****IMPORTANT SCHOOL BUDGET INFORMATION****
FROM REGION 4

REGIONAL SCHOOL DISTRICT NO. 4 BUDGET PROCESS REVISED TO COMPLY WITH COVID-19 RELATED EXECUTIVE ORDERS

Due to the disruption in our communities created by COVID-19, the budget process for Regional SchoolDistrict No.4 will proceed differently this year. In accordance with Governor Lamont’s Executive Orders 7 B and 7 I, the regularly scheduled Region 4 Public Hearing on April 1, 2020 at 7:00 p.m. will now be held via a remote technology platform called Google Meet. This will allow the public and members of the Region 4 BOE to participate remotely.

Citizens interested in listening and/or participating in the April 1 st Public Hearing may use any phone to connect to the meeting by dialing +1 (304) 518-4012 and entering PIN: 589 017 221# when prompted, shortly before 7:00 p.m. that evening. The Region 4 BOE strongly encourages public participation and remains committed to engaging with all citizens of Chester, Deep River, and Essex.

Another important process change dictated by Executive Order 7 I, is that the adoption of the Regional School District No. 4 educational budget for 2020-21 is now to be determined by an affirmative vote of the majority by the Region 4 Board of Education, as opposed to going to referendum in each of the three towns. Therefore, in accordance with Executive Orders 7 I and 7 B a possible vote to adopt the Region 4 2020-21 budget will be listed as an agenda item for possible action at the April 1 st Public Hearing; Special Meeting.

The Region 4 Board will be delaying their final vote until April 21 st at 7:00 p.m. when a Special Meeting of the Region 4 Board of Education will be scheduled. This decision was made by the Board in an effort to maintain as much normalcy as possible with respect to the entire budget process and timeline. It will also allow additional time to communicate the COVID-19 related changes in the Region 4 budget process to all stakeholders. Additionally, the public will have extra time to provide feedback to the Region 4 Board before the Board votes to adopt the final 2020-21 Regional School District No. 4 budget at the April 21 st Special Meeting.

If you wish to submit comments for the Board to consider prior to the April 1 st Public Hearing and/or the April 21 st Special Meeting and budget vote, please send them to the following e-mail address jbryan@reg4.k12.ct.us. 


The budget document is available on the district website www.reg4.k12.ct.us (under the heading: District /Budget Information/2020-21 Budgets); and at the link below. If you know someone who cannot access these documents online and needs a hard copy, please have them call Town Hall and we will arrange for a hard copy to be provided for them.




CHESTER ELEMENTARY BOARD OF ED BUDGET

In accordance with Governor Lamont’s Executive Order 7B a Special Meeting of the Chester Board of Education on April 1, 2020 at 11:00 a.m.  will held via a remote technology platform called  Google Meet.   To connect to this remote meeting please dial (‪US) ‪+1 (470) 268-2281  and enter PIN: ‪842 560 488# when prompted (shortly before 11:00 a.m. on April 1st). We kindly ask that you please mute your phone upon connecting to the meeting as this will improve the audio quality for all participants. The budget document will be available on the district website ( www.reg4.k12.ct.us ) prior to the meeting.

HELP FOR BUSINESSES


The COVID-19 Stimulus Bill was signed into law by President Trump today.

The package allocates  $ 367 billion to support small business . Small to mid-size companies with 500 employees or fewer could access federally guaranteed loans to maintain payroll even if businesses are temporarily closed. Additional costs including u tilities and rent could be forgiven  for employers meeting loan requirements.


Please click on the link below for details of the plan and how to use it.



Additionally, the Old Saybrook Chamber of Commerce has an amazing Business Resource Guide on their webpage - link below. Thanks Old Saybrook!




  STUFF TO DO


On the YouTube channel. From April 2, under the banner of National Theatre at Home, every Thursday (7pm) will see a new National Theatre play released – free to watch for one week – along with bonus content including cast and creative Q&As and post-stream talks.

April 2 ‘One Man, Two Guvnors’ by Richard Bean, starring James Corden.  Read our review .
April 9 ‘Jane Eyre’, adapted by Sally Cookson.  Read our review
April 16 ‘Treasure Island’, adapted by Bryony Lavery.  Read our review.
April 23 ‘Twelfth Night’ by William Shakespeare, starring Tamsin Greig.  Read our review .

For more information on National Theatre at Home, click  National Theatre at Home .


WHAT'S UP IN CHESTER


Chester Public Library

In order to provide additional digital resources to patrons through this difficult time, the Library has increased its Hoopla borrowing from 3 to 6 downloads per month. Also, hoopla Digital has curated the hoopla Bonus Borrows Collection; this list of more than 1,000 top titles will be FREE to Libraries - PLUS each Patron will be debited ZERO Borrows when they borrow any of the included titles!

In addition to these titles, patrons will also continue to have access to hoopla's full collection of over 750,000 eBooks, audiobooks, movies, TV shows, music, comics, and more.

The Collection will be free to Libraries and Patrons through 4/30/20.

Meeting House Floor Replacement

The new floor in the Chester Meeting House is almost complete. New baseboards are being installed and the final finish coat is curing. Next week new toilets will be installed in the bathrooms and the project will be done. Our timing in doing this major restoration project could not have been better; we found several minor structural problems under the floor which we were able to repair to properly maintain this beautiful historic building. We will definitely be celebrating when it is safe to gather again!

Chester does not have a confirmed case of COVID-19, although the number of cases is growing throughout the state and there are three times as many cases in Middlesex County today as there were on Monday. For the most part, we are doing a great job hunkering down and finding ways to occupy ourselves while washing hands and social distancing. The weather is getting nicer and folks are out walking dogs and hiking in Cockaponset.

While walking, people have been noticing quite a bit of litter along Chester's roadways and some are making a point to take a trash bag with them to clean up while they are outside. You may not have been aware of this, because it got cancelled due to COVID-19 before it could even be publicized, but April is the 50th anniversary of Earth Day, and several of our Boards and Commissions were planning to sponsor a clean up day around town. While we cannot "get together" to clean up Chester, let's grab some bags and do it anyway, even if separately! Take pictures of yourselves and your haul, and send them to my office - we will do something creative and get them posted. We will have some fun and help keep Chester clean. HAPPY EARTH DAY!


The Chester Town Hall, although closed to the public, remains open Monday - Thursday, 9-12 and 1-4 and Friday from 9-12 for the time being. We are not working on Tuesday evenings at this time. Please call 860-526-0013 for an appointment.


 Be well,


Lauren