Wednesday, June 16, 2021

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Deep River Selectmen Discuss COVID-19, Tax Anticipation Note and Clean-Up for Area Business

Town borrowing, COVID-19 cases and testing, and dust were among the topics addressed at the Deep River Board of Selectman (BOS) meeting on May 26.

COVID-19 Update

The BOS heard from Connecticut River Area Health District’s (CRAHD) Director of Health Scott Martinson, who provided an update on COVID-19 infection rates in the context of the state’s first phase of reopening on May 20.

“It’s been busy with cases still increasing,” said Martinson. “Fortunately, Deep River’s maintained good posture during all of this.”

As of the May 26 meeting, Deep River had a total of eight confirmed COVID-19 cases.

Martinson touched on the state’s strategy to ramp up testing at nursing homes throughout the state and indicated that there has been an increase in the number of cases at these facilities. He provided a total death count and cited 200 current cases within the service area of CRAHD.

“You can see there is still a lot happening,” said Martinson. “Connecticut’s got a long way to go, but there’s been positive steps and the food services establishments that have opened up have really done a good job for the most part.”

Sherry Carlson, a public health nurse with CRAHD, discussed attempts to limit future cases. She reported that someone has a close-contact exposure when a person is within six feet of an infected individual for 15 to 20 minutes.

“If you’re exposed to somebody [in close contact], then from the date that you were last exposed to them, you have to self-isolate for 14 days,” said Carlson. “If you live with the person and you make no effort to separate yourself from the positive person for the 10 days that they are infectious, then your 14 days do not start until the 10 days of the infected person ends.”

Carlson reported that East Lyme and Guilford are the closest testing sites for COVID-19 at area CVS locations, with online reservations required.

Tax Anticipation Note

The Board of Selectmen adopted a resolution that allows the town to borrow up to $4 million in a tax anticipation note (TAN).

The measure, essentially borrowing to offset any issues with cash-flow, is being taken to prepare for a possible delay in tax collection at the start of the next fiscal year, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The resolution, which also required Board of Finance authorization, was adopted at the Board of Finance meeting following the BOS meeting on May 26.

McDonald anticipates setting a town meeting, held in-person or remotely, after the Board of Selectmen’s July meeting to discuss whether moving forward with the borrowing is necessary based on the town’s financial needs.

Zoning Investigation

McDonald will consult with Deep River’s zoning enforcement officer and fire marshal after Selectman James Olson discussed how Haynes Materials at 24 Woodbury Road has changed its processing plant from water-based to dry-based, causing an uptick in dirt and dust emissions.

“I don’t know the regulations, but I gotta believe there is a dust and dirt remediation that is required both on the roads going in and out, and their own [roads], to keep the dust down and now they have this plant in dry conditions that is really cranking out a lot of dirt and dust,” said Olson.

Olson, who lives nearby, said he has seen the effect of the businesses’ operations on Plattwood Park, which is a concern for residents seeking to enjoy the town’s recreational facility.

Elizabeth Reinhart covers news for Chester, Deep River, and Essex for Zip06. Email Elizabeth at

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