AA Learn more about in-home care options for your loved ones

Given the choice, most of us want to stay in our homes. Sometimes, people need help to remain at home. That's where Always Best Care Senior Services comes in.

Personal Care Consultation


“Staff is great there a great place to work and call your workplace”

Babispyce S.

“I’ve been a nurse for over 40 years, and I am currently a nursing professor. When my mom was recently in the hospital, I knew it would not be possible for her to be completely on her own right away. She loves where she resides and enjoys all of the activities that are offered. My goal was to get her back into her apartment as soon as possible with the support she needed to increase her strength and return to her prior level of wellness she had before she went into the hospital. She was used to walking a couple miles a day. When I reached out to ABC I made it clear that my mom would need somebody who would be willing to walk with her in the morning, and in the evening enabling her to get back to her baseline. I would like to complement all of the staff at ABC who provided my mom such wonderful support after two weeks she returned to her baseline and remained in her apartment. She really enjoyed all of the staff that were with her , they were professional they encouraged her to walk, drink fluids, eat and were instrumental in assisting her to reach her prior level of independence. I would strongly recommend ABC to anybody who is in need of support for their loved one.”

Robin Y.

“Mom’s care needs have been progressing over the past month - increased difficulty standing. walking, decreased appetite, increased incontinence. (Part of the expected declining process per her Dr.) Tara has been wonderful in adapting to Mom’s changing needs as they develop and a very helpful partner in troubleshooting. brainstorming how to adapt to best support Mom. It’s also been helpful in my regular communication with Mom’s Dr, to let her know in detail what has come up and how we have approached. Thank you (again) for your talented staff!”

Jeremy H.

“Outstanding personal service from this company. All of the caregivers were personable and provided outstanding care to our aunt. I would highly recommend them to anyone who has an elder family member in need. Also, the staff that helped to set up their services was outstanding as well. They made the decisions easy to understand with no hidden agenda. Thank you again to "ABC!"”


“You can't go wrong with this crew. Extremely patient and caring.”

Daniel S.

“Caring for family can be difficult and challenging at times. It's so nice to know that Always Best Care Senior Services is there to help!”

Cathy K.

“Taylor, John, and Kristine and their crew are the best. They are patient, understanding, and a joy to work with.”

Daniel S.

“Sabina always has a pleasant, caring, and respectful attitude. I feel she treats me as she would as her own mother. She treats me the way she would like to be treated. We are a good “team” together.”

Tracy H.

“Diana has a total commitment of compassion, empathy, and respect for myself and my family. My daughters feel she is truly a tremendous caregiver. They know I am in good hands. She acknowledges with commitment of my physical, emotional, and practical needs, my quality of life has excelled due to Diana’s help. I look forward to her presence everyday her attitude is exceptional, Diana comes to work daily with a smile on her face. She enters the front door, singing softly ready to work. She has never taken a day off, I have had many caregivers, but Diana is truly the best!”

Anne H.

“Tina has been with us since the start, caring for my mom. Tina has nothing but my mom’s best interest at heart. She continues to go above and beyond to care for my mom, and ensure anyone else who may be there also understands my mom’s needs. Tina has even gone so far to rearrange her schedule or give up her free time to stay with my mom to avoid her having someone that doesn’t know her. I can see that she genuinely cares for my mom, and treats her as if she was her own family member. That also goes both ways, my mom lights up when she sees Tina. We consider Tina part of our family.”

David L.

“Always Best Care helped our family get through a very difficult time with my mother's care. Kristine and Taylor are a pleasure to work with. They are very knowledgable and had the answers to all our questions. They were able to help with all aspects of the care we needed. I highly recommend them.”

John S.

“Kristine and John are extremely caring and compassionate about helping their client's and family and making sure they receive the best care available. Highly recommended!”

Greg G.

“We needed some home care services for Dad who has dementia, and we made the right decision to trust ABC Senior Services for this support. Dad was lined up with a caregiver who was attentive and helpful, and she and Dad really hit it off. The management and administrative staff from ABC were also very effective and professional. You'll make a good decision to go with ABC Senior Services...”

Liam M.

“I approached Kristine regarding care for my elderly father. Even though he was outside her service area, she helped to find resources for us. Her commitment to providing outstanding care is only surpassed by her desire to help others. Thank you Kristine!”

Matt B.

“I have known Kristine Lajeunesse for many years now through business networking and she and her Team at Always Best Care are very caring and professional and exactly who you would want on your side if you have a loved one who needs help!”

Ann B.

“The client care at Always Best Care Senior Service is outstanding”

Kimberly O.

“Rosemary has many great qualities. She is a hardworker, sensitive, has a giving nature and has an immense desire to help my father. Reliability is vital trait in Rosemary. When my father was in the hospital and came home she immediately wanted to be by his side. My father has come to rely and depend on Rosemary. She is always on time whether it is giving medication or administering food and often encourages my father and helps my father maintain his dignity”

Denise D.

