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Board of Selectmen: New Housing Plan Committee, Building Permit Fee Increase, Speed Humps, STEAP Grant Location Change, New ZEO Search

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Lead Summary


First Selectman, Todd Carusillo reiterated for residents to not interact with bears and to report sightings to the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP). For bear-related emergencies, residents can contact DEEP's Dispatch Center at (860)-424-3333. The Town Hall’s boiler will be replaced on Wednesday, March 13th after cracks appeared in its fire chamber, leaking water into the hall’s basement. Stephen Papp of the Goshen-based Eco Home Comfort Systems will install the new boiler for $13,800.

For Correspondence, Former Conservation Commission member Jeff Damiano and Library Board and BAA member Lynette Miller wrote to the selectmen to be placed on the town’s new affordable housing committee. The selectmen reviewed Recreation Department Director Erin Reilly’s response to the board’s apprehension toward moving her office to the Camp Cochipianee Kobylenski Lodge. Dexter Kinsella supported the move but Carusillo thought there weren’t enough new events to warrant the move. Olson stated, “It’s an office space that I don’t want to lose… the concern of losing the west wing in addition to the expense of having two office spaces and having to heat and maintain that… I just don’t think it’s in the best interest of the town…” Kinsella motioned to temporarily move her office to the lodge on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays as an experiment but both Carusillo and Olson voted against this motion. Reilly understood the selectmen’s concerns but hopes they’ll reconsider their decision so she could move more of her events from the Church of Christ Congregational to the camp.



First Selectman Todd Carusillo reported that Stephen Papp of Eco Home Comfort Systems installed the town hall’s new boiler.  Papp suggested a thermal bypass for more efficient heating. Carusillo stated, “So Steve did that for free … and didn’t charge us a penny more.” Carusillo said he met with the Woodridge Lake Property Owners’ Association’s (WLPOA) Safety Committee; the Association will be sending a proposal for speed humps to curtail speeding on East Hyerdale Drive. Woodridge Lake has a relatively high population density and the reduction of speeding in an area actively used by people walking, bicycling, and running is a public safety issue.

The board received and reviewed bids for rock crushing and materials processing. Datin Brothers Inc. of Newtown submitted a per ton unit price of $19.93 per ton. Torrington Diesel Corporation of Torrington submitted a total estimated material cost crushed and processed of $20,000. Datin did not submit a total estimated material cost while Torrington did not submit a per ton unit price. Both bids were forwarded to Public Works Supervisor Garret Harlow for further review.

The selectmen are considering increasing fees for building permits from $8 to $14 for every $1,000 of construction. Goshen’s Building Official Christopher Zibell suggested this increase to Carusillo after other local municipalities began increasing their building permit fees. “I spoke with Chris Zibell,” said Carusillo. “He thinks Goshen is way behind on permitting so he made a recommendation of around $14 per $1,000 to be competitive with the other towns.” Dexter Kinsella requested more information from Zibell as to why he made this recommendation. Scott Olson clarified that Zibell receives 30% of permit fees so this increase was “somewhat self-serving.” He further suggested that Zibell may leave Goshen if he can get better pay from another town. With that in mind, Olson believes the increase may be a benefit to retain Zibell. The selectmen tabled this discussion until their next meeting.



First Selectman Todd Carusillo received a Special Event Permit application for the 18th annual Goshen Stampede. The Rodeo and Gymkhana event still needs approval from the Fire Marshal Bob Diorio and State Police before it can be formally approved by the board. Once approved, the Stampede will run from Friday, June 7th to Sunday, June 9th at the Fairgrounds. Carusillo also received Planning and Zoning Commission alternate William Clinton’s letter of resignation from the commission. Meanwhile, Water Pollution Control Authority member Russell Hurley (who shared with the Goshen News his retirement from the Water Authority) and town resident Michael Esposito (currently chairing the Safety Committee on Woodridge Lake) submitted letters expressing interest to be placed on the Housing Committee.

For Public Comment, Marissa Wright, of the local Wright Farm, requested removal of the restriction on comments to only items on meeting agendas. Board of Assessment of Appeals member Audrey Blondin agreed with this request, stating, “Public Comment is for the public to comment. It should not, does not, and, in my opinion, is not appropriate to be limited to agenda items… It’s not transparent, it’s not inclusive, and it’s wrong.” Carusillo responded that he has an open-door policy, and anyone can come to him at any time during the day to talk with him. WAMOGO Art Teacher Robin Christopher agreed with Wright and Blondin and added that most selectmen agendas have barely any items listed or any detailed information about agenda items for people to properly comment. Carusillo claimed there were items listed in the agenda and directed Christopher to the New Business section which contained only three items.

