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PRESS RELEASE FROM THE TOWN OF BOLTON

On June 28, 2024, Town of Bolton staff became aware of an issue with some tax bills being calculated with the previous assessed value and the new mil rate resulting in undervalued tax bills. Further investigation revealed that this affected 556 accounts. Those accounts are being rebilled correctly. Only those 556 affected accounts have a revised deadline of August 30, 2024, to pay without penalty. All other tax bills are due not later than August 1, 2024. Closer investigation also found that the grand list calculations were incorrect, and it is $30,703,164.00 lower than it should be. With the current mil rate and the new grand list valuation the Town will collect approximately $1,000,000.00 more in taxes than is necessary to operate the Town for the current fiscal year. The Board of Selectmen and Finance Committee met on July 8, 2024, to discuss this matter. At their meeting they determined that they would continue to collect taxes based on the proper evaluations and the current mil rate. They also were in consensus that they would like to return funds to taxpayers in excess of the amount approved by taxpayers for this fiscal year. In an effort to determine the best way to accomplish that they formed an ad hoc committee which includes members of both boards. The charge of that committee is to work with the town administrator and town attorney to determine the most effective and efficient way to accomplish that task. They have also been tasked with completely investigating the issue and determining what happened and how to prevent it from occurring again in the future.

Grants

AWARDED GRANTS: 

STEAP GRANT: 2023 HERRICK PARK FIELD UPGRADE
Grant Award: $ 500,000.00                                      Total Projected Project Cost: $ 602,000.00

The planned project, which has been on the books for many years, will add a soccer field, a ball field and additional parking to serve those fields at Herrick Park. The Town has expended funding on planning and engineering. To date we have $90,000.00 in our Capital Improvement Plan.

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STATE OF CONNECTICUT - OFFICE OF POLICY MANAGEMENT: NEGLECTED CEMETERY ACCOUNT GRANT PROGRAM
Grant Award: $5,000.00

The Town of Bolton will undertake care and work at two cemeteries, Quarryville Cemetery, and Bolton Center Cemetery. Repairs and replacement of fencing at Quarryville Cemetery, which was damaged during a windstorm when a pine tree fell across the fence is estimated to be between two and three thousand dollars. Both cemeteries have existed for a very long time and have gravestones that require repairs just to stabilize them. The balance of our grant award would be used for the purposes of repair and stabilization of those gravestones in both cemeteries.
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STEAP GRANT: COMMUNITY SEPTIC SYSTEM
Grant Award: $500.000.00                                        

The Town of Bolton has been awarded a five hundred-thousand-dollar STEAP grant for the installation of a community septic system. The community septic project is a keystone project that enables progress in the center of Bolton. In particular it enables forward progress on a number of fronts that are a part of the Vibrant Communities Study that was done with public participation to enhance the sense of community and activities in the center of town. The project is also significant in aiding forward progress for the Heritage Farm Master Plan which includes future public restrooms. The generally poor soils in the area limit enhancements to Town buildings and this project would mitigate those factors. Additional future uses would be possible with the town owned Pistritto parcel which currently houses our Resident State Troopers and might allow for future expansion of the Bentley Memorial Library to name a couple. The Board of Selectmen has long recognized how key this project is to the future of Bolton and is grateful that the project has received funding. We anticipate working with State of Connecticut OPM and our engineering team to move the project forward. The Town hopes to go out to bid this fall for services needed and the remaining project costs will be made up with in-kind services that are contracted.
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CONNECTIVITY GRANT PROGRAM
Grant Award: $186,110.00                                 