“Always Best Care provides caregivers to our building on a regular basis when we are short staffed. Due to our licensing, we can only have CNAs on the floor and Always Best Care has provided excellent CNAs every time we need some extra help. All of their CNAs have been helpful, willing to go above and beyond for our residents and we always have great responses from our own CNAs and supervisory staff. I am so thankful to Michelle and Wilda who will always staff a shift that I need, even if I call 30 minutes before the shift starts. You’ve been such a huge help!”

Kaytee S.

“I have known John and Kristine Lajeunesse for almost 20 years and when my dad needed care following a diagnosis of dementia, I knew there wouldn’t be anyone better to call than them. The caregivers that have worked with my dad have been wonderful. They are true saints to my family, allowing us the knowledge that Dad is okay to stay at home. They have navigated all of the changes in his cognitive state with grace and kept my father’s dignity in place. He was always a very active man and the caregivers have managed to keep him active, even as his health declines.”

Belinda F.

“Always Best Care helped me to get care lined up for my uncle, after I received their information from a close friend of mine that also used their agency. My uncle was a very proud man and did not want help from anyone, including family. Taylor met with me and spent time getting to know the ins and outs of my uncle’s care as well as his personality. She asked about his background so that they could look for a caregiver with similar interests. Although he took a turn for the worse rather quickly, the short time care was provided was wonderful. Thank you for your help and compassion.”

Karel O.

“My dad’s caregiver is great. He is a man of few words, but she is able to get him talking about all aspects and experiences of his life. They go out regularly and she encourages my dad to participate in the activities put on by the community he lives in. They run errands, go out for meals, or go for a drive just to get a change of scenery. I was nervous at first about how my dad would take having a caregiver come in to help him, but he seems so happy and has great things to talk about after his time spent with his caregiver.”

Martin F.

“Thank you, Kristine - I am very appreciative of the professional manner with which you and your organization operates. From the initial phone and in-person conversations with Taylor, to the ongoing support of my mother's care - it's been thorough, timely and well managed. I am also struck by how the home-health employees conduct themselves. They are reliable/responsive *and* responsible, and making every effort to work through the challenges day to day with my mother. Thanks for the great job you and your organization are doing. It means a lot to me, especially during this trying time! Best Regards”

Anna T.

“I wanted to take a moment to thank you and your staff for all of your hard work and dedication to their clients. When my parents finally realized they needed help in their home, I chose ABC as the company I felt would be the best fit. Yes, we have had some ups and down, but when you paired Leah with my parents, it was truly a blessing. My parents love her. She genuinely cares for them and they speak highly of her work ethic. As my mom says, “she is too good to be true”. I just wanted to let you know how much I appreciate your working with me to find the right fit. Well on our end, Leah fits like a glove and I hope she feels the same. She is a special person so I wanted to acknowledge her hard work and dedication to my parents. It makes me feel more at ease knowing there is someone coming to the home to properly care for them. Again I want to thank you all and encourage you to keep up the good work.”

Craig F.

“My family provides the care to my mother 24/7, we called Always Best Care to provide respite care to my mom while we took some time to ourselves for a weekend. Mom’s caregiver, Gloria, was great and she had the perfect disposition to work with my mom. She was attentive and kept mom well fed and engaged during the time we were away. We would definitely call Always Best Care again when we need some time away.”


“The caregiver that helped my husband and I were so kind to us both, especially to my husband while I spent some time in the hospital and rehab. Our caregiver brought my husband to see me every day while I was at the hospital and at rehab, I knew he was in excellent hands and I could focus on getting stronger again.”

Heather R.

“i really like my caregiver, Victor very much. Victor is a very patient and observant aide who knows when I need his help. I knew from the first day meeting him that we would get along very well.”

Johnson L.

““I want to give a huge thank you for the care that Always Best Care provided over the last year and a half. They started out assisting just my dad since he was wheelchair bound and then began providing care to my mom as well who had advanced dementia. The two ladies that helped them both did an amazing job and gave me the confidence that they were being well cared for since I live on the other side of the country. Up to my dad’s passing, his caregivers were there for him to provide comfort and companionship while managing my mom’s emotions as well during the difficult time my dad had. Being a nurse myself and in the healthcare field for a while, I had high expectations which were exceeded by the caregivers and office staff of Always Best Care.”

harry B.

“Both of Mom’s caregivers are exceptional. They are always professional, calm and extremely patient with my mom. They know how to keep her calm and to manage her anxiety. My whole family is very grateful, knowing that Mom is getting really competent care, great meals and friendly companionship. Thank you.”

Kathleen F.

“My husband had care from Always Best Care until he passed away. Thankfully he is on his "next journey" and finally pain free, while he was here with us, his caregiver, Craig, did an amazing job caring for him and was here to help us from our first day of services. Craig always managed to get my husband to share stories from his time in the war that even I had not heard before. It was a great way to get to know more of my husband so his memory can continue with others around him.”

Beth F.

“I am very pleased with the care that Craig gave to my husband. My husband enjoyed having another man to talk to instead of conversation only between him and I. Craig managed to keep him occupied and safe so that I could go and get some time to myself, allowing me peace of mind that my husband was in great hands”

Sonia T.

