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Progress on Police, Revson and Lachat

The Weston Board of Selectmen met Thursday evening and pushed three major initiatives forward.

Three initiatives are moving forward in Weston.

At Thursday's Board of Selectmen meeting, Weston's elected officials unanimously approved the hire of a new police officer, as well as a contractor to fix the problematic baseball fields at the Revson site.

Rick Phillips, the Chairman of the Police Commission, spoke to the selectmen about the new hire, who will be attending the academy beginning Aug. 12. 

"I give 100 percent credit to the chief for starting this process early," Phillips said, noting that the process for hiring a new officer usually takes about a year. 

Weston had 97 applicants, of which 63 showed up for the written test. Twenty three passed the written and oral exams, and 22 showed up for the physical. Based on the results from the exams, 5 candidates were selected for interview.

The first choice, Keith Zaffuto, withdrew his application for personal reasons. Phillips indicated that the commission made conditional offers to all five final selections.

Daniel Cascone is a first-time police officer, and the selectmen gave their unanimous approval to the commission for the hire. Cascone is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin and a Newtown native.

"He's a sharp guy," Phillips said. "I liked him. He's going to fit in with the town."

Cascone will replace officer Jenna Phoenix, who is relocating out of the area, and will earn $54,040 to start.

The selectmen also made headway on the Revson field remediation project by unanimously awarding a contract to Aquaturf Irrigation, who will begin the renovation next week. 

Aquaturf came with excellent references, top equipment and a bid of $144,873. Both fields will be renovated, and include a plan to re-grade as well as add sand drainage to the varsity field, which will also sport a new pitcher's mound.

Selectman Dan Gilbert noted that "this plan is going to work."

"The most important thing you're doing is grading the field," he said.

The plan received approval from the Conservation Commission earlier in the week.

The selectmen also heard Lachat savior Carol Baldwin speak about the progress she's made . 

So far, Baldwin has raised $55,000 toward the renovation. Baldwin is working with architect Robert Hatch on a plan to restore the top floor of the residence for use as a caretaker's apartment. 

Hatch said he'd have the plans ready for Baldwin's review over the weekend. Baldwin also indicated that Hatch has been busy speaking with contractors about estimated renovation costs; according to Baldwin, Hatch indicated that previous plans that were presented by the were high. 

Baldwin intends to present the finished plans to potential donors, many of whom want to know the estimated project cost before committing funds.

"I'm still getting a really positive response to the farm idea," Baldwin told the selectmen, "and I see the farmhouse as integral to the idea."

First Selectman Gayle Weinstein noted that Baldwin should feel free to contact her if she needs additional help, and asked her to report back to the board in September.

In other notes:

  • The town settled a dispute regarding the replacement of the chiller at with the insurance company. "We thought insurance should pay for the new chiller, but CIRMA didn't agree," Weinstein said. The town accepted a settlement of $50,000.
  • Rev. Bernard Wilson was unanimously reappointed as police chaplain.
  • Allen Swerdlowe was reappointed unanimously to the Building Committee.
  • The board gave Weinstein unanimous approval to collect unclaimed funds totaling less than $500 from the state Attorney General. "I didn't want to just leave it sitting there," Weinstein laughed.
  • All property tax refunds were approved unanimously.

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