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Editor’s note: At the end of each year, The Sun provides an opportunity for area school superintendents and municipal leaders to reflect on the year and, if they wish, discuss plans for the new year.

Happy winter North Stonington! As a year ends and a new one begins, it is quite interesting to reflect upon the accomplishments of not only the past quarter but the entirety of 2018.

At Town Hall, there have been a number of exciting accomplishments. We hired new staff, including Town Clerk Antoinette Pancaro, Administration and Finance Director Christine Dias, Assistant Highway Foreman Joe Rubino, Tax Collector Karen Joyal, and highway crew member Robert Chipman. Finally, former Selectman Mark Donahue was appointed as our treasurer.

This year saw unprecedented activity in construction with our new ambulance and fire station opening in June Our school building project, which will bring our PreK-through- 12th-grade facilities up to the 21st-century standards, broke ground in February. We sold an underutilized condominium in the Holly Green Plaza and moved our recreation director from there into the newly spruced up Recreation Center (old firehouse).

We have been working hard on making sure our business community here in North Stonington knows how much they are appreciated while also working toward the attraction of new businesses to our community with several positive business-friendly building and zoning changes taking place. Dollar General opened its new building at 330 Clarks Falls Road (near the truck stop) in time for the holiday season, and two new restaurants, Red Onion and Jake’s (formerly Green Onion and Goodies) have recently opened on Route 2 near the village. In October, we learned that North Stonington again had the highest Connecticut Town Economic Index score for the year 2017.

We have contracted help to make our sewer and water requirements for our economic development zones a reality in the near future. We completed a study looking at the feasibility of having a water tower here in town.

A water-line extension was finished and guardrails and line-striping were completed throughout town.

Collaboration was the theme here in North Stonington in 2018. This year our three major boards (the boards of finance, education, and selectmen) worked very closely together on financial planning and were happy to see this approach result in passage of our town budget on the very first vote. We also implemented a capital-improvement work group made up of our volunteer leaders to help prioritize big-ticket spending in a strategic approach. Additionally, we implemented “all boards and commissions” meetings for the leaders of our town committees on a quarterly basis. Finally, we worked on some strategic planning, which will summarize actions the town has taken related to our Plan of Conservation and Development. We look forward to presenting this at our next planned town meeting sometime in February.

Speaking of finances, this year we rolled out OpenGov software which will provide great transparency into the town’s budgets and help us to be more efficient in future financial planning. Check out the town website at www. for details.

Over the past year we have seen the creation of North Stonington’s social media presence in the #mynosto sites on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook. As always, we welcome feedback and participation in town government.

Consider coming to a meeting, sending us an email, or volunteering for one of our many groups in town.

We hope everyone has a great holiday season and a happy new year!

Mike Urgo is the first selectman, Nita Kincaid is a selectwoman and Bob Carlson is a selectman in North Stonington.

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