“I hired Always Best Care to help my mom who was living with me at home. She was diagnosed with dementia and within 3 months she could hardly do much for herself anymore. I was able to continue working full time while my mom received care from Always Best Care. We had the same caregiver from day 1 and she was absolutely amazing. She kept everyone in the loop with any changes my mom experienced and the regular in person and phone check ins were a great added support to myself and my family. Thank you ABC for all the help and compassion that you showed my mom until her passing.”


“They are very caring and easy to deal with. They work with the family and the patient to see that the patient has what is needed for their care. In all we had a good experience with Best Care.”

Elaine G.

“Our caregiver is the absolute best, you all got lucky finding her.”

Bob G.

“Anything from Always Best Care is good to have. The care from them has given me my life back. I wasn’t expecting a perfect match on the first caregiver, but Always Best Care did a very good job.”

Claudia B.

“We have been using the services of ABC for almost three years, and I have worked personally with John, Kristine, Taylor, Michelle and Wilda, as well as the many wonderful caregivers who have attended to my mother’s needs with great care and attention. Throughout this time, my mother’s care needs have changed many times, and they have always been very responsive to any requests, including the directives of the hospice nurses that work in concert with all of them. Taylor and Michelle are incredibly diligent about keeping on top of issues that arise day-to-day, and running their questions and concerns by me. I remain a loyal customer to ABC because I feel that my mother is getting really great care, and will continue to see the warm, friendly faces she has come to know and trust today and every day. At 94 yrs old, my mother is quite dependent on the care providers for almost all her needs, and they always show up and make her feel safe and secure.”

Rachel C.

“It has been a true pleasure working with you and your organization. You all demonstrate empathy and compassion in caring for frail elderly family members and insure distant families are comforted knowing you are there.”

Steve S.

“Mom’s caregiver is a part of the family, we absolutely love her!”

Joe L.

“Always Best Care has done a fantastic job in providing us with at-home care for my step-mother while we prepared for her transition to move permanently to a skilled nursing facility. With their help, she was able to spend a full six months at home before moving. We would not have been able to do it without them. All the caregivers we have met and used have been kind and attentive, frequently going the extra mile, whatever that may be on any given day. The office staff is friendly, empathetic and very diligent in keeping all parties informed of all aspects of day-to-day care. They are knowledgeable, respectful and efficient. I would not hesitate in recommending them to anyone who is looking for help in keeping their loved one at home for as long as possible.”

Sarah C.
 In-Home Care Middle Haddam, CT

How does In-home Senior Care in Middle Haddam, CT work?

Home is where the heart is. While that saying can sound a tad cliche, it's especially true for many seniors living in America. When given a choice, older adults most often prefer to grow older at home. An AARP study found that three out of four adults over the age of 50 want to stay in their homes and communities as they age. When you begin to think about why, it makes sense. Home offers a sense of security, comfort, and familiarity.

The truth is, as we age, we begin to rely on others for help. When a family is too busy or lives too far away to fulfill this role, in-home senior care is often the best solution. Home care services allow seniors to enjoy personal independence while also receiving trustworthy assistance from a trained caregiver.

At Always Best Care, we offer a comprehensive range of home care services to help seniors stay healthy while they get the help they need to remain independent. As your senior loved one ages, giving them the gift of senior care is one of the best ways to show your love, even if you live far away.

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 Senior Care Middle Haddam, CT

Aging in Place: The Preferred Choice for Most Seniors

While it's true that some seniors have complicated medical needs that prevent them from staying at home, aging in place is often the best arrangement for seniors and their families. With a trusted caregiver, seniors have the opportunity to live with a sense of dignity and do so as they see fit.

In-home care makes it possible for millions of seniors to age in place every year. Rather than moving to a unfamiliar assisted living community, seniors have the chance to stay at home where they feel the happiest and most comfortable.

Here are just a few of the reasons why older men and women prefer to age at home:


How much does a senior's home truly mean to them? A study published by the American Society on Aging found that more than half of seniors say their home's emotional value means more than how much their home is worth in monetary value. It stands to reason, that a senior's home is where they want to grow old. With the help of elderly care in Middle Haddam, CT, seniors don't have to age in a sterilized care facility. Instead, they can age gracefully in the place they want to be most: their home. In contrast, seniors who move to a long-term care facility must adapt to new environments, new people, and new systems that the facility implements. At this stage in life, this kind of drastic change can be more harmful than helpful.

Healthy Living
Healthy Living

Institutional care facilities like nursing homes often put large groups of people together to live in one location. On any given day, dozens of staff members and caregivers run in and out of these facilities. Being around so many new people in a relatively small living environment can be dangerous for a seniors' health and wellbeing. When you consider that thousands of seniors passed away in nursing homes during the COVID-19 pandemic, opting for in-home care is often a safer, healthier choice for seniors. Aging in place has been shown to improve seniors' quality of life, which helps boost physical health and also helps insulate them from viral and bacterial risks found in elderly living facilities.


