December in Review

lobster tree

Dear Stonington,

There have been many positive happenings in Town thanks to the dedicated work of many of our Town staff, elected officials, volunteers and our extensive nonprofit and business community. As we continue to work towards creating a new municipal Newsletter, we will share our monthly updates in this blog for the time being. Stay tuned for a 'Thank You' video from your Board of Seletman and a 2021 reflection in early January.

We appreciate your feedback and ideas on this communication. We are also always happy to set-up a time to connect in-person or on a call to discuss any existing projects, new ideas or areas of concern.

Thank you,

Danielle Chesebrough, Stonington First Selectman


Assessment Department

Please know, there is still time to submit your data mailer for the 2022 Revaluation Project. Questionnaires were initially mailed November 24th. If you have not received one, or if you need a replacement, please contact the Department and a duplicate can be provided. The Department of Assessment is appreciative of the overwhelming response and attention to the Revaluation Project so far!

As a reminder, the Department of Assessment respectfully requests that every property owner ​​​​​confirm that the information is accurate, or if it is not, make whatever changes necessary and return it to the Assessment Department.​​

Any property that does NOT return a signed data mailer WILL BE visited and inspected by a data collector. Any inspection needed because a data mailer was not returned will cost the Town an additional $27 per property. Please help the Town reduce the costs of this important project.

Properties that have recently sold or have active building permits will also be inspected by data collectors. All Revaluation Personnel carry identification and are registered with both the Town and the Police Department. If you have any questions, please contact the Department of Assessment at 860-535-5098 or email

First Selectman’s Office

While COVID has taken up a good deal of focus this month, our office was still able to get a great deal done. As a reminder, if you are able, please get your vaccine and booster. In CT, we are seeing that 75% of hospitalized patients and over 90% of ICU patients are not fully vaccinated.

Onto more positive news, we are ending the year with over $80,000 raised for our Veterans Monument. We still need an additional (approx.) $100k, but are well on our way. Thanks to the generosity of many local businesses and organizations, as well as our volunteers. A huge thanks is due to Stacey Haskell who has been spearheading this project. 

I had the pleasure of attending both the state-wide CT Conference of Municipalities conference and Department of Economic and Community Development conference this month. Both were excellent opportunities to learn from other communities, and share insights from Stonington. Topics included, mental health, COVID, economic challenges and opportunities, affordable housing, and solid waste management. During our monthly Council of Governments meeting, I had the honor of being voted in as Vice Chair of the Executive Committee. It has been a pleasure serving this past year on the Committee, and learning much from our partners in other SE CT Towns and Cities. 

It was also wonderful to officially welcome a new business to our community- RISD, located on Mechanic Street and an amazing new nonprofit on West Broad Street- New Heights: A Vista Life Innovations Program. I also left feeling inspired after a EDC Cultural Coalition recap meeting. Please stay tuned for more information on possible Cultural Districts in Stonington (note- we are looking for volunteers to get involved in early 2022!). 

There were productive meeting on a number of topics, including:

  • Stonington's mandated State House redistricting;
  • future uses and plans for a community dialogue on the town-owned land and building in Old Mystic;
  • our fishing fleet and sustainable aquaculture;
  • progress on digitizing documents at Town Hall;
  • establishing a process for recording the end uses of our ARPA funds for each outside group receiving funds;
  • potential partnership with Stonington Public Schools on enhancing our engagement with youth on public service/local government;
  • working towards the creation of new housing rehabilitation loan program in partnership with Stonington Human Services and ECHO, thanks to ARPA funds;
  • finalizing plans for the small business/organizational grants thanks to ARPA funds and a partnership with the Ocean Community Chamber of Commerce (goal is to launch both of these programs in early 2022).

We were informed we were not selected for the “Urban Forestry Grant’; however, we will put that application to good use during budget time, where we will discuss options for increasing trees in our community- a health, environmental, and economic value. 

Preparations for the next fiscal year’s budget are well underway and later in January I will have a draft budget to present to the Board of Selectmen, Board of Finance, and the public, for our four-month, teamwork endeavor!

We also had the pleasure of welcoming the Governor, along with our State Rep and State Senator, to Stonington's very own Lobster Trap Tree. If you haven't seen it yet, it will be up through early January and worth the visit!

Lastly, thanks to a partnership with the United Way a number of Town staff were able to volunteer at the Gemma Moran Food Pantry. It was a wonderful experience and if you haven’t found a way to give back locally, please know you can reach out to our office, Human Services or visit the Nonprofit Roundtable website to find ways to give back throughout the year!

Human Services

THANK YOU! To the many business and resident donors that assisted in creating a magical Christmas for 130+ local families, we sincerely thank you!  From the amazing response to the Police Department’s Stuff-A-Cruiser event, to the Independent Order of Odd Fellows Stonington Lodge 26 who sponsored 25 children at their annual holiday party – to the donations of new winter boots that continue to come in – we are GRATEFUL!


