Plainville officials make accommodations during virus outbreak

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As the efforts to slow and control the spread of COVID-19 continue, council chairperson Katherine Pugliese requested that town staff look into options that would allow residents to observer council meetings from their homes. At the March 16 council meeting, town manager Robert Lee said he would discuss options with the IT department, and will share the findings with the town council. The council tentatively set a work session to discuss the budget further for Tuesday, March 31, at 6:30 p.m.

Becky Tyrrell, chair of the Board of Education, shared that the Plainville Community Schools would be closed as of Monday, March 23, and will be closed until the end of the month. At that time—similar to town closings—the situation will be reevaluated and a decision to reopen or remain closed will be made. She reported that PCS did receive approval from the state to conduct online learning, and that students will be able to obtain credits during this format.

As of Tuesday, March 17, Tyrrell shared, lunches will be served out of Plainville High School. School officials posted on their website that “meals are available for all PCS students and any other household members under the age of 18.” Families will need to provide their child/children’s name and will be asked to take the meals home with them. Families are able to stop by the main entrance of PHS between 11 a.m. and 12 p.m. and pick up a free lunch for that day, and also a breakfast for the following day. A weekly menu will be posted on the “Food Service” webpage.

“I think people are feeling more nervous than usual,” said Tyrrell, “some people don’t know if they’re going to get paid next week, some people are going to the grocery store and not finding any food and getting nervous about that—rightfully so—so we might find people who we normally wouldn’t think might be taking advantage of something like that are taking advantage of it.”

More information regarding the COVID-19 outbreak and the PCS response can be found online by visiting PlainvilleSchools.org.

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Lee shared that as of last week institutions such as the senior center, public library, and Plainville Historic Center have closed for the time being. As of Thursday, March 19, the Plainville Municipal Center is closed to the public and will remain so until further notice.

“While the buildings will be closed to the public, staff will still be working at each location to address any issues that may come forward,” said Lee.

Some adjustments have been made to accommodate residents—residents making tax payments have been instructed to put them in the drop off box in front of the Municipal Center rear entrance. Residents are also able to request books through the library website, and will be able to pick up requested materials at the library. Library staff will bring materials to resident’s vehicles.

The town manager shared that preparations are being made for the upcoming repaving of roadways, as part of the road bond project. Milling and paving are expected to begin in early April, and the first section of roads to be done include Norton Park Road, Norton Trail, Ciccio Court, Pearl Street, West Pearl Street, Duval Lane, and Rosanne Lane. A complete list of the roads planned for repaving this year can be found on the town website, PlainvilleCT.com.

Recently, town officials were informed by Eversource that the company would be replacing existing gas lines on Bohemia Street (between West Main and Broad Streets), Prentice Street, West Broad Street, and portions of Fairview and Forest Streets.

“This work is being done because their records show that this line is old and has several leaks that need to be addressed. The pipes are currently cast iron and will be replaced with more modern piping materials,” said Lee. “Town staff informed Eversource that because the streets have been repaved over the last several years, Eversource will be required to perform a full overlay in these areas. They have agreed to do so, and construction is expected to begin in early April.”

To comment on this story or to contact staff writer Taylor Murchison-Gallagher, email her at News@PlainvilleObserver.com.