Tesoro: We will close the trails if rules are not followed

Continued non-compliance with the social distancing rules and parking policies will result in the town closing all recreational hiking trails, First Selectman Vicki Tesoro warned in her latest automated telephone alert.

“The Pequonnock River Trail is open,” she said. “However, as I said before, people must honor social distancing on the trail system. The trail should not be used for social gatherings.”

As the weather continues to improve the expectation is that the number of people using the trail will increase, she said. Parking spaces at the trail access points are useful for limiting the number of people on the trail. Trail usage is monitored by the police and the park rangers.

“I am asking people to also self-monitor and practice social distancing. If there are no legal open parking spaces do not park illegally, please leave and come back at a different time,” she said. “I want to keep the trail open but we will implement parking restrictions if necessary, and if this is not successful we will close the trail.”

There are currently 29 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Trumbull, and town and health officials expect more in the days and weeks ahead.

“This month is critical to all of us,” Tesoro said. “Again, I’m asking all town residents to take this situation seriously. Please respect all closures and restrictions to keep yourself, your families and our community healthy and safe. Continued disregard of these guidelines puts an incredible strain on our first responders and health care professionals; and jeopardizes everyone’s health in our town.

Tesoro will hold an online Town Hall-style meeting Tuesday April 7 at 3 p.m. Residents may email questions to firstselectman@trumbull-ct.gov before noon April 7. Information about the meeting is on the town’s Facebook page.

Tesoro also reminded residents that new health guidelines have gone into effect statewide, including limits on grocery store occupancy and the requirement of store employees to wear masks and gloves. Grocery stores also must sanitize carts between customers. Shopping trips should be limited to one person per family.

Those who can’t get to a store or are struggling to purchase food should call Social Services at 203-452-5136. Residents also should look out for each other, she said.

“Please check on your neighbors, especially your elderly neighbors. Leave them a note or call them,” she said.

For those struggling mentally or emotionally with the situation, counseling is available from the Mary J. Sherlach CEnter at 203-452-5193. The location is not currently staffed, but counselors are monitoring the phones remotely and will return messages.

The town mailed letters to all senior citizens to let them know the services available to them. Every household will receive a postcard next week with additional communication information, Tesoro said.

Tax bills were due April 1, but Gov. Ned Lamont issued an executive order giving municipalities some flexibility in collecting property taxes. Lamont’s order gave the Town Council some optons, and town officials are reviewing the options.

We are reviewing the order on municipal tax relief and are awaiting further guidance from the Governor’s office. We will provide an update as soon as we receive more information.

The town will begin holding online meetings next week, starting with the Town Council on April 6. The town budget process and municipal taxes relief are on the agenda. The public is invited to participate. Instructions are included in the agenda.

Finally, business owners should visit the COVID-19 Business Recovery Resource page on the town website. The page is being updated daily and includes financial resources for businesses, free technical assistance resources, employee resources and other important updates specific to the business community. Questions should be directed to Economic and Community Development Director Rina Bakalar at rbakalar@trumbull-.gov or 203-610-3899.