Nearly 10 residents of the recently-changed seventh voting district vented their concerns to their Town Councilmen recently, and heard from police and their state representative on a variety of topics.
They gathered at to hear from Town Councilmen Chadwick Ciocci and Tony Scinto. Also present was state representative candidate David Rutigliano.
Another guest, a Trumbull Police detective sergeant, also discussed recent activity near the Avalon apartment complex and how police solved a string of car and home burglaries involving a suspect from Trumbull. And State Rep. T.R. Rowe addressed White Plains Road traffic and the sale of the Henderson Hardware property on Reservoir Avenue.
Most of the audience were residents of the Rosebud Village condominium complex. The residents first asked Ciocci and Scinto about making it easier to exit the complex, and about fixing the roads and snow removal.
The complex is a private community of 16 home but pays the same amount of taxes as people who receive town services and road maintenance, they said.
They also asked about the poor cell phone reception in the area. Even the controversial tower at won't improve reception because Trumbull Center is surrounded by hills, Ciocci said.
White Plains Road
Ciocci said he and his fellow council members will seek "a sense of the Town Council" regarding White Plains Road, which the state Department of Transportation is widening for safety reasons.
The DOT has pledged to work with town officials to make the work as palatable to community as possible.
"They recognized there's a problem. This is their 'solution,'" Rowe said of the proposed roadwork. The DOT has said it won't outright cancel the project.
Rowe recalled that the DOT reworked the exit from the Merritt Parkway to White Plains Road three times to make it safer.
"The bar is set pretty low," Rowe said.
Ciocci said widening the road and adding a dedicated left turn lane means narrower, but not necessarily safer, lanes. Increased traffic flow needs to be addressed.
Part of the problem is that from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m., there are 80,000 people in Trumbull between shoppers, passersby and workers, a number credited to Police Chief Thomas Kiely. The U.S. Census pegs Trumbull's population at about 36,000 people.
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Det. Sgt. Shawn Sember
Sember explained a near Eaves by Avalon on Old Town Road. State and Bridgeport police and the FBI were executing warrants when a suspect fled in a car and the FBI fired shots.
Nearby was locked down. "At no time were people actually in danger," Sember said. "We had 75 officers down there. Chief Kiely did the right thing."
"You guys did a great job," Ciocci said.
Attention then shifted to Avalon itself, which has 24-hour security at its gated entrance.
There were concerns that the complex was becoming too dense. It was started as a luxury apartments limited to one child per bedroom, but more families are moving in, said neighbor Gary Thoma.
The neighboring Fairchild Memorial Magnet School threw another factor into the mix, but Thoma said police now have more of a presence in the area.
"It's amazing," Thoma said.
Sember noted that pursuing investigations in Avalon is difficult because management is uncooperative. The fluidity of tenants also creates problems.
"Do I see an uptick [in issues there]? Yes I do," Sember said. Some of the incidents included drugs. There are undercover Trumbull officers pursuing investigations there, he added.
"We've had not great cooperation with the management there. They won't even give out a tenant list," Sember said.
But Trumbull Deputy Police Chief Glenn Byrnes recently reported relations have improved, according to the Trumbull Times.
The paper quoted Byrnes as saying, "Avalon managers have maintained open lines of communication with the police department on a variety of routine matters." He added the company also was "very helpful with federal authorities after the shooting incident on Old Town Road in May."
Burglary Ring Busted
Police had more luck in breaking a burglary ring. With the help of Darien Police and their license plate reader, officers tracked down a Church Hill Road home where they found a lot of stolen property taken in home and car burglaries.
Six of the stolen items from Trumbull were six rifles, all legally registered, Sember said.
He added that he hoped Trumbull could share the cost of a license plate reader with neighboring police departments.
Finally, there was much speculation about what Sacred Heart University will do with the Henderson Hardware property at 2300 Reservoir Ave. The university hasn't declared its intentions yet.
The parcel could be about three acres, or about 131,000 square feet, Rowe estimated.