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News Highlights in Town

Camillo votes against tolls; selectman organizes effort to support The Nathaniel Witherell; Breast Cancer Alliance wins support for annual fundraiser; Malloy comes to town.

Camillo votes against highway toll proposal

State Representative Fred Camillo, (R-151), a member of the Transportation Committee, voted against HB 6200 which would bring tolls back to Connecticut roads.

“Re-instituting tolls in Connecticut will have a huge impact on traffic patterns, commerce and the environment while not have nearly as significant an impact on the state economy,” Camillo said in a prepared statement.

“To comply with federal law, Connecticut cannot put toll booths at the state borders.  The state would be restricted to installing tolls on lesser traveled non-interstate expressways, such as Routes 2, 8, 9, 25 and others,” Camillo explained. “Not only would the low traffic fail to recoup the cost of operating the tolls, Connecticut would lose out on $250 million in federal funding we currently receive for not having toll roads.”

Camillo says that the legislature cannot promise that the dollars generated by toll booths would go to the Special Transportation Fund (STF).  Any money collected on a toll road can only be used for the maintenance of that specific toll road and no others.  For instance, the money collected on Route 8 cannot be used for work needed on Interstate 95.  The gasoline tax and gross receipts tax revenue do not even entirely make it into the STF on Transportation projects, most of the monies instead go to the General Fund. 

Bringing back tolls will not be the panacea to get money from out-of-state truckers. Connecticut in fact already gets revenue from these truckers, Camillo said. Under the truckers' International Fuel Tax Agreement (IFTA), Connecticut receives approximately $16 million a year from out-of-state truckers. 

“In Byram, the road usage already burdens the infrastructure and diminishes the quality of life due to the virtual parking lot on Mill Street and Delevan Avenue,” Rep. Camillo said.

“Tolls will push drivers to use different routes to avoid traffic and push businesses to choose different states to avoid the red tape.”

Hands Across the Avenue approved

The Greenwich-based Breast Cancer Alliance won unanimous approval to hold its annual fund-raiser in May, along Greenwich Avenue.

For details, view video.

 

Go Live with Regis ... and help The Nathaniel Witherell

Selectman Drew Marzullo is leading a personal crusade to help raise money for the beloved Nathaniel Witherell nursing home.

Marzullo has enlisted the aid of television personality and Greenwich resident Regis Philbin for the cause that’s being organized in conjunction with The Friends of Nathaniel Witherell. Philbin, who isn’t a stranger to local causes, readily agreed to offer a pair of VIP tickets to “Live with Regis and Kelly,” the syndicated morning talk show from which he will retire in 2012.

For a $10 chance, supporters will be in the running to win a personal visit to the show, a behind-the-scenes tour of the set and a meet-and-greet with Regis. The drawing will be held at 4 p.m. April 15 at Town Hall and Marzullo is promising it will be an afternoon to remember with a special guest to be announced.

 “This is a humanitarian issue,” said Marzullo, “There is a possibility they will close it or privatize it and that’s pretty scary. We are trying to keep Witherell in the public eye. The next couple months are crucial.”

The town-run nursing home has received a certificate of need from the state that will enable the home to proceed with plans to renovate the Parsonage Road facility and to expand the services offered. But in order for the project to proceed, a funding plan involving a 20-year bonding issue must be approved by the Board of Estimate and Taxation and the Representative Town Meeting.

Marzullo is hoping to sell 500 tickets at $10 each. He admits it may be a small amount of money in comparison to the $20 million renovation project but he said, “I cannot imagine a Greenwich without a Witherell.”

For information about purchasing a ticket, call the selectmen’s office at (203) 622-7710.

Breast Cancer Allicance gets approval for benefit

The Breast Cancer Alliance won unanimous approval from the Board of Selectmen to hold its 6th annual Hands Across the Avenue fundraiser on May 22.

The approval will allow the alliance to conduct its mile-long event in a loop that begins and ends at Richard’s on Greenwich Avenue. This year’s Hands Across the Avenue honoree is Dr. Dickerman Hollister of Hematology and Oncology Associates of Greenwich, according to alliance president Debbie Black and vice president Kathy Hanson.

See video for details on the event.

Gov. Malloy comes to Greenwich

Gov. Dannel Malloy continues his cross-state tour, holding town meetings to discuss his proposed deficit-busting budget.

Malloy will hold his Greenwich town meeting on Monday, March 28 at 7 p.m. Because of the attendance of town hall meetings earlier this month, Malloy’s staff has requested a larger venue for the Greenwich meeting, according to First Selectman Peter Tesei.

The location of the meeting has been moved from Town Hall to the auditorium of Eastern Middle School, 51 Hendrie Ave. in Riverside.  “The governor’s office said 300 to 400 people have been attending the meetings,” Tesei said. The town hall meeting room can accommodate about 200 people while the auditorium can accommodate several hundred.

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