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Jobs Legislation Highlights
During our October special legislative session on jobs, we passed a very comprehensive jobs bill that seeks to jump-start Connecticut’s economy with a variety of business loans, tax credits for job creation, regulatory relief and a host of other incentives.
Questionable Water Rate Hikes
When the South Norwalk Electric and Water announced it was hiking water rates by 25 percent, I received a lot of concerned phone calls.
Just seven people voted for this rate increase in September, and by mid-October thousands and thousands of residents got a shock in their water bills. There is no recourse anywhere, and there has got to be a better way.
I plan on introducing legislation early next year that will require any municipal water provider that seeks a 10 percent rate increase or more to go before the state Public Utilities Regulatory Authority (formerly the DPUC) for a public hearing and decision.
That Authority would then be able to approve, reject or modify any application for an increase based on its analysis and feedback from the public.
In the meantime, I encourage everyone served by SNEW to do whatever they can to reduce water use.
Waypointe Moving Forward
The State Bond Commission has approved $5 million for public improvements associated with the Waypointe mixed-use development proposed for the West Avenue Corridor area.
Under the name ‘Norwalk Town Center,’ the plan calls for constructing 325 apartments, 33,654 square feet of retail, 11,550 square feet of restaurant space and a 626-space parking garage in the area bounded by West Avenue, Merwin and Orchard streets.
The Waypointe development has necessarily evolved over the years due in part to the global recession, but they have stuck with it and are ready to move ahead with some assistance from the state.
The most important thing is that Norwalk continues to be a place that is attracting vibrant, creative development that provides jobs and spurs regional economic growth—and that’s a good investment.