Our Town offers a rich mixture of cultural, recreational, educational and business opportunities, as well as a unique glimpse of the sea's influence on American life. Early settlers and later immigrants to our land found a hospitable environment in which to prosper. That charm, ambience and quality of life makes Stonington a good place to live, work, and visit.
The Town of Stonington is situated in the southeastern corner of Connecticut, bordering Westerly, Rhode Island to the east, Long Island Sound to the south, Groton, Ledyard, and North Stonington to the west and north. Stonington is the only Connecticut town facing the Atlantic Ocean. Fishers Island and Long Island, New York, can be seen to the southwest and Block Island, Rhode Island to the southeast. The rocky shoreline has many peninsulas, islands, coves, and marshes.
The Town of Stonington, covering 42.7 square miles in New London County, was settled in 1649. The 2004 estimated population totals 18,366. Stonington boasts a combination of seaside and semi-rural working and living neighborhoods. The Town is within two hours or less of major research and transportation centers in Boston, Providence, New Haven, Hartford, and New York City. Access via I-95 is minutes away. Airports are located nearby in Groton, Hartford, Providence, Rhode Island and Boston, Massachusetts. Amtrak train stations are located in the Village of Mystic within the Town of Stonington, and in New London and Westerly, Rhode Island.
The Borough of Stonington, the oldest borough in Connecticut, was incorporated in 1801. (http://www.borough.stonington.ct.us/) Steeped in its history as a whaling port and now home of the last remaining commercial fishing fleet in the State, it includes a number of large, well-maintained homes of former mariners including that of Captain Nathaniel B. Palmer, a discoverer of Antarctica. The house and the cherished Old Lighthouse Museum are owned by the Stonington Historical Society. (www.stoningtonhistory.org/)
Pawcatuck has continued its proud heritage as the home of industrial leaders such as Davis-Standard LLC, a world leader in the manufacture and supply of extrusion machinery for the plastics and rubber industries, (www.davis-standard.com); and Yardney Technical Products/Lithion Inc,~a manufacturer of~high energy density batteries~for the Dept of Defense,~and NASA.~ The company~builds batteries for the USAF B-2 Bomber and NASA's Mars programs. (www.Yardney.com; www.Lithion.com).
Mystic was developed around the shipbuilding industry. Today Mystic boasts four distinct visiting areas: Historic Downtown Mystic (http://www.mysticmore.com/), with diverse specialty shops; Mystic Seaport - a living museum, comprised of the many activities that might be found in a New England coastal village of the 1800's (www.mysticseaport.org); Old Mystic Village, which has over sixty shops set in a New England style village setting (www.oldmysticvillage.com); and Mystic Aquarium and Institute For Exploration. (www.mysticaquarium.org).
Foxwoods Resort Casino is fifteen minutes north of Mystic (http://www.foxwoods.com/) and the Mohegan Sun Casino is twenty minutes away from Mystic. (www.mohegansun.com).
The Town adopted a charter on November 7, 1989, which establishes a Town Meeting form of government. The Town Meeting acts as the legislative body. The three-member Board of Selectmen acts as the governing body for most matters with certain boards and agencies having jurisdiction over specific areas, such as the Board of Finance, Water Pollution Control Authority, Board of Education, Planning and Zoning Commission and Zoning Board of Appeals. The First Selectman is the Chief Executive Officer, with an appointed Director of Administrative Services to maintain continuity of government services.
The financial administrator of the Town is the Director of Finance. The Director of Finance administers and accounts for all Town funds. http://www.stonington-ct.gov/Pages/StoningtonCT_Finance/index
The Town is divided into five voting districts, and Town elections are held biennially in odd-numbered years.
Police: The Police Department is headed by a five-member Board of Police Commissioners appointed by the Board of Selectmen for five-year terms, with one appointed each year. The Board is responsible for all policy as well as the formulation and administration of the Police Department’s budget. The Department is administered by a Chief of Police and staffed with one Captain, two Lieutenants, six Sergeants, twenty-four Patrolmen and seven civilian dispatchers. http://www.stonington-ct.gov/Pages/StoningtonCT_Police/index
Water Pollution Control: The Stonington Water Pollution Control Authority consists of a five-member Board appointed by the Board of Selectmen for five-year terms. The Board is responsible for all policy as well as the formulation and administration of the budget. The Authority is administered by a full time Director. The wastewater facilities including collection and treatment are operated under a contract with U.S. Water, LLC. The contract is for a 30-year term renewable at 5-year intervals solely at the Town’s option. The Town retains ownership of all wastewater facilities and equipment.
