Mansfield seeks help from UConn
Published: Monday, September 24, 2012
Updated: Monday, September 24, 2012 23:09
Amid heavy UConn student attendance, the Mansfield Town Council focused on many topics brought up by Mansfield residents and people from the surrounding areas.
First to speak was Rick Hossack, who brought up a previously discussed subject about the Responsible Contractors Ordinance. His concerns regarded an increased cost to local taxpayers.
At the meeting, Hossack conceded that he would like to keep the public involved in decisions regarding the Responsible Contractors Ordinance, but that he was now proud to be dealing with the contracted companies.
Town Manager Matt Hart agreed that there would be future meetings to discuss issues with the companies, and that the meetings would remain open to the public.
Betty Wassman also spoke, regarding the Shifrin Turbine Generating Project, and expressed her concern regarding the funding of the project.
Wassman asked about the town’s spending costs to date and how much the town had committed to spend, as well as requesting that additional information be made available regarding the project.
She also questioned the rates that would be charged for the electricity, whether the electrical companies would be charged the regular rate that all residents pay and what would determine the cost for excessive electricity.
Her concerns were not addressed directly; she was told that her requests for information would be considered.
In a project update, John Paul Vinogt, the senior vice president for Masonicare, brought up the issue surrounding a need for water to be brought into the Mansfield area to support the construction of a retirement community.
He stated that he conducted a presentation about their circumstances and their lack of resources to UConn but that, although there was a favorable reaction, UConn officials determined that there was no water that could be afforded to the project.
Council member David Freudmann seemed to question the need for the community or the resources. “Yours is a multimillion-dollar, highly profitable company,” he said, “You didn’t get that way by making foolish business mistakes.”
Vinogt responded, “All highly successful businesses also have failures, and they do take risks at some time.”
After some increasingly direct questions and answers by Vinogt, Mayor Betsy Paterson finally put the subject to rest.
The rest of the council seemed to prefer not to take any part in the discussion in question.
The mayor also commended many people and groups on their success during Mansfield’s ninth annual Festival on the Green, which took place on Sunday, Sept. 23rd.
She said that the feeling was one of high spirits, and that she appreciated everyone that had donated their time and resources to making it such a huge success.
“It really is a team effort to pull this all together,” Hart said. “It’s really, I think, become a signature event for our community.”