a new software tool and hundreds of volunteers; this process has the potential to enable the lifting of some social distancing guidance, which will get people back to work and businesses open. There will be much more information available in the coming weeks as the program is developed and Torrington Area Health Department will brief us.
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