© 2024 WSHU
NPR News & Classical Music
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations
89.9 FM is currently running on reduced power. 89.9 HD1 and HD2 are off the air. While we work to fix the issue, we recommend downloading the WSHU app.

CT’s small town leaders, Lamont discuss local issues to kick off the legislative session

Governor Ned Lamont keynotes the annual COST meeting.
Brian Scott-Smith
/
WSHU
Governor Ned Lamont keynotes the annual COST meeting.

Leaders from 115 Connecticut municipalities convened for the Council of Small Towns annual meeting.

The council helps the smaller towns navigate the complexities of state government.

Executive Director Betsy Gara said this year they have over 30 newly elected mayors and selectmen and women.

“This year we featured several state agencies that provide critical grants and other resources to our towns to help them meet the needs of their communities regarding school construction, improving indoor air quality, paving roads, traffic safety and environmental protection issues,” Gara said. “There’s so much to know as a first selectman or newly elected mayor.”

The 2024 COST meeting.
Brian Scott-Smith
/
WSHU
The 2024 COST meeting.

At the event, Gov. Ned Lamont (D) said the state is working to help smaller towns reduce overhead costs.

“If you say look, 'I don’t need a full-time building inspector, I need a part-time building inspector or assessor,' places where your town maybe is already sharing with your neighbors. Or you’re trying to purchase these people on a part-time basis, and you pay a premium to do that. We’re trying to make sure that our COGs have these folks as needed. They’ve got them there on a full-time basis,” Lamont said. “So you get the specializations and skills you need at a lot less cost than hiring somebody full-time.”

Lamont also spoke to leaders about property tax issues, high-speed internet and testing for PFAS in drinking water wells.

An award-winning freelance reporter/host for WSHU, Brian lives in southeastern Connecticut and covers stories for WSHU across the Eastern side of the state.