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Haddam’s New Infrastructure Committee

By Kathy Brown.

At the February 12, 2018 Haddam Board of Selectmen meeting, First Selectman Milardo appointed an Infrastructure Committee. At the BOS meeting, Milardo explained that the committee would study and work on infrastructure opportunities in Higganum Center, and it was especially important with the potential closure of Haddam Elementary School in Higganum Center. The people to serve on the committee are:

  • Mike Fortuna
  • Patrick Pinnell
  • Sean Moriarty
  • Mike O’Brien
  • Diane Ifkovic (DEEP)
  • Peter Sonski (BOE)
  • Lynne Cooper
  • Kate Anderson (EDC)

At the last meeting, on March 28, 2018, the members voted on positions. Mike Fortuna will be Chair, Lynne Cooper will be Vice Chair, and Kate Anderson will be the Secretary. Many of the people on the committee are interested in improving Haddam, and the center of Higganum in particular. We reached out to the participants.

“I volunteered to be part of the committee because of my interest that Higganum Village become an active and attractive destination in our region, and in particular to see that Haddam Elementary School is part of any redevelopment or revitalization effort,” said Peter Sonski, who is also a Haddam member of the Regional School District #17 Board of Education. “I’m not in the construction trade, but a museum administrator. I’m hopeful my knowledge of marketing and public relations will be of benefit to the cause.”

Patrick Pinnell said, “I’m eager for the committee to get up and running. I’m an architect and planner, and believe in the power of the various kinds of human needs support — one way of defining “infrastructure” — to clarify, intensify, and make more functional and pleasurable our individual and collective sense of being in a good place. Simply put, my wife and I believe in Haddam. Not only is there technical and bureaucratic work to be done to improve our various infrastructure components, there are also communications and education tasks so that our Town’s citizens are completely and correctly informed. This good place’s physical and fiscal health are inextricably intertwined.”

Working for CTDEEP, I try to keep a low profile and not get involved with town government. I get my fair share of government processes each day at work, and I don’t want any conflicts of interest,” said Diane Ifkovic. “But I have lived in Haddam for over 15 years now and I thought this might be a good way to contribute to an important issue in town. And just to be clear, at CTDEEP I do not deal with municipal water or wastewater infrastructure or the Clean Water Fund. My area is floodplain management and FEMA issues.”

“I’ve lived in town my entire life and love calling Haddam my home,” said Kate Anderson. “I enjoy volunteering and have been on the economic development commission for two years now. My background in marketing for the architecture/engineering/construction industry, combined with my role on EDC, will help me work with the committee to develop creative solutions for our infrastructure needs while still aligning with the charm of our community.

Chairman Mike Fortuna said, “I’ve long-believed that a robust infrastructure is necessary to provide the framework for the Town to realize it goals, not just with regard to economic development, but also for long-term sustainability and livability.  At our first meeting, two things were pretty clear, the first being an understanding that there are no quick fixes and this effort represents the long-view for the Town.  The second was that the newly adopted POCD will be roadmap for initiatives moving forward.” On the committee, he said, “We have a great Committee with talented and engaged members representing a variety of areas of expertise, so I’m very optimistic that the Committee’s efforts will be fruitful.

The committee is currently working on a mission statement. Meetings will be the third Thursday of each month (April 19 is the next one scheduled), in the Town Hall conference room at 6:00 p.m.

Edited 4/11/18 to fix two errors.

One Response to Haddam’s New Infrastructure Committee

  1. Steve Bayley

    April 10, 2018 at 7:03 pm

    Nice mixture of people with a variety of talents and backgrounds.

    Best of luck to the new committee.