For many seniors, the ability to live independently with assistance from a caregiver is a priceless option. With in-home care, seniors experience a higher level of independence and freedom - much more so than in other settings like an assisted living community. When a senior has the chance to age in place, they get to live life on their own terms, inside the house that they helped make into a home. More independence means more control over their personal lives, too, which leads to increased levels of fulfillment, happiness, and personal gratification. Over time, these positive feelings can manifest into a healthier, longer life.

Cost and Convenience
Cost and Convenience

More independence, a healthier life, and increased comfort are only a few benefits of aging in place. You have to take into consideration the role of cost and convenience. Simply put, it's usually easier to help seniors age in place than it is to move them into an institutional care facility. In-home care services from Always Best Care, for instance, can be less expensive than long-term solutions, which can cost upwards of six figures per year. To make matters worse, many residential care facilities are reluctant to accept long-term care insurance and other types of payment assistance.

With Always Best Care's home care services, seniors and their families have a greater level of control over their care plans. In-home care in Middle Haddam, CT gives seniors the chance to form a bond with a trusted caregiver and also receive unmatched care that is catered to their needs. In long-term care facilities, seniors and their loved ones have much less control over their care plan and have less of a say in who provides their care.

Empowers Seniors

Affordable Care Plans

In-home care is a valuable resource that empowers seniors to age in place on their own terms. However, a big concern for many families and their loved ones is how much in-home care costs. If you're worried that in-home care is too expensive, you may be pleasantly surprised to learn that it is one of the most affordable senior care arrangements available.

Typically, hiring an Always Best Care in-home caregiver for a few hours a week is more affordable than sending your loved one to a long-term care facility. This is true even for seniors with more complex care needs.

At Always Best Care, we will work closely with you and your family to develop a Care Plan that not only meets your care needs, but your budget requirements, too. Once we discover the level of care that you or your senior need, we develop an in-home care plan that you can afford.

In addition to our flexible care options, families should also consider the following resources to help offset potential home care costs:

Veteran's Benefits
Veteran's Benefits

Aid and Attendance benefits through military service can cover a portion of the costs associated with in-home care for veterans and their spouses.

Long-Term Care Insurance
Long-Term Care Insurance

Many senior care services like in-home care are included in long-term care insurance options. Research different long-term care solutions to find a plan that provides coverage for senior care.

Private Insurance
Private Insurance

Home care can be included as part of a senior's private insurance plan. Read over your loved one's insurance policy carefully or speak with their insurance provider to determine if in-home care is covered.

Life Insurance
Life Insurance

Depending on the life insurance plan, you may be able to apply your policy toward long-term care. You may be able to use long-term-care coverage to help pay for in-home elderly care.

Respite Care Middle Haddam, CT

During your Care Plan consultation with Always Best Care, your Care Coordinator will speak with you about in-home care costs and what options there may be to help meet your budget needs.

Compassionate Care. Trusted Caregivers

When you or your senior loved one needs assistance managing daily tasks at home, finding a qualified caregiver can be challenging. It takes a special kind of person to provide reliable care for your senior loved one. However, a caregiver's role involves more than meal preparation and medication reminders. Many seniors rely on their caregivers for companionship, too.

Our companion care services give seniors the chance to socialize in a safe environment and engage in activities at home. These important efforts boost morale and provide much-needed relief from repetitive daily routines. A one-on-one, engaging conversation can sharpen seniors' minds and give them something in which to be excited.

At Always Best Care, we only hire care providers that we would trust to care for our own loved ones. Our senior caregivers in Middle Haddam,CT understand how important it is to listen and communicate with their seniors. A seemingly small interaction, like a short hug goodbye, can make a major difference in a senior's day. Instead of battling against feelings of isolation, seniors begin to look forward to seeing their caregiver each week.

Understanding the nuances of senior care is just one of the reasons why our care providers are so great at their job.

Unlike some senior care companies, our caregivers must undergo extensive training before they work for Always Best Care. In addition, our caregivers receive ongoing training throughout the year. This training ensures that their standard of care matches up to the high standards we've come to expect. During this training, they will brush up on their communication skills, safety awareness, and symptom spotting. That way, your loved one receives the highest level of non-medical home care from day one.

 Caregivers Middle Haddam, CT

Taking the First Step with Always Best Care

The first step in getting quality in-home care starts with a personal consultation with an experienced Care Coordinator. This initial consultation is crucial for our team to learn more about you or your elderly loved one to discover the level of care required. Topics of this consultation typically include:

An assessment of your senior loved one


An in-depth discussion of the needs of your senior loved one to remain in their own home


Reviewing a detailed Care Plan that will meet your senior loved one's needs


Our caregivers are trained to spot changes that clients exhibit, like mental and physical decline. As your trusted senior care company, we will constantly assess and update your Care Plan to meet any new emotional, intellectual, physical, and emotional needs.

If you have never considered in-home care before, we understand that you and your family may have concerns about your Care Plan and its Care Coordinator. To help give you peace of mind, know that every team member and caregiver must undergo comprehensive training before being assigned to a Care Plan.