The board reopened the bids for rock crushing and materials processing. According to Scott Olson, three bids were delivered by Tuesday, March 19th but only two were presented last week but the third was not given to the selectmen by the time the meeting began. Alibozak Construction LLC of Litchfield submitted a total estimated material cost of $31,000. The bid was forwarded to Public Works Supervisor Garret Harlow for further review.



In response to last week’s comments opposing restrictions on topics for public comment, the selectmen decided to open public comment to any matter, as long as it relates to Goshen.

Carusillo reported on his meeting with Woodridge Lake President Mike Edison, General Manager Ed Dutka, and Safety Committee Chairman Mike Esposito. The Association’s Board of Directors will seek comments from their members regarding a Safety Committee recommendation that three speed humps be installed on East Hyerdale Drive, two at the north section and one at the south section, pending approval from Lake members. Carusillo added, “… it’s going to be part of the town vote, also, and the budget, so hopefully there’s no naysayers there at the budget meeting in May.” The proposed speed humps will be six feet long and three inches tall, using the same design successfully implemented by the Towns of West Hartford and Farmington in their respective communities.

Public Works is considering building a storage facility behind their 30 Torrington Road location. Carusillo spoke with Connecticut Intergovernmental Policy and Planning Division Undersecretary Martin Heft about keeping the STEAP grant for the original 190 Sharon Turnpike location to use for this new site. Carusillo said that Heft told him a town vote would have to be held (in May) to reallocate the grant funds for this new site since the grant was intended for 190 Sharon Turnpike. Carusillo added that “If we do get the vote, then we would think about keeping the land for the future, selling the piece of property, or recreation. So if the public wants to make some comment on that, that’d be great when the time comes.”

Torrington Mayor Elinor Carbone told Carusillo the city does not have and does not need a Social Services Department. Carusillo motioned to dissolve Goshen’s Human Services Taskforce because he doesn’t see a need for it in the town. Olson and Kinsella suggested taskforce members come in to speak on their work for the town before they are dissolved. Carusillo agreed and the motion was tabled for next week.

Inland Wetlands and Watercourse Commission Chairman, Thomas Stansfield asked who will conduct the hiring of a new Zoning Enforcement Officer (ZEO) following Martin Connor’s resignation. He suggested the selectmen include members of land use commissions and Connor on an interview panel. Carusillo put the job listing on Indeed on Wednesday, March 27th and has since received 20 applications, primarily of unqualified candidates. Stansfield further suggested the ZEO’s job description be updated since the current description is from 2008 and has some errors.

Building Official Christopher Zibell spoke on his suggestion to increase Goshen building permit fees from $8 to $14 for every $1,000. Zibell originally proposed this increase after seeing other local municipalities charging $10-$15 per $1,000. Kinsella asked why Goshen would need this increase. “It just generates more income for the town,” Zibell explained. “I can’t really give you too many reasons why, other than, you know, I just thought it was lower than the other towns and that’s about all I can tell you.” After some debate, Kinsella motioned to increase building permit fees to $10. This was unanimously approved.

The board received and reviewed bids for chip sealing. Comer Contracting Inc. of Newington submitted a total price for a one-year bid of $233,300.60. New England Asphalt Services LLC of Northford submitted a total price of $237,125.20. Both bids were forwarded to Public Works Supervisor Garret Harlow for further review.


Special Meeting 04/05/24

The Board of Selectmen held a special meeting to appoint members to the new Housing Plan Committee. This committee will serve as an advisory to the selectmen to critique, review, and update or change Goshen’s current housing plan, which has been widely criticized as being unrepresentative of the will of the townspeople.

Selectman Scott Olson first proposed this committee in February and several community members expressed interest in serving on the committee since then. They include Former Conservation Commission member Jeff Damiano, Board of Assessment Appeals and Library Board of Directors member Lynette Miller, Michael Esposito, Water Pollution Control Authority member Russell Hurley, Board of Assessors member Adam Andrusia, George Kral, Wright Farm owner Marissa Wright, Building Subcommittee member Andrew Savage, and Economic Development Commission member Peter Kujawski.

Following a brief executive session where the selectmen reviewed the candidates, they appointed Damiano, Miller, Esposito, Hurley, and Kujawski. In a text message to The Goshen News, the next day, Selectman Olson stated that “…we have put together what I think is an excellent committee that will do a great job, representing the true interest of the people of Goshen”.

Eric Warner