Thursday, May 30, 2024



Finance Board Reelects Stern Chairman

In a special Board of Finance meeting tonight, Brian Stern, a Democrat, was reelected 6 to 0 to serve another two years as chairman, a post he has held for the past four years.

Andrea Moore, a Republican, was elected vice chairwoman after being nominated by Nancy Dupier. Moore fills the post previously held by Republican Michael Rea, who did not seek reelection.

Board member Lee Chaney called them “great leaders for us” as the town prepares to tackle myriad fiscal challenges.

“It’s been a pleasure and a privilege to serve for the last four years,” Stern said, adding that he looks forward to two more years “in the interest of all the residents and kids of the town.”

Comings & Goings: Interstate + Lakeland Lumber Opening Dec. 2 Image
Greenwich-based Interstate + Lakeland, a lumber yard for contractors and homeowners, opens at 760 Post Road East on Dec. 2, according to owner Sheldon (Shelly) Kahan (above.) A 29-year resident of Westport until 2016 and now residing in Stamford, Kahan said the Westport site, formerly occupied by Torno Lumber, is the company’s fifth retail location. The others are in Greenwich, Stamford, Newtown and Shrub Oak,New York with fabrication and inventory facilities in Newtown, Greenwich and Bethel.  Interstate acquired Torno Hardware, 800 Post Road East and Torno Lumber, 760 Post Road East, earlier this year. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for

Senate GOP’s No-Tolls Alternative Relies on Rainy Day Fund

By Keith M. Phaneuf and Mark Pazniokas

The Senate Republican minority today proposed using budget reserves in a complex and creative way to finance an overhaul of Connecticut’s creaky transportation system without tolls or new taxes.

They invited Gov. Ned Lamont and Democratic lawmakers to weigh those political advantages against sacrifices and risks inherent in the plan.

The GOP would use nearly two-thirds of the state’s budget reserves to pay down pension liabilities, producing an annual savings of $130 million that could be spent on transportation.

Another $100 million would come from cutting annual borrowing for things such as capital spending on local schools and public universities.

Lamont Rebuffed on Tolls by Senate Democrats

By Mark Pazniokas and Keith M. Phaneuf

The Senate Democratic majority today effectively took highway tolls off the table as a means to leverage low-cost federal financing of Gov. Ned Lamont’s sweeping $21 billion plan to maintain and modernize Connecticut’s aging transportation infrastructure over the next decade.

“I think we need to find something that is broadly palatable in the General Assembly and also to the public,” said Senate President Pro Tem Martin M. Looney, D-New Haven.

Senate Democrats met for two hours with Lamont in their third-floor caucus room at the State Capitol, then discussed the governor’s CT2030 plan for more than another hour after Lamont departed.

They had one small piece of good news for Lamont once they emerged to face the press. The senators, who hold a 22-14 majority in the upper chamber, are ready to offer “broad-based support” for the transit, highway and bridge investments in CT2030 — and they would like to act on them before the General Assembly returns in regular session in February, Looney said.

Comings & Goings: GOLFTEC to Open on Post Road East Image
GOLFTEC, a golf instruction and club fitting company headquartered in Denver, Colorado, will open at 877 Post Road East at the foot of the Sherwood Island Connector. Founded in 1995, GOLFTEC has 180 locations in the U.S. and more than 200 retail locations worldwide. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for

Comings & Goings: Lovesac Furniture to Post Road East Image
Lovesac, a Stamford-based retail store featuring “adaptable couches,” has opened at 68 Post Road East in the space previously occupied by the iconic Max’s Art Supplies, next door to Restoration Hardware.  According to Daniel Daley, store manager, a grand opening celebration is planned for Nov. 15-17. He said Lovesac also has outlets in in Greenwich and Danbury in Connecticut. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for

Shopping for a Good Cause Image
A large crowd tonight attended a pre-holiday season charity sales event at Savvy & Grace, the apparel and accessories store at 146 Main St,, next to Tavern on Main. Owner Annette Norton donated 15% of all event sales to Shatterproof, a nonprofit that supports addiction victims. Sales were brisk as measured by lines at the checkout counter. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for

Lamont’s Transportation Plan Would Directly Impact Westport

By Keith M. Phaneuf and Mark Pazniokas

A $21 billion transportation plan Gov. Ned Lamont intends to begin promoting Thursday would touch every aspect of Connecticut’s highway and rail system over the next decade and directly impact Westport.

It would expand and improve Metro-North, unclog highway bottlenecks, replace aging bridges, and connect Bradley International Airport to a more robust regional rail system.

It would include improvements to I-95 in Norwalk and Westport at a cost of $70 million to $130 million.

To finance a vision Lamont says is vital to economic growth, the governor would rely on a hybrid plan.

Comings & Goings: Olympia Sports Closing Image
Bargain hunters today converged on Olympia Sports, a retail sporting goods store at 403 Post Road East in the Compo Shopping Center, as word spread it will close on Jan. 31. The company, founded in 1975 in Portland, Maine, currently has 152 locations, mostly across New England, New York, and the Mid-Atlantic. Last week, sports retailer JackRabbit acquired 75 of its stores with 76, including Westport, not part of the acquisition and closing. (CLICK TO ENLARGE) Dave Matlow for