NORWALK, Conn. — Some newsy tidbits from Tuesday’s Council meeting:
- A City Hall reopening plan
- $8.2 million to Norwalk Public Schools
- ‘Astronomically’ good interest rate in bond issuance
By appointment only
Norwalk is planning to reopen City Hall on Sept 8, the day after Labor Day, by appointment only, Mayor Harry Rilling said at Tuesday’s Council meeting.
Visitors will have to call whatever department they’re going to make their appointment, he said. Their temperature will be checked before they come in and if it’s more than 100 degrees, they will have to reschedule.
“We are also planning on having a scheduling software so that the guard will know exactly who has appointments and who doesn’t,” Rilling said. “The person coming in will present an ID. Hopefully we will have the technology at that point to make the person a badge and then call the department that this individual is going to visit and have them come down and escort them.”
State funding for reopening
“The State of Connecticut has provided $8.2 million to the Norwalk Public Schools to help with a reopening plan. We’re number two in the state behind Hartford, so we believe we got a nice little stipend from the state,” Mayor Harry Rilling said at Tuesday’s Council meeting.
Norwalk Public Schools Chief Financial Officer Thomas Hamilton said, on Aug. 12, that COVID-19 funding from the State was still uncertain.
The $8 million from the State “might not be enough, that might be a $12 to $14 million shortfall,” Rilling said Tuesday.
NPS estimated $20 million in reopening costs, but the plans have shifted and continue to evolve. Opening day was recently delayed a week, to Sept. 8.
Rilling said he’d had a discussion with Norwalk Superintendent of Schools Alexandra Estrella and, “when she found out that we were opening City Hall on Sept. 8, she thought it was wise to push the school day school year back a couple of days, so that teachers can have more professional development and they can prepare to do things in the schools to make sure that the students and the staff are going to be protected as well.”
Norwalk has just issued its capital budget bonds and got an interest rate of 1.67, Rilling and Chief Financial Officer Henry Dachowitz said. The Triple A bond rating has been reaffirmed.
Rilling called the interest rate “astronomical.”
“The reason we got that is because people want to invest in our community,” Rilling said. “Because once again, all three bond rating agencies found us to be fiscally responsible, fiscally sound, and we are Triple A bond rated through all three agencies. And that’s a testament to the hard work of the team, of the Council, of the administration, of the people that work for us who really, really know what they’re doing and do it well. So I wanted to just remind everybody about that and thank Henry and his team for that as well.”