Looking Back in East Hartford: Fourth quarter 2012

By Evan Pajer - Staff Writer
East Hartford - posted Thu., Dec. 27, 2012
A sign at East Hartford High School lies toppled after Hurricane Sandy made landfall in October. The sign was later rebuilt using funds appropriated for storm cleanup. File photos by Evan Pajer.
A sign at East Hartford High School lies toppled after Hurricane Sandy made landfall in October. The sign was later rebuilt using funds appropriated for storm cleanup. File photos by Evan Pajer.

October 2012 marked the second year in a row of devastating storms in Connecticut, with hurricane Sandy making landfall in the state almost exactly one year after a late October snowstorm in 2011. Although the East Hartford Town Council had approved hundreds of thousands of dollars for storm cleanup, the town was spared the worst of the storm's wrath, with very little damage to public buildings.

At the peak of the storm, thousands of Connecticut Light & Power customers in the town were without power. Several of the town's schools remained closed for three days, as crews scrambled to restore power. A week after the storm, they were all back in session with no problems reported. The Town Council has not yet decided how it will use the leftover money appropriated for storm cleanup, but a vote is likely to be called on it this year.

In November, East Hartford entered into an agreement with Manchester and South Windsor for a new animal control facility. East Hartford had previously been using a privately-owned kennel in Bolton to house dogs, and hopes to lower the time animals spend in the shelter. Dogs usually spend an average of over 900 days in the shelter before being adopted. The new facility, which is scheduled to fully open this year, will allow for up to 35 dogs to be housed at once. A new website will also be released between the three towns to allow residents easier access to information about animals in the shelter.

December brought an update on the sale of the King Court housing project, which is owned by the East Hartford Housing Authority, a non-profit entity whose board of directors is appointed by the Town Council. The housing authority hopes to sell the property in order to regain its independence from the federal department of Housing and Urban Development, which took control over the organization after an incident involving the shifting of funds several years ago. Under a mandate set by HUD, the housing authority will need to pay $1 million back into its federal program.  The housing authority said in a December meeting of the Town Council that it hopes to meet all prerequisites to the sale by mid-2013, but said that was a best-case scenario.


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