The Authority operates the Sanitary Sewer System, which is operational for the Borough of Stonington and the Mystic and Pawcatuck areas. The plants serve approximately 4,000 residential and commercial users. The plants process 1.3 million gallons per day and have total capacity of 2.8 million gallons per day.
The Mystic and Stonington Treatment Plants were upgraded in 1999 at a cost of approximately $6,351,000.
Fire Services: Fire protection is provided by six volunteer fire companies through eleven separate fire districts and associations with individual taxing authority. These volunteer fire companies are as follows: Stonington Fire Department; Borough of Stonington Fire Department; Old Mystic Fire Department (www.oldmysticfire.com); Quiambaug Fire Department; Mystic Fire Department (www.mysticfiredept.org); and Pawcatuck Fire Department. An Enhanced 911 system is connected to a central dispatch at Town Police Headquarters.
Emergency Management: The Town of Stonington is using the Enhanced 911 system for all emergencies. All 911 calls are received by the Stonington Police Dispatch Center and disseminated to the appropriate agencies. Fire protection is provided by six volunteer fire departments. Emergency Medical Services (EMS) are provided by three volunteer ambulance companies. Police protection is provided by a full time Police Department. (www.stonington-ct.gov/Pages/StoningtonCT_EMS/index)
Human Services: Established by Town Charter and housed in the Human Services Building at 166 South Broad Street in Pawcatuck, the Human Services Department is comprised of four divisions: Social Services, Youth & Family Services, Recreation and Senior Services. The mission of the Department is to enhance the quality of life for Stonington residents of all age groups and all economic backgrounds by advocating for their basic needs and promoting self-sufficiency. Services include free individual, family and group counseling, educational workshops, youth leadership and community service groups, social and recreational opportunities for residents of all ages, preschool, after school programming, Energy Assistance, medical and state program application assistance and referral, an Underage Drinking Task Force, a Juvenile Diversionary Board, Housing/Homelessness assistance, and a senior citizen 911 cell phone program.
Solid Waste Management: The Town provides for the collection of Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) and recyclables for both its residential and commercial properties. The cost of this program is offset by revenue collected through volume-based user fees. The residential collection is a “pay-per-bag” program while the commercial collection costs are recovered by billing for container size and frequency.
The Town also operates an MSW and recyclables transfer station, processing bulky waste, brush chipping and leaf composting.
Educational System: A six-member elected Board of Education is responsible for the operations of the Town educational system which consists of six schools. Also located in the Town are St. Michael’s Parochial School and Pine Point, a private country-day school. www.stonington.org/Admin/BOE.html
OTHER COMMUNITY SERVICES
Pawcatuck Neighborhood Center: The Pawcatuck Neighborhood Center (http://www.the-pnc.org/) was built from the proceeds of a federally funded Community Development Block Grant from the Department of Housing and Urban Development. The Center opened in September of 1985. It is a multi-purpose facility, which offers a variety of social, educational, health and human services programs with an emphasis on community spirit. The Center provides hot lunch programs to Senior Citizens on weekdays.
Stonington Community Center (COMO):
The Stonington Community Center is a not for profit organization that has been providing activities and services to the greater Stonington area since 1946. What began as a place for Borough residents to come together has become an integral part of the community. The COMO operates the largest licensed school age child care program (COMO Kids) in the area and is also home to the Doris Muller Pre-School program, one of the longest running programs of its kind. The COMO also operates a congregate meal site for seniors as well as a Meals on Wheels distribution site. A number of recreation programs round out the COMO programming mix. The COMO is also home to the Stonington Players who annually put on a production in the Auditorium.
The Thrift Shop is a staple in the Stonington community and area folks have been extremely supportive through retail sales and donations. For further information on all programs, please call 535-2476 or visit our website at www.thecomo.org.
The Mystic YMCA: formerly the Mystic Community Center, offers many of the same programs and services as other YMCA’s. Sports and recreations, before and after school childcare, aquatics, and fitness classes are available as well as many different arts and wellness programs such as Yoga and Dance lessons. The Mystic YMCA is also home to the Tarzan Brown Road Race, the Turkey Trot and Dip, and the annual Mystic Halloween Parade. www.wpymca.org/mysticbranch.html