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Community Update from Town Manager Christopher Bromson:
Enfield government continues to remain open for business. Employees are available to conduct town business by telephone or email.
The Town Council hosted its first virtual special meeting on Wednesday, April 15, 2020. The purpose of the meeting was to present the Town Manager’s budget proposal, which is now available online at https://www.enfield-ct.gov/193/Annual-Budget. At the meeting, the Town Council also voted on a resolution creating 2 new Community Gardens in the Town. One garden, with approximately 10 plots, will be located at the Central Library on Middle Road. The other garden, with approximately 40 plots, will be located on 2 Chapel Street in downtown Thompsonville. The 2 new community gardens will allow more residents to have their own plot of land. For more information or to reserve a plot, please email email@example.com or call 860-253-6385.
Since the onset of the pandemic, the Town has received requests from residents to donate funds to the Town for needs associated with COVID-19. During the 4/15/20 Town Council meeting, the Council voted to create a donation account for residents to donate to for this purpose. Donations accrued in this fund would be used to procure meals for Seniors should CRT cease providing meals. If that cost is below the total level of funding in the account, the remainder of the funds will be used for other COVID-19 related expenses. If you would like to donate, please mail check to the Town of Enfield, Attention Finance Department/COVID-19, 820 Enfield Street, Enfield, CT 06082
The Town Attorney’s Office continues to guide the Council, the Town Manager and staff, and various Town boards and commissions to ensure the continued operation of essential government functions. In addition, the Town Attorney’s Office has assisted Town staff with compliance concerning Governor Lamont’s twenty-seven (27) Executive Orders, 7A through 7AA, issued March 12, 2020 through April 15, 2020, which suspend a multitude of statutory requirements and impact myriad municipal issues from the budget process to the manner in which public meetings are conducted.
Transportation Services continue providing transportation options for the convenience of our residents. There have been 86 Dial-a-Ride and over 200 Magic Carpet trips last week to grocery stores, medical appointments, and resident’s places of employment. The office staff have been connecting with senior clients not recently riding in order to see if they have any other needs. Residents should check the Transit webpage (https://www.enfield-ct.gov/376/Enfield-Transit) daily for changes in schedules and like Magic Carpet Bus and Dial-A-Ride on Facebook for updates. For any additional questions, call the Transportation Office at 860-272-3545.
We would like to take this opportunity to remind the public that Governor Lamont’s Executive Order 7N prohibits gatherings of greater than 5. Please be mindful of this in our parks, playgrounds, and athletic fields. If the Governor’s edict cannot be voluntarily respected, then the Town will have to close down our parks and recreational areas. In addition, Connecticut’s Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP), under the authority of a recent Executive Order, has been granted the authority to close state parks, including not allowing “walk-ins,” when parking lots reach capacity. The Enfield Police Department will be working closely with the DEEP En-Con Police Department as to the Scantic River State Park. Our goal is to ensure the safety of all who might wish to use this park. Parking in this area is also restricted and vehicles should park accordingly. We appreciate your cooperation in this matter.
The Enfield Police Department continues to keep our community safe. In addition to their responsibilities, they have remained very active on social media. Officers are taking turns reading weekly bedtime stories for children grades Kindergarten to 2nd. In addition, the “Driveway Chalk Art Contest” is on for Friday, April 17, 2020! Participants must be Enfield residents, with drawings in chalk, done by children. All drawings must be completed by noon, with judging beginning at 1 PM. A winner will be identified in the categories of best theme based, most creative, and most colorful. The winner of each category will receive a gift certificate for a family takeout meal from a local restaurant.