When you're ready, we encourage you to contact your local Always Best Care representative to set up a Care Consultation. Our Care Coordinators would be happy to meet with you in person to get to know you better, discuss your needs, and help put together a personalized Care Plan specific to your needs.

Latest News in Middle Haddam, CT

Portland’s connection to 26-mile Airline Trail beginning to take shape

This is a carousel. Use Next and Previous buttons to navigatePORTLAND — Members of the Airline Trail Committee are exulting in their 2018 successes.The committee is working to provide a link through Portland to the 25.6-mile walking and bicycling trail that b...

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PORTLAND — Members of the Airline Trail Committee are exulting in their 2018 successes.

The committee is working to provide a link through Portland to the 25.6-mile walking and bicycling trail that begins in Thompson and ends in Willimantic, and eventually could carry on across the Connecticut River and beyond.

In 2018, the ALT completed construction on the first portion of the trail in Portland, a 2.3-mile section dedicated in October. In a post-Christmas report, committee Chairman Rosario “Riz” Rizzo described 2018 as “a very successful year” for his group.

In addition to opening the portion that runs from Middle Haddam Road to the fringe of YMCA’s Camp Ingersoll in Portland, the committee “spent most of the early spring working on getting the permanent signage designed, reviewed and sent out to be made.

“That was followed up with the design of a pamphlet to provide trail users with both historical and current information about the trail,” Rizzo said.

In general, response has been very positive. “Feedback we were receiving from users of the trail said that they loved the trail,” Rizzo said. However, trail users did not feel the love for the portion of the trail up Keegan Hill “between the parking lot and the east/west trail,” he said.

The committee ultimately had to redesign the hill “to reduce the incline from approximately 15 percent to around 5 percent using a serpentine-style trail,” Rizzo said. The early summer brought “multiple torrential rainy days,” which led the committee to “put asphalt on the aprons at the road crossing to reduce the amount of runoff materials that went onto the local roadways,” he added.

Working in conjunction with the town, the committee created a public service announcement about the trail. Personnel used “a donated drone to digitally record the whole length of the trail with narration by Lou Pear” and himself, Rizzo added.

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Pear, the deputy first selectman, is the former co-chairman of the committee as well as the Board of Selectmen’s liaison to the committee. Hoping to build upon its success, the committee “has voted to continue to work on Phase II, which will work on continuing the trail to connect to the Arrigoni Bridge and downtown Portland,” he said.

To that end, the committee met with the state Department of Transportation last spring “to take a look at the railroad depot located on Route 66 (across from Cumberland Farms) to see if it would be possible to use it for a welcome/visitors center in the future.”

“It’s a good report,” First Selectwoman Susan S. Bransfield said Monday. Acknowledging how pleased she was with the committee’s success, Bransfield said, “I am very proud and thankful to the committee and Chairman Riz Rizzo.”

“I am very grateful for his leadership and for all the hard work on the part of the committee, and all the volunteers who have worked so hard on this project,” said Bransfield, who also thanked the state — which provided a $600,000 grant to help fund the expansion — and the town for its support.

“This is a regional destination for so many people who are hiking or biking the trail and enjoy being out of doors. I’m looking forward to continue working with the committee on Phase II of this project,” Bransfield said.

Meanwhile, East Hampton has essentially completed the final 1.5-mile section of the trail through Portland’s nearest neighbor. East Hampton Town Manager Michael Maniscalco said there remains just an approximately 1,500-foot-long section — wetlands — that must be dealt with.

“We’re working with [the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection] to find the best solution,” which might entail the installation of a boardwalk, Maniscalco said Monday.

The trail has been built along the right of way of a former New Haven-to-Boston rail line abandoned in 1955.

Gas Station Expansion Meets Opposition in East Hampton Hearing

EAST HAMPTON — The owner of the Citgo gas station and Food Bag convenience store at 1 Colchester Ave. has applied for change of zoning for two adjacent residential properties, creating a larger footprint for the business to expand.If approved, 157 Main Street and 5 Colchester Ave would be re-zoned from residential to commercial property. The owner, Atlantis Marketing Group of Mount Vernon, N.Y., has requested that after the change in zoning, the three pa...

EAST HAMPTON — The owner of the Citgo gas station and Food Bag convenience store at 1 Colchester Ave. has applied for change of zoning for two adjacent residential properties, creating a larger footprint for the business to expand.

If approved, 157 Main Street and 5 Colchester Ave would be re-zoned from residential to commercial property. The owner, Atlantis Marketing Group of Mount Vernon, N.Y., has requested that after the change in zoning, the three parcels be merged into one.

A petition supporting “remodel and improvements” of the store — circulated by the Atlantis Marketing Group, known as AMG — collected 110 signatures, and the town had posted one letter of support for the project, prior to the April 7 meeting of the town’s Planning and Zoning Commission.

Neighbors gathered 82 signatures in opposition to the project. Other property owners in the town submitted a petition with 35 signatures opposing the project. Three merchants from the village center submitted a letter in opposition. The town also received 186 letters in opposition and an online petition in opposition collected 133 signatures.

At the meeting, Scott Jezek, an attorney representing Atlantis Marketing Group, said the current convenience store had served as a filling station from “sometime in the late 1940s.”

