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As Connecticut continues to see a positive response from its efforts to control the COVID pandemic, Madison is looking ahead to further reopening, with town properties and programs slowly phasing back in over the summer, including a likely return of the summer concert series as well as indoor properties like the gym.
The reopening continues to be staggered and gradual, according to First Selectman Peggy Lyons, and some things will have to wait until the fall. The Senior Center will not begin offering any sort of programming or regular public access until September or later, Lyons said, and town boards and commissions will also not be meeting in person until around that same time at the earliest.
Outdoor programs and facilities will continue to be prioritized, Lyons said, with the popular summer concert series announcing they will begin offering music on the green beginning in the middle of July, which coincides with the next statewide reopening phase that allows for outdoor gatherings of up to 250 people.
Details on what exactly that will look like are still being worked out, according to Lyons.
“The idea is that they’re going to put some things together to encourage people to space out across the entire green,” Lyons said. “I don’t know if it’s just going to be putting up stakes and ropes, just to make sure you don’t get too big of [clusters]. So those concerts are moving forward.”
The first concert, 60’s Satisfaction, will offer 1960s tributes and covers from 6 to 8 p.m. on Sunday, July 12, with eight total shows through the end of August, according to the town website. Visit www.madisonct.org/710/Summer-Concerts for the full lineup.
The town is also reviewing its policies and procedures for indoor properties, staying more cautious with those, according to Lyons. There will likely be no renting out of spaces like conference rooms or the gym to private entities until September, Lyons said, though the town itself is having conversations about expanding the number or types of programs it will offer in those properties.
Likely that would look like a relatively modest increase in summer camps beginning in July, according to Lyons.
There is also a tentative date for public access to Town Campus: Saturday, Aug. 1, though Lyons cautioned that was subject to change based on the input of department heads as well as any potential spikes in coronavirus infections, something many other states have begun seeing.
Currently, residents can make appointments to access town campus based on the type of business and need they have, though they are still encouraged to use phone or email whenever possible.
The reason there will be no board or commission meetings in person is due to executive orders issued by Governor Ned Lamont, which mandated back in March that those meetings become virtual. Despite the fact that the state is planning to allow indoor gatherings of up to 50 people beginning in July, Madison will not be able to hold in-person meetings until those are lifted.
Currently, the executive orders are set to expire in early September, according to Lyons, though she said she is hopeful that the state will continue allowing residents to interact with boards and commissions from home, as well as letting the members of those bodies participate virtually.
“I do feel like the virtual set-up now…[is] more productive than a conference call,” Lyons said.
The 2020 guide to the Madison Chamber of Commerce has arrived!