Friday, April 12, 2024

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Finance Board Stares Down OPEB Liabilities

By James Lomuscio

Westport’s Board of Finance finally got to see the long awaited OPEB (Other Post Employment Benefits) numbers from the town’s actuaries tonight, liabilities all agreed were too high and could drastically affect how the town does business.

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Actuary Jeffrey Kissel listens to a Board of Finance question tonight. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for WestportNow.com

In the worst case scenario, the town’s accrued liability over 30 years would be more than $122 million, about $12,000 per household, according to the 32-page report presented by Jeffrey A. Kissel, chief actuary for Pentegra Retirement Services.

The lowest it would cost, depending upon the discount rate the town chose to pay its annual require contribution (ARC), would be slightly more than $77 million.

“We understand that our liability is too high, and we have to understand why and to bring it down,” said Helen Garten, finance board chairman.

Talking Transportation: 9/11 and the Trains

By Jim Cameron

Special to WestportNow

A young reporter called me last week in a panic. He was writing a big story on the 10th anniversary of 9/11 and had just realized that our trains are vulnerable to terrorist attacks. Really?

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I asked him where he’s been for the last nine years as I, and many others, have written over and over again about this issue. “Well, don’t you think the 10th anniversary makes the trains an even more attractive target?” he asked breathlessly. “No,” I said.  “Timing’s not the issue.”

After 9/11 when airports were well secured, somebody noticed that we’d by then spent $11 billion improving aviation security, or $9.16 per passenger. In the same time we’d only spent $115 million on mass transit, or $0.006 per passenger. 

Why?  Because, as someone at Homeland Security so aptly put it, “Trains don’t fly into skyscrapers.”

Real Estate Report: New Listings a Scarcity

By Judy Szablak

New listings have been somewhat of a scarcity these past few weeks, but it is indicative of late August and early September.

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This Tudor Colonial at 42 Compo Parkway is listed at $2,499,000. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Photo courtesy of Higgins Group CT Select

It’s school time again, and families tend to focus on that during this time of year. Tropical storm Irene and her aftermath did not help either.

The good news is that properties are selling, inventory is dwindling, and the buyer/seller ratios are getting more in line with a neutral market. 

We can expect to see a small upsurge in activity towards the end of September and beginning of October due to buyers and sellers looking to close by year’s end.

Expanded Railroad Daily Parking Ends

The Westport Police Department announced today that expanded daily parking at Metro-North’s Westport station in Saugatuck will end and revert to permit places only.

The temporary daily parking expansion in Lot 8, located adjacent to the Exit 17 ramp, and Lot 4, off Saugatuck Avenue and south of the railroad tracks, is being discontinued because new permits have been issued, resulting in higher permit space usage, an announcement said

As a result, spaces that were open through the summer months and which daily parkers were allowed to use are no longer available for non-permit use. Daily parkers must park in the designated areas indicated by signage and will receive a $5 daily fee ticket.

For the next two weeks, non-permit vehicles parked in permit-only spaces in Lot 4 and Lot 8 will receive warnings in addition to the parking fees, the announcement said.

Fiat Has A Family

Fiat
Fiat. Westport Animal Control

Fiat is being fostered by a WASA volunteer.  He is an adorable 10-month-old min pin-chihuahua mix that is a rescue from Bridgeport Animal Control.  Just like a Pedigree commercial, he was sitting at the front of his cage with his head tilted just begging us to take him home.  Fiat is a fun little guy that loves chasing a tennis ball, romping with other small dogs (big dogs can frighten him a bit) and snuggling.  While we don’t know anything about his life before ending up in the shelter, he is not skittish or timid but very curious about everything.  He’s a delight.  For additional information about Fiat, please send an email to .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or call (203)557-0361.

William Has a Forever Family

William
William. Westport Animal Control

William is a 4-year-old shepherd mix that is a rescue from Fairfield Animal Control where he ended up after the death of his owner.  William is being fostered by a WASA volunteer.  He is a calm and easy-going dog that goes with the flow.  He is exceptional with other dogs and people of all ages.  He has a very sweet nature and is quick to give you a paw when you need it.  William has epilepsy and requires daily medication (one pill twice a day in his food).  He’s a great dog to have at your side through thick and thin – and hurricanes.  For additional information about William, please end an email to .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or call (203) 557-0361.