“When the town of East Hampton adopted its zoning regulations in 1961, the area here that’s shown in question was a commercial zone and then later on in 1990 that was changed to your present, R-2 zone,” he said.

Jezek told commission members that residential zoning on a thoroughfare identified in the town’s plan of conservation and development as a heavily-used “arterial road,” was at odds with planned economic growth.

“The purpose of identifying the streets as such is to encourage economic revitalization. That is the use of the word revitalization — to add life to add to the usage of the properties in those areas,” Jezek said. “The present use of single family residential, in our opinion, is somewhat inconsistent with the plan of conservation and development.”

The Charles A. Strong House, built in 1858, stands at 157 Main Street, and is listed by the National Park Service as a contributing resource to the Belltown National Register Historic District. The 2,400-square-foot brick house, containing four apartments, is currently unoccupied.

A 2,200-square-foot multi-family house built in 1920 also stands on the 1.4-acre site.

According to Jezek, the Strong house is unoccupied “and really not suitable for habitation right now.” He said that his client had been in discussion with Jeremy DeCarli,a planning and zoning official for the town, about “the best way to handle that.” The project proposal calls for the building to be removed.

“We are quite flexible. And that I think the ultimate decision was made to get input from your commission for any decision was made. So we have not made a decision with respect to that building, and to either leave it or remove it, and we’ll wait and see what the comments are and try to make a plan that best accommodates, whatever the comments are about that building,” said Jezek.

Jezek said the application was solely for a change of zoning. Building permits and a site plan would need to be approved at a later date.

“No determination has been made yet by the applicant as to precisely what that site plan will look like, which buildings will remain, which buildings will be included, what their uses would be. And so those are decisions that we would make later on once, and if, the zoning changes are made by the commission,” he said.

Jack Belowich, business development manager for Atlantis, told the commission that the project has been depicted in the media as “out of town developer looking to build a major mega gas station. He said, “That cannot be further from the truth. What you’re seeing tonight is strictly a concept plan.”

During the public hearing, DeCarli summarized 46 letters in opposition. The letter writers expressed a variety of concerns, ranging from the project’s consistency with the town’s plan of conservation and development, to the impact on the historic district and property values.

Irene Cook wrote that she was concerned about noise, trash, light, traffic, damage to property values, the “oversized footprint” of the project and overall destruction of the neighborhood.

Jacqueline Benedetto wrote that the project could increase pollution in the groundwater, and lead to nuisance trash and noise.

Members of the public also spoke to the commission at the meeting.

Jennifer Mikulkski said that the developer had used “comfort terms” to describe the project.

“‘A green space, planting areas.’ ‘This is just a concept plan.’ ‘Don’t worry, we’ll take your input.’ ‘No decisions on buildings.’ These are just things, in my opinion, that are trying to sway you into approving a zoning change,” she told the commission. “I just wanted to make a closing statement that I feel strongly that the push to rezone any form of residential whether it be R-1 to R-4 to commercial or industrial use, is ultimately the ruin of the ideal balance of commercial convenience, village charm, and rural residential life that is truly East Hampton … I think you’re putting the overall character of this town at risk,” she said.

Margaret McCutcheon Faber said the project will require the demolition of the Strong house and to date there were 656 signatures on a petition asking for the assistance of the Attorney General should a demolition permit be applied for or pulled.

Jodi Brazal, who lives within 500 feet of the project and is also the executive director of the East Hampton Housing Authority, said the loss of housing was a concern.

“I acknowledge the fact that the two houses on Main Street are in a condition that have not provided the tenants who formerly and presently reside there to safe and decent housing. However, to remove them completely will take away any opportunity to provide housing to a number of people. I hope that you would agree that East Hampton needs more housing, as opposed to a new hypermart,” she said.

At about 9:30 p.m., with at least 15 people waiting to speak and a number of agenda items left to address, Zatorski asked the commission to continue the public hearing to the next regular meeting on May 5.

Zatorski said he planned to visit the site before the May 5 meeting and encouraged commission members to do the same.

Cate Hewitt is a reporter and Associate Editor for CT Examiner. Hewitt covers planning and zoning issues.

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Flood warning continues for Connecticut River; ferries, some roads closed

The state’s two historic ferries were closed Wednesday due to the Connecticut River’s high water levels that also flooded some local land, and Norfolk officials continued ...

The state’s two historic ferries were closed Wednesday due to the Connecticut River’s high water levels that also flooded some local land, and Norfolk officials continued work to clean up road washouts caused by torrential downpours, even as the National Weather Service forecast the possibility of more rain Thursday.

The Chester-Hadlyme ferry, which provides a link between the towns of Chester and Hadlyme at Route 148, was closed Wednesday due to the river’s high water levels, and the Rocky Hill-Glastonbury ferry, which also crosses the Connecticut River, has been closed since Sunday due to water levels and will remain closed “for the foreseeable future,” according to Josh Morgan, spokesperson for the state Department of Transportation.

