First Selectman

Message from the First Selectwoman Lauren Gister

Happy New Year to Chester! Thank you to the many volunteers and staff who keep our town humming along – for everyone who takes time away from their families and extends their workdays to contribute in myriad ways – please know that you are appreciated and valued! We would not be the vital and creative economic and cultural town we are so proud to live in without your dedication and spirit.

Emergency Communications
During storms and winter weather, we have many ways of reaching out to residents with information – townwide emails, the school automated phone messages to students’ families, Facebook, television and radio, the town website, and more. CT Alert ENS uses the state’s Enhanced 9-1-1 database for location-based notifications to the public for emergencies. The state database includes only traditional wire-line telephone numbers in the state (the “land line” phone you may still have in your home).

In addition to these methods, you are encouraged to sign up for the SAFER CHESTER Emergency Alert Program. You can do this directly at www.ctalert.gov, use the link on the Town website at www.chesterct.org, or call Jenny in the Selectman’s office at 860-526-0013 x202 if you need further assistance. This notification program is powered by Everbridge and enables us to keep you informed and provide you with critical, local, and time-sensitive emergency information. To register, simply specify how you’d like to receive the information: home, mobile, business phones, email or text messages. You may also list up to three additional locations in the state for which you want to receive alert, including the town where you work or children attend school. Please help us to protect you and keep you informed by signing up for this free service. Also, please remember to sign up for the Townwide email by sending your email address to Jenny at adminassistant@chesterct.org. In an emergency situation, we want to make sure you have the information necessary to keep you safe – please help us reach you!

Budget Season
It’s that time of year again. In January, we start reviewing our financials and planning the budget for the next fiscal year. Our schools, town departments, the Chester Hose Company and Boards and Commissions will be compiling and submitting their budget requests, which will be reviewed and discussed at a series of joint Board of Selectmen/Board of Finance budget workshops. Our goal is to continue to meet your needs and expectations with the highest levels of service, to keep our buildings, parks and roads in good condition and repair, and to keep expenditures low. Due to factors that are not directly in our control, it looks like we may have another tough budget year. The schedule of budget meetings will be posted on the Town website and are always open to the public. I hope you will be able to attend. You will have two opportunities to vote to approve our budgets – first for the Region 4 education budget, a percentage of which is charged to Chester taxpayers, and secondly, the Board of Finance will submit a final town budget which will include the elementary school budget for the approval of residents at a Town Meeting scheduled in May of 2020. Throughout this process, I will continue to work closely with the Boards of Selectmen and Finance and with town departments and commissions to craft an intelligent and responsible budget for our town.

Main Street Improvements Phase 3

Chester received four bids for the Main Street Phase III Project. The low bidder was Colonna Concrete & Asphalt Paving, LLC. For those of you who are wondering, Arborio Corporation did submit a bid, but it was not competitive for this project. The low bidder’s contract and qualifications were reviewed and references checked, the BOS met and approved awarding the bid, it was approved by the Council of Governments, and the bid package was sent forward to the DOT for signature. We anticipate having the authorization to award within a few days and to be able to award the contract to Colonna. They have said they will be able to begin construction in early to mid April. The major construction should last until the end of June and there will be a couple of months of finish work (guardrails, benches, landscaping, parking space striping, etc) over the summer.

Once we are able to award the contract, we will be able to sit down with the contractor and hash out details about schedules, events, traffic patterns, parking and overall timing. In the meantime, a group of staff, volunteers, merchants and downtown property owners have several meetings scheduled to discuss print and digital marketing, signage, detours, events, and other ways to mitigate interruptions and the effects of construction on our busy and vital downtown. We will need everyone to make a great effort to support our local businesses during this time. All planned events will be happening as scheduled and Chester will continue to be positive and fun.

We will continue to update you as more details are available through this group email, our Facebook page and on the landing page of the Chester website. Thanks for your patience and cooperation.

Get Involved
There are many ways to be involved in our town – here are some ideas:
1.If you are a registered voter and wish to serve on a Board or Commission, please contact the Selectman’s office at 860-526-0013 ext. 202

2. Please attend Board and Commission meetings or budget workshops (Region 4, Chester elementary or Town) so that you are informed of the issues affecting your taxes.

3.Come to the First Selectwoman’s Town Talks to express your opinion, ask a question, or make a suggestion. The times and dates are in each week’s Townwide email.

4. Join our Volunteer Fire Department, or get active in Rotary or the Chester Historical Society.

I look forward to seeing you at a meeting, workshop or other town event soon. Stay safe and have a happy and healthy 2020!

Lauren S. Gister, First Selectwoman

 

Office Hours
Mon, Wed, Thurs: 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Tuesday: 9:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.
Friday: 9:00 – noon
 

Elected Officials

Vacancies on elected and appointed boards and commissions as of January 31, 2020

Officials Listing with party affiliation as they were voted for at election updated January 2020

Town Ordinances

Ordinances Cover Page February 21, 2019

Ordinances Index Page February 21, 2019

Ordinances as of February 21, 2019

Approved Budget for the Town of Chester FY 2019-2020

Approved-Expenditures-FY-19-20-Budget

Approved-Revenues-FY-19-20-Budget

Approved-Capital-FY-19-20-Budget