The Enfield Public Library have been very successful with remote story times and Facebook Live Rhyme Times. This Friday, April 17th, the Library will be streaming its first Facebook Live concert with local singer/guitarist, Kevin Crane. On Wednesday, 4/22 the Irish duo, Abbott’s Cross will perform on the Library’s Facebook page at 7:30 PM. A children’s program, Rock and Rhythm, will be streaming on Friday, 5/1. The remote Ukulele Club has also been meeting weekly using Zoom and Facetime. Library staff continue to register temporary cards and Reference staff are helping residents with remote reference questions, including providing assistance for users who are new to all of the new technology. Books are being cataloged so that the newest titles will be ready for check out when the library reopens.
At the Senior Center, staff is staying connected using a variety of technologies. Staff will be hosting a Zoom “Jukebox Bingo” and virtual painting class in the coming days. Meals on Wheels and Grab and Go lunches continue to operate.
Under Recreation, Summer Program planning is underway and staff is working on rescheduling the programs that have been canceled this spring. Staff is also working closely with CT Recreation and Parks Association and the American Camp Association to better plan, in light of COVID-19. More information will be forthcoming.
The Enfield Social Services Department staff continue to process applications for Renters Rebate, CT Homeowners Tax Credit and Veteran’s Tax Credit Program. Last week, 51 applications were processed. Other services include Enfield CARES for check-ins and basic needs assessments, referrals for CRT’s Energy assistance program (which has been extended to 4/30/2020), Operation Fuel, and SNAP, and ongoing case management. Nutritious meals continue to be provided by staff in collaboration with the Enfield Housing Authority to residents at Mark Twain. The Shelter Diversion Program, in partnership with CHR, is operational to assist with housing needs. Please call 2-1-1 to inquire about eligibility for this program. Staff are available by phone for inquiries around food assistance, testing sites, unemployment, town programming, state and federal benefits, and other referrals to best meet resident’s needs. In addition, Social Services has put together a resource guide that is available on their website at http://www.enfield-ct.gov/DocumentCenter/View/15766/Enfield-Social-Services-Resource-Guide-COVID-19-4-8-20.
The Enfield Youth Council (YC) has changed their prevention focus with the arrival of COVID-19. They have begun sharing information about health & wellness, myths and facts, and challenges through social media. Additionally, the Youth Council has created a COVID-19 youth perspective podcast. Youth have been virtually attending the Public Service Announcement (PSA) subcommittee meetings, and helping to create and edit all the group PSA’s. Youth Services staff outreach daily to individual youth to assess needs and connect them with support and resources. For more information, please call 860-253-6383.
The Enfield Child Development Center staff have been working hard to maintain connectivity to families through a variety of ways during this challenging time. Following CDC guidance, staff delivered activities, arts and crafts, and Easter baskets to the front steps of our families. Teachers have held Circle Time for their students through Zoom and other social media avenues and connect with families daily through the DOJO app, emails, phone calls and personal letters in the mail to the children. Each Preschool classroom has maintained their own Facebook page. The main ECDC Facebook page has had 8,293 engagements for the week of April 1st-9th. Most popular are staff-read story times with over 2,000 views. In the last month the Facebook likes are up 10%, post engagements are up 138%, and we have reached 9,591 people.
The Family Resource Center Social Worker and Parent Educators reach out daily to families to assess needs and connect them with resources. Parent Educators provide families, parents, and caregivers virtual playgroups and story times weekly. In addition, staff offer Circle of Security weekly check-ins, and Parent as Teachers (PAT) to provide resources, supports, and/or activities. The Social Worker virtually facilitates the Grandparents Raising Grandchildren support group on Mondays at 5:30 PM and co-facilitates the Parent Support Group on Mondays at 7 PM and Wednesdays at 1 PM. The staff also ensures communication between school and other providers who are in contact with families we both serve.
Our staff and I are available to assist you and will continue to provide services. Please continue to check our website for updates. For alerts from the Town of Enfield, please go to https://enfield-ct.gov/List.aspx to sign up for Notify Me and select Public Notices. You also can add additional notifications you wish to receive, and keep you apprised of Town of Enfield information. Feel free to follow Enfield Town Manager on Facebook and on Twitter.