Tolland council meets with state legislators

Dec. 30—TOLLAND — The Town Council met with local legislators on Tuesday to discuss their goals regarding the upcoming legislative session.

State Reps. Tammy Nuccio and Tim Ackert and Senator-Elect Jeff Gordon were asked about their upcoming goals and priorities for the next three to six months.

All three legislators emphasized that education would be a key issue during their terms.

Ackert said that education is always an important component and that they would like to work on improving relations with the state Department of Education.

Nuccio echoed that sentiment, noting that Tolland has one of the largest education budgets in the state and the state needs to help fund it.

Also a supporter of affordable health care, Nuccio said that she is currently "in a battle" with Johnson Memorial Hospital in Stafford after it made the decision to close its maternity ward.

Though the hospital is offering inpatient care, intensive care, and surgeries, Nuccio said that eliminating the maternity unit is not good for northeastern Connecticut, as the closest locations are Manchester and Hartford.

Gordon, who is a doctor, said that he has been dealing with health care "in the trenches" and that he supports local care.

Legislators also want to work toward finding a more environmentally friendly way to treat roads during the winter, as salt treatments have negatively affected the drinking water from residents' wells.

Council member Lou Luba asked how they could help residents with their wells, rather than having them purchase bottled water as they have been for the last five or more years.

They also discussed ways to recycle that could be beneficial to the town and be more environmentally friendly. One suggestion was to use anaerobic digesters, in which bacteria are used to break down biodegradable matter. The process is used in other towns like Coventry.

Legislators are also concerned about crumbling foundations. Ackert said that while the issue is not a hurricane, it could still be considered a catastrophic event, and he questioned why is there no federal aid to help homeowners deal with the issue.

Matthew covers Stafford and Tolland for the Journal Inquirer.