Awards presented at Town Council meeting

By Annie Gentile - ReminderNews
Vernon - posted Fri., Mar. 4, 2011
Derek Pacheco accepted the Vernon Parks and Recreation's Outstanding Organization Award on behalf of the Rockville Dunkin' Donuts store. Photos by Annie Gentile.
Derek Pacheco accepted the Vernon Parks and Recreation's Outstanding Organization Award on behalf of the Rockville Dunkin' Donuts store. Photos by Annie Gentile.

At the March 1 Vernon Town Council meeting, Mayor Jason L. McCoy and Town Council members took a short break from regular town business to recognize the accomplishments of several individuals and groups who have made noteworthy contributions to the town.

Employees of the town’s water pollution control facility were recognized for their performance, which has resulted in the Vernon plant being selected as the recipient of New England Water Environmental Association’s third annual Wastewater Utility Award.

While the work may not be glamorous, the necessity of an efficient wastewater treatment system is critical to public health.

“People forget we operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week, on hot days and cold days,” said David Ignatowicz, the plant director, in congratulating the crew for their outstanding performance.

Additionally, Connecticut Light and Power representatives Tim Simmonds, Joe Haney and Chris Mocciae presented McCoy with an incentive check from the Connecticut Energy Efficiency Fund for more than $365,000 to be applied to the substantially completed diffuser upgrade project at the plant. The new diffusers are expected to save the town more than 1,871,000 kilowatt hours of electricity annually.

Parks and Recreation Department supervisors Amy Locandro and Bruce Watts recognized several community members. Students at Center Road Elementary School were awarded mayoral citations for a ball field renovation project and cleanup at the school. Additionally, Parks and Recreation awarded Randy Neal the Outstanding Service Award for his volunteerism with the town. Neal has served as treasurer of the Vernon Teen Center Association, as a volunteer coach for more than 10 years in various sports programs, and most recently volunteered his time and efforts in clearing snow from the school roofs.

Matt Burnham was awarded the Outstanding Volunteer Coach Award for his work with Vernon youth in various local sports programs, and was recognized as both a role model and friend to many of the children in the community. Derek Pacheco, representing the Rockville Dunkin’ Donuts, accepted the Parks and Recreation Outstanding Organization Award for the store’s continuous support of local programs.

The family of Katelyn Rizner was presented a check for $1,000, the proceeds from the Parks and Recreation’s Arctic Splash benefit held last year on Dec. 11.

For those unfamiliar with the Arctic Splash, Watts said it’s an outing where “a bunch of us crazies jump into icy water for donations.” This year, Watts said they had to cut through 3 inches of ice at Valley Falls Pond to make it happen. The money will help to defray costs for medical bills incurred when Rizner took a serious fall last August trying to climb down the face of the cliff overlooking Valley Falls Park.

A brief reception was held outside council chambers for all of the award winners following the presentations.

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