How can we help you?  We understand the challenges that life can present from time to time – we are here to help!  During the intake process, we will screen for a wide variety of federal, state and local programs that may be able to assist your situation (financial or otherwise) – we are here for you!  Our team of friendly, knowledgeable staff are happy to help you in any way they can, with personalized case management and support.  If we cannot meet your needs on a local level, we will advocate for you to find an agency/organization that can!  For more information, or to make an appointment with a case manager, please call (860) 535-5015 or email Amanda Davis, Human Services Specialist:

Heating Assistance Applications Now Being Taken. TVCCA’s Energy Assistance Program helps families and individuals pay their home heating bills. Priority is given to “vulnerable households” with young children, elderly or disabled individuals.  Please e-mail to:, or call (860) 535-5015, and an application packet can be sent to you to complete and return along with required documentation, or make an in-person appointment to meet with one of our case managers. 


Mental Health & Wellness. All counseling sessions and support groups are held at Stonington Human Services and are provided at no cost to Stonington residents.  Interested in a support group that is not currently in place?  Please let us know! 

Winter Boot Program  Requests for winter boots will be filled all season long for Stonington children.  Please do not hesitate to reach out if your family is in need, or if you’d like to make a donation to support the program.

Winter Program Offerings

  • All Ages- Gifts from the Heart:  Valentine Edition
  • Birth to 3 years old- Mommy/Daddy and Me with Carol Schneider
  • Grades 3-5- After school programs with At Home Science, LLC

For more information, email to: or call (860) 535-5083.  To register for programs, please visit:


Boston Red Sox v New York Yankees – Day trip to Yankee Stadium – July 16th, 2022

Experience the best rivalry in sports like you've never seen before!  Enjoy Audi Suite, 5 star dinning ahead of the game with sweeping views of the playing field. If you never experienced a suite level experience at a ballgame - you are in for a treat. Fees include roundtrip motorcoach transportation, performance cooking stations including a menu of chicken, fish, steak, seafood, pasta salad, deserts and non-alcoholic beverages ahead of the game. Tickets during the game are FIELD LEVEL (section 129).  The total number of seats is limited, so register now! This game will sell out!  HOLIDAY SPECIAL - Register now and pay $50 deposit/ticket. Balance due by March 1st, 2022. Resident Fee:  $297 / Non-Resident Fee:  $307

For current program offerings, please visit

Public Works

DPW is working proactively to maintain and improve its public infrastructure, facilities, parks and recreation areas.  Below is a list of some of the work that happened in December across the Town. Please join us in thanking DPW if you see them out and around!

  • Replacement of over 600 feet of irrigation wiring for improved system performance.
  • Completed leaf collection at all Town Facilities, including the Spellman Park Recreation Areas.
  • Installation of new curbing at Fairway Court, Arbor Court and Kidds Way.
  • Executed extensive full depth pavement repairs on North Main Street, Lantern Hill Road, Stony Brook Road, Michelle Lane and High Ridge Drive.
  • Removal of dead ash trees on Al Harvey Road, Greenhaven Road, and Taugwonk Road.
  • Constructed drainage and shoulder improvements on Sunrise Ave.
  • Replacement of failed catch basins on Sloup Lane and Canary Street.
  • On December 9th, we responded to a Police Department request to apply a salt treatment on all Town roadways for a total of 120 miles.

The Engineering Department has also been very busy with a range of projects, from site plan reviews to ongoing work on our town-wide bridge inventory. We wanted to provide a specific update on the Drainage project at the Fourth District Voting Hall.  Although the project is 77 % complete, the impetus of the project was ‘tidal control’ and coincidentally the tidal valve has been delayed and is now expected to arrive in March 2022. Therefore, without a tidal valve, residents will continue to experience the high tidal effects. The tidal valve was delayed in industry (manufacturing) as a derivative of the COVID climate. The other remaining items are the installation of the rain gardens. The rain gardens will be installed in the spring when the weather (season) is conducive for planting. The last item will be the site grading of the gravel parking lot. This has been a long-awaited project and appreciate all the work that has gone into this and the patience of the community. When it is completed, it should be a wonderful project that helps address flooding issues, offer an example of a parking area that meets the State's stormwater management goals, and provides additional parking in the downtown area. 

Tax Collector

The 2nd installment of real estate taxes is coming due January 1, 2022 and is delinquent after February 1, 2022. We do NOT rebill for the 2nd installment. The July bill came in three parts – July payment, January payment and taxpayer copy. Please note that the 2nd installment is less than the first because fire district taxes were paid in July. Also, motor vehicle supplemental bills will be mailed out toward the end of December. Taxpayers who registered a car after October 1, 2020 will typically receive one. To make your payment, you can come to Town Hall, mail your payment or pay online. The Department is also happy to answer any questions you may have (860-535-5080).

Town Clerk

Today (Thursday) we are saying our final goodbye to our amazing, longstanding Town Clerk, Cindy Ladwig. After 44 years of service, Cindy has decided to retire. We had the opportunity to celebrate Cindy’s years of dedicated service this month, and also welcome our newly elected Town Clerk (and long serving member of the Town Clerk office team) Sally Duplice.

Thank you for reading our update and we are looking forward to another productive month! Thank you Stonington!

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