Kent Newsletter
Issue 3 | March 1, 2022
Friends and neighbors,
How did we get to March 1st so quickly! Before we know it, we'll begin to see the daffodils emerging, setting the stage for the Chamber's famous Daffodil Days event next month.

Time moves so quickly, and I see no slowing down. Here's some of what's keeping us busy in town government:
  • 2022-2023 Budget season is in full swing, with workshops being held to supply the BoS with information from departments and organizations on their budgetary needs for the coming fiscal year;
  • New Park & Rec Director Jared Kuczenski is getting to know community members and becoming a familiar face at the After School Program;
  • New Assistant Assessor Jamie Hatch is learning the ropes in the Assessors Office;
  • We're receiving plenty of interest in the bid package for Phase I of the Streetscape Project;
  • The many BoS subcommittees are hard at work in their ranging from noise and traffic, to hiring a new social services director.

As we emerge from winter and begin to see the blossoming spring, I look forward to getting outside more, and appreciating the amazing, vibrant place that is Kent.

As always, remember,
...take a breath,
...give folks a minute,
...assume some positive intent.

Stay well,
Jean C. Speck
First Selectman
Town of Kent, Connecticut
COVID-19 Updates
COVID numbers are coming down! The state’s average daily positivity rate of COVID-19 cases is at 2.55%. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced Friday it is relaxing its mask guidance for communities where hospitals aren't under high strain. 

Home test kits and masks are available to Kent residents at the Town Hall. Masks are in the front lobby and kits can be picked up in the First Selectman's Office. Please take advantage of drive-through testing at the Transfer Station and continue to stay smart when protecting your health and others.

COVID Testing at the Kent Transfer Station Continues:

  • Tuesdays and Thursdays, 3:oop-6:oop
  • Sundays 4:oop - 6:3op

There continues to be no appointment needed | PCR test results available in 24-48 hours | CT residency is not required | Insurance is not required | Must have an email address to get test results | Priority lane for First Responders | Forms available at the test location.

Up-to-Date Information:
Vaccines and Booster Shots: It's easier that ever to get vaccinated. Click the button below the State of Connecticut Vaccine portal for more information:
Upcoming Dates of Interest
Wednesday, Mar 2 | KCS Board of Education Regular Meeting | 6:3op
Wednesday, Mar 2 | Board of Selectmen Special Meeting | 7:oop
Thursday, Mar 3 | Board of Selectmen Regular Meeting (1 of 2) | 4:oop
Monday, Mar 7 | Streetscape Project Public Bid Opening | 10:ooa
Monday, Mar 7 | Region One Board of Education Regular Meeting | 6:3op
Monday, Mar 7 | Park and Recreation Commission Regular Meeting | 7:oop
Wednesday, Mar 9 | Conservation Commission Regular Meeting | 6:3op
Thursday, Mar 10 | Planning & Zoning Commission Regular Meeting | 7:oop
Wednesday, Mar 16 | Board of Finance Regular Meeting | 6:oop
Thursday, Mar 17 | Board of Selectmen Regular Meeting (2nd of 2) | 6:3op
Wednesday, Mar 23 | Region One ABC Committee Regular Meeting | 7:oop
Visit the Town website calendar for details and a complete schedule of meetings and locations/Zoom links
Civic Engagement
Town of Kent Budget: The Town Treasurer has prepared a draft budget for the Board of Selectmen to begin their work discussing the estimated $14 million municipal budget. At the end of April, the treasurer will publish the proposed town budget for the public to review. Did you know that the budget supports 13 local and regional not-for profit organizations - that provide vital services to our community - for a total of over $300,000 in the form of annual grants?

Important dates for civic engagement in the Town Budget:
  • Wednesday, May 11–Budget Hearing where residents have the opportunity to ask questions about the budget and learn about how their tax dollars are being spent.
  • Friday, May 20–Town Meeting to vote to adopt the 2022-2023 municipal budget. Mark your calendars to attend!
2022 Legislative Session: The Connecticut General Assembly has begun what is referred to as a 'short session', running from February to May (even-numbered years are 'short sessions; odd-numbered years are 'long sessions,' running from January to June). Considering the short session, the legislature is considering a large number of bills.
Here are a few I'm following:
HB-5044: AN ACT IMPLEMENTING THE GOVERNOR'S BUDGET RECOMMENDATIONS REGARDING THE USE OF OPIOID LITIGATION PROCEEDS.
HB-5116: AN ACT REQUIRING THE CREATION OF UTILITY COMPANY TREE-PLANTING FUNDS.
HB-5139 - AN ACT CONCERNING EXTENDED PRODUCER RESPONSIBILTY FOR TIRES.
HB-5142: AN ACT CONCERNING EXTENDED PRODUCER RESPONSIBILITY FOR CERTAIN GAS CYLINDERS.
SB-88: AN ACT CONCERNING AID IN DYING FOR TERMINALLY ILL PATIENTS.
SB-115: AN ACT CONCERNING EXTENDED PRODUCER RESPONSIBILITY FOR CONSUMER PACKAGING.
SB-118: AN ACT CONCERNING THE USE OF CERTAIN POLYSTYRENE PRODUCTS.
SB-132: AN ACT CONCERNING THE SALE AND USE OF CONSUMER GRADE FIREWORKS.
Your input is needed on THREE important topics:
Child Care | Organic food scrap composting program | ARPA Needs Assessment
Kent Education Center and Nursery School is gathering information on the childcare needs of our community. If you are a parent or guardian in Kent or the surrounding towns, please take the time to fill out the survey:
The ARPA Needs Assessment Committee has created a survey to hear from our community how the COVID19 pandemic has affected you, your business or organization, and your thoughts on the best way to spend the $800,000 allocated to Kent through the American Rescue Plan Act.
Should the Transfer Station implement an organic food scraps drop-off program? We know sustainable materials management in CT is a hot topic. To plan for our community to continue to improve our management of our garbage and recycling, we want to hear from you on implementation of a food scrap drop-off program at the Transfer Station. Even if you don't currently use the Transfer Station, we could offer the service to all residents so please take the survey!
Job Opportunities: There are often opportunities for employment with Kent Town governments.  All openings are posted to our website: www.townofkentct.org
Currently accepting applications for: Social Services Director and After School Program Director. Click for more information.
Are you an organization in Kent looking for volunteers? We are working to compile a list to make available to the residents of the Town looking to get involved. Please email the First Selectman with the name of your organization and a contact person.  