The Town of Bolton participated in the Vibrant Communities Initiative which resulted in the Bolton Center Study. The study group consisted of approximately 30 people from the public, boards, commissions, staff, and non-profit groups and provided a guide for the implementation of a long-term unified vision for Bolton Center. It focused on our historic, municipal, and recreational assets and potential linkages among key town center assets. The Bolton Board of Selectmen adopted the Bolton Center Study in February 2014. The study identified the lack of true connectivity between town facilities in the center of town including Bolton High School, Herrick Park, Bolton Heritage Farm, Town Hall, Resident State Troopers Office, town greens
(home to town events, i.e., summer concert series, memorial ceremonies, farmers’ market), Library, Notch Road Municipal Center (including the Town Senior Center) and Bolton Center School. Connectivity would create and expand a more vibrant use of the town center area that currently is limited to vehicular traffic.  Currently Bolton does not have any sidewalks. As a result, the Town is struggling with creating safe connectivity that does not include sidewalks which also maintains our rural character. This project is currently in progress.
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EASTERN REGIONAL TOURISM DISTRICT MARKETING GRANT
Grant Award: Bolton’s share of the match was $2,000.00.

The goal of the video production campaign is to create a series of 15 to 60-second videos advertising the region based on the core themes of the 4-Town Regional Action Plan for Economic Vitality.

  1. Agriculture
  2. Culture and Entertainment
  3. Higher Education
  4. Outdoor Recreation
  5. Small Business and Entrepreneurship
  6. Visibility and Marketing

These videos will be uploaded to CTvisit’s website, social media, travel websites, and a regional website, which is being developed by undergraduate students through a partnership with Nichols College. This is a one-time project that would create videos that would be in use for the next several years.
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LOTCIP HERITAGE FARM TRAIL AND SIDEWALK CONNECTIVITY PROJECT
Grant Award: 1,531.954.80 (Award by State)

The project will create a pedestrian corridor between Town Hall to the Heritage Farm and the Heritage Farm to Bolton High School. The corridor will consist of a 1,200 I.f. by 10 ft. wide gravel surfaced multi-use trail connecting Town Hall with the Heritage Farm along with 3,400 I.f of bituminous concrete surface sidewalk along the shoulder of Bolton Center Road and Brandy Street from the Heritage Farm to Bolton High School. The project will create a scenic corridor through the Heritage Farm site while creating a much-needed connection between the High School and the Town Center along dangerous roadways. Considered alternatives were a gravel path along the frontage of the Town Hall property and the Congregational Church, but easement issues caused the path to go onto the Heritage Farm property to the north.  The engineering team is finalizing conceptual design for the second public meeting and in-kind services will be used to fund the town’s portion of this project.
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PENDING GRANTS: 

HARTFORD FOUNDATION FOR PUBLIC GIVING: HEALTHY AIR QUALITY AT THE LIBRARY GRANT
Grant  Award: $1,850.00

The library plans to use the grant funds to purchase HEPA air purifiers and replacement filters for the study room, adult, fiction and reading areas to reduce the risk of spreading airborne illnesses such as the flu and Covid-19.
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 GRANTS NOT AWARDED TO THE TOWN OF BOLTON: 

Bolton High School: Congressionally Funded Spending Grant (CFS). Applied fall of 2022 for $2,869.000.00 for drainage upgrades, additional field space, and track at Bolton High School.

Bolton Volunteer Fire Department: CFS. Applied fall of 2022 $25,000.00 for a Master Plan for Bolton Volunteer Fire Department. The goal was to generate a master plan to understand and plan for current and future staffing needs, equipment, and apparatus needs as well as facility needs.

Herrick Park:  CFS. Applied fall of 2022 $602,000.00. Herrick Park Field upgrades to move forward existing plan to add fields and parking.

Nathan Hale Greenway: The proposed project is the shovel-ready construction of a parking area to provide access to 153 acres of land owned by the Town of Bolton in the Nathan Hale Corridor. The Nathan Hale Corridor is a 7.5 mile-long tract of connected properties through Bolton, Coventry and Andover that was once being considered the route for the relocation of Route 6. In 2016, the State of Connecticut determined that the route was no longer under consideration and transferred the land that had been taken for that project to Bolton, Coventry and Andover with the condition that the land be dedicated for open space purposes. The land is beautiful, with high ridgelines, three waterfalls, streams, hemlock groves, large boulders, a marsh, and stone walls.   Amount: 71,000.00.

The Town of Bolton will continue to research and apply for chances to develop and support the community through grants.