The Chester-Hadlyme ferry is expected to reopen sooner than the Rock Hill-Glastonbury route, Morgan said.

In Norfolk, where town officials issued an emergency declaration due to flash flooding and washouts on Monday, parts of Route 272 were still closed Wednesday.

“Rainwater came through and washed the road away,” said Morgan. “That’s going to be a longer road to get that reopened, probably two to three weeks.”

Town officials said severe damage on Smith Road and Old Goshen Road could take six months to a year to fully repair, according to the Norfolk Emergency Management Department.

Morgan said that even emergency vehicles could not get through one section of the broken roadway on Route 272 on Monday and Tuesday, so the DOT put in some temporary fill and made temporary repairs so that at the very least, fire trucks could get through the area if necessary.

Parts of the road were still entirely closed to non-emergency traffic because they were unsafe for motor vehicles, the DOT said. According to the town, repairs had been made from Bruey Road to the Goshen town line. Route 272 remained closed at Etsy Road but was able to be driven north or south by local residents only.

Restoration work had begun on Esty Road, Meekertown Road, Beckley Road, and Windrow Road as of Tuesday, Norfolk town officials said in a statement. There were also several street sweepers in Norfolk cleaning all the streets, the town said.

The DOT said they were working closely with the town to get repairs underway.

In East Hartford, the area of Great River Park was filled with water from the overflowing Connecticut River, but the water had not reached the parking lot or roadways nearby, said Brian Jennes, captain of the Emergency Management Department.

Jennes said that, so far, the town had not seen much impact on their park or roads and likely wouldn’t unless the river rose about two more feet.

If the water does reach the roadways, Jennes warned drivers not to try to drive through the water.

“That water is moving a lot faster than people realize,” he said.

Jennes also warned people to be cautious of debris in the river and to avoid swimming in any flood waters due to contamination risks.

Due to the town’s levy system, Jennes said he did not expect any flooding on East Hartford roads.

“Right now because Connecticut has been in a drought and streams were really low, we’re doing just fine,” said Jennes.

“We have capacity for those streams to back up a little bit,” he said, but would be concerned if another heavy rainfall storm were to hit.

The National Weather Service said Wednesday afternoon that the flood warning for the Connecticut River at Thompsonville would remain in effect until Friday morning. “Minor flooding is occurring and moderate flooding is forecast,” the service reported.

The weather service said that, at 12:30 p.m. Wednesday the river stage was at 16.9 feet. and at 17 feet, “flooding will become more widespread along the Connecticut River from the Massachusetts towns of Agawam and Longmeadow, through the northern Connecticut towns of Suffield and Enfield.”

The warning issued Wednesday was for the Connecticut River at Hartford, affecting Hartford and Middlesex Counties.

The service also issued these precautions:

The Hartford skyline can be seen in the background as Great River Park in East Hartford is flooded with water from the Connecticut River on Wednesday, July 12, 2023. (Aaron Flaum/Hartford Courant)

The service Tuesday also had issued a flood warning that included the Connecticut River at Hartford, affecting Hartford and Middlesex counties, and the Connecticut River at Thompsonville, affecting Hartford County and Hampden County in Western Massachusetts.

That warning also included the Connecticut River at Middle Haddam, affecting Middlesex County. The service said the flood warning is cancelled for the Farmington River at Simsbury, which also would have affected Hartford County.

The town of East Harford later released a notice that the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is predicting the Connecticut River levels to continue rising and crest at 23′ on Wednesday, July 12, 2023.

As the Connecticut River continues to rise, some roads in the area may experience moderate flooding, the town warned.

The weather service warning will remain in effect through Friday afternoon, the weather service reported.

At 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, the Connecticut River stage was at 16.4 feet, the service reported, and at 17 feet, “flooding will become more widespread along the Connecticut River from the Massachusetts towns of Agawam and Longmeadow, through the northern Connecticut towns of Suffield and Enfield.” Flood stage is 15 feet, the service said in its statement

“The maximum river stage in the 24 hours ending at 5:30 (p.m.) Tuesday was 16.4 feet and the “river is expected to rise to a crest of 16.7 feet just after midnight tonight. It will then fall below flood stage Thursday morning,” the weather service statement said Tuesday. “This crest compares to a previous crest of 16.8 feet” on April 18, 1996.

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Thousands in the dark after branches take down wires across Connecticut

Hundreds of crews working are around-the-clock with no clear timeline for restoration.EAST HADDAM, Conn. — People like Charlene Marquis-O’Brien were waking up to robocalls from Eversource two days before Christmas warning of area power outages. The family also woke up to a massive, downed evergreen blocking a driveway, so they powered up the generator and adjusted holiday plans.“Because of the weather, we kind of are just celebrating at home,” Marquis-O’Brien said. “We’re not having com...

Hundreds of crews working are around-the-clock with no clear timeline for restoration.

EAST HADDAM, Conn. — People like Charlene Marquis-O’Brien were waking up to robocalls from Eversource two days before Christmas warning of area power outages. The family also woke up to a massive, downed evergreen blocking a driveway, so they powered up the generator and adjusted holiday plans.

