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Jewish Home wants to buy South Park site

Longtime Easton neighbor the Jewish Home for the Elderly in Fairfield is offering $6.1 million to the town for the former Running Brook Farm, a 29-acre property on South Park Avenue the town bought in 2008 for $6.1 million.

The idea calls for 260 units total, with 200 independent living apartments and a mix of assisted living and skilled nursing spaces. Ten percent of the rental apartments would be reserved for the affordable housing category and would count toward the town’s requirements to provide affordable housing, Banoff said.

Click here to read the full story in The Easton Courier.

Easton deliberates future of Prayer Center site

Easton officials are discussing what to do with the Prayer Center, which abuts the Mill River. (Easton Courier Photo)
Easton could make creative use of the South Park property, abutting the Mill River, by leasing it to farmers, one of about 50 residents who attended an informational session members of the Board of Selectmen.

The property is in the news because the New England Prayer Center has until Oct. 8 to exercise an option to buy the property for $5.8 million. If the group does not buy the property, the town is looking for ideas on what to do with it.

The town bought the property to protect it against dense housing development. It is zoned for three-acre single family homes.

To read The Easton Courier story, click here.

Progress on many fronts in Mill River Knotweed removal

Bob Campbell stacks bags filled with Japanese Knotweed cut and removed from the banks of the Mill River along Congress Street. The nearly 20 bags stacked represent only a few hours work on the project.

One of our high-priority goals this year is to take steps to remove invasive Japanese Knotweed where it’s growing along the Mill River so indigenous plants will again line the banks and restore the natural balance of flora and fauna for a healthy stream. We’ve begun with the section flowing along Congress Street in Fairfield because of its concentration of this invasive. Here’s what we’ve done so far:

•    Cut down Knotweed in the biggest growths along the Fairfield side (between the river and Congress St.) from Route 59 downstream (west) to the Congress St. bridge over the river. We have significantly weakened all these growths so their rhizomes and shoots will be more susceptible to controlled herbicide spraying this Fall.

•    Intentionally left selected growths standing as control plots for the upcoming herbicide spraying. This will help us determine the extent cutting is needed going forward vs. spraying only, in our multi-year plan for eradication.

•    Won approval from all(!) eight Easton homeowners on the north bank to help them eradicate knotweed on their properties and cut down the major knotweed growths there. This paves the way for our future collaboration on additional key restoration steps such as improving in-stream structure and sinuosity.

•    Cut down knotweed on the Covenant Church Easton property, having won their support for our efforts.

•   Built/strengthened partnerships with the Fairfield Conservation Department and  Easton Conservation Commission to pursue Knotweed eradication (and other restoration steps) along the Mill.

•    Worked with these departments, the Aspetuck Land Trust and DEEP to determine the best multi-step approach to Knotweed eradication, involving biologically safe herbicide treatment this coming Fall.

•    Begun a plan for free other sections of the Mill from Knotweed incursion, and from other invasive species, building on the work Ross Ogden led for us with the ALT.

So we’ve done a lot with solid results so far, and with more to come! We hope you’ll drive along Congress Street to see how the Knotweed there is weakened and picture how this section of the Mill will look when native plants once again are the only species growing there!