Park & Rec email list: Jared Kuzcenski, Kent's new Park & Recreation Director, has hit the ground running! As he works to build new programming and activities, he will be sending out Park & Rec News - if you would like to stay informed about Park & Rec, please click the button below to join the mailing list!
Happenings Around Town
In honor of Women's History Month, the Kent Art Association is hosting a show featuring five Connecticut artists, including Kent resident Pam White. Weekends, through the month of March.

Live music is returning to St. Andrew's Church! On March 5th & 6th, the Kent Singers are presenting their Songs of the British Isles concert, which was rescheduled from March of 2020!

More information about these and many other events can be found on the Kent Chamber of Commerce website.
Winter Open Skate this Sunday:
Kent Park & Rec is hosting their final Open Skate of the series this Sunday at the Nadal Rick at Kent School from 1o:3oa-11:3oa. Gather friends and family for an hour of skating!

Click on the flyer for details.
Town Updates
Kent Center School Kindergarten Pre-Registration: Pre-Registration is open for the 2022-2023 school year for children who will be five years old on or before December31, 2022. Please read the attached letter for details.

2022 Voter Canvass: Over the next few months, the Registrars of Voters will be conducting their annual voter canvass. Please read the attached memo regarding details.

Primary Care: Last fall, I began discussions with Community Health & Wellness Center about providing mobile medical services to the Kent community. I'm happy to report that we have restarted those discussions. Their "B.E.T.T.Y." (Bringing Exceptional Treatment To You) unit is equipped to provide a wide variety of services including medical screenings, lab tests and vaccinations, screening for social determinants of health, education, and referrals. The closure of the last primary care practice in Kent last May created a number of barriers to primary care for many residents. This program will remove barriers for many residents, enabling convenient access to primary care. We hope to have them present information at a Board of Selectmen meeting this month. Click this link for more information on the B.E.T.T.Y. unit program.

Affordable Housing Plan: We held an informational session on February 23rd that had almost 40 attendees. Consultant Jocelyn Ayer guided the group through current housing data, and gave an overview of the affordable housing plan process.

Birch Hill: There continues to be no updates regarding the proposed 85-bed substance use disorder treatment facility on the property at 46 Maple Street. The Town of Kent continues to monitor developments.  

Cell Tower Construction: Homeland Towers received approval for their Development & Management Plan and plan to have the tower up by this summer. Plan documents can be found on the Docket 488 page on the Connecticut Siting Council website.

Federal Tribal Recognition: Currently, there are no updates to report.   

Streetscape: There has been a lot of interest from vendors requesting bid package materials for the Streetscape project. Those interested in receiving the bid documents can visit the Town Bids page on our website, submit their contact information and receive the bid documents via secure email. The bid process has been extended to March 7th. The public bid opening will be March 7th in the large meeting room at Town Hall.

Eversource Vegetation Management: Eversource has begun their work to trim and remove limbs that threaten the electric system. Below is a reference map they provide to show where they will be working, as well as a new Eversource Vegetation Management Town Scorecard which provides a visual, at-a-glance overview of planned trimming and some interesting town-level data.
Did You Know?
There's a new container at the Transfer Station for used books! For books that cannot be donated to the Kent Memorial Library's annual Book Sale (which is a great place for gently used books and to find treasures for your book shelf) the Transfer Station Book Bin is a perfect way to recycle them.
A Transfer Station permit is NOT required to recycle books, textiles, mattresses, paint, and e-waste.
NO MOW MAY: Leave the mower in the shed for an extra month! By leaving your property unmown for the month of May, you're helping to create habitat for pollinators and other wildlife. This initiative was started in the UK and is gaining momentum in the United States
Quick Links
Join the Town of Kent's Newsletter listserv and stay informed. Fill out a form to join, or sign up via text by texting "KENT" to 42828.
visit our website: www.townofkentct.org