“Because of the weather, we kind of are just celebrating at home,” Marquis-O’Brien said. “We’re not having company because maybe they can’t get to our house, or we would be without power. And how do you prepare food without power? So, we’re just going to have a quiet Christmas at home.”

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Eversource warned of power outages in most of the 149 communities it serves. Line crews are working around the clock. At the height of the storm Friday morning, power was knocked out to more than 100,000 customers.

“This was a tree event,” said Steve Sullivan, President of CT Electric Operations for Eversource. “We still have quite a way to go. We have a lot of these crews here. We’re determined to do everything we can to restore everybody as quickly and as safely as possible. But I do think folks have to look at alternate plans.”

It’s not always the mightiest trees. Small branches brought live wires onto Route 82 in East Haddam. Crews worked cautiously to clear the road with outages impacting nearly half of all residents in town.

In neighboring East Hampton, Cobalt Health Care and Rehab Center was running on a generator. They tended to 30 patients and marched on with indoor holiday party plans while line crews fixed wires outside on Middle Haddam Road.

“Emergency management is also aware, so God forbid if something happens with that, we have contingency upon contingency,” said Administrator Marc Zgorski. “I wish it wasn’t Christmas weekend, but it is what it is.”

As a cold front moved Friday evening and winds continue to gust, Eversource warned it could cause even more damage. But it insists crews are sacrificing time away from loved ones to work around the clock on restoration efforts.

“We know the cold is here. We know tomorrow’s Christmas Eve and right after that is Christmas Day. And we’re all pushing as hard as we can to get our customers back,” Sullivan said.

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Portland’s 2.3-mile portion of Air Line Trail to open Sunday

This is a carousel. Use Next and Previous buttons to navigatePORTLAND — Years in the making, the first phase of the Portland Air Line Trail will officially be opened Sunday.A ribbon-cutting ceremony will be held at 10 a.m. near the trailhead/parking area at 82 Middle Haddam Road. Following the ribbon cutting, a celebratory walk will follow the 2.3-mile segment of the trail, which ends — for now — at the Northern Middlesex YMCA’s Camp Ingersoll.The trail, made up of a gravel base overlaid with comp...

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PORTLAND — Years in the making, the first phase of the Portland Air Line Trail will officially be opened Sunday.

A ribbon-cutting ceremony will be held at 10 a.m. near the trailhead/parking area at 82 Middle Haddam Road. Following the ribbon cutting, a celebratory walk will follow the 2.3-mile segment of the trail, which ends — for now — at the Northern Middlesex YMCA’s Camp Ingersoll.

The trail, made up of a gravel base overlaid with compacted stone dust, is built along the abandoned rail bed of an inland railroad line that traversed a route from New Haven to Boston for 82 years, ending in 1955. With the opening of the first phase of the trail in Portland, supporters of the multi-town trail network will find themselves essentially going off in two directions at the same time.

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That will mean heading west to try and link in to the Arrigoni Bridge and beyond into Middletown (with an extensions to tie into Portland’s Riverfront Park), and going east to join the existing trail at Depot Hill Road in East Hampton. Once the link with East Hampton is complete, it will open the full expanse of the trail, some 53 miles in all, to pedestrians, bicyclists and even equestrians, and cross-country skiers in the winter, according to Rosario “Riz” Rizzo, chairman of the Portland Air Line Trail Steering Committee.

The northern terminus of the trail is in Thompson — in the far northeast corner of the state —where it meets the borders of Massachusetts and Rhode Island.

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“The concerted effort to extend the trail into Portland began some two and a half years ago,” First Selectwoman Susan S. Bransfield said Thursday. However, “for at least a couple of decades, people have been thinking and talking about it.”

The impetus for moving ahead came in 2016, when the town completed an agreement with Eversource, the electric utility, which agreed to lease the land to the town. With that compact in hand, the town was able to secure a $600,000 grant from the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, Bransfield said.

The town formed a steering committee, chaired jointly by Rizzo, and Louis J. Pear, who had to give up his involvement with the committee when he was elected to the Board of Selectmen. He now serves as deputy first selectman.

Also on the committee are Steve Byrne, Steve Crusberg, Chantal Foster, Kathy Herron, Tom Ladny, John Shafer and Carol Winiski. The group worked with the town and 32nd District state Rep. Christie Carpino, and cooperatively with Eversource and the DEEP to advance the project, Bransfield said.

Rizzo said there were others — many others — who helped bring the dream to fruition. Among those are engineering consultant Kevin Grindle, John Hall of the Jonah Center for Earth and Art, and Deanna Rhodes, former town planner.

East Hampton Town Manager Michael Maniscalco said his town still has a 1.5-mile section of the trail that must be finished.

“The plans for that phase are about 95 percent complete,” he said in an email Friday morning. “(Town) staff are meeting next week to evaluate the town’s match” for its 20 percent share of the $583,000 state grant.

“We expect it to take about 2.5 months to complete the work once we start,” he added.

Reporter Jeff Mill covers East Hampton, Cromwell and Portland for the Middletown Press. Contact him at [email protected].


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