UPDATE: Village Riders Set Out, Party Is OPEN TO ALL!

UPDATE, Saturday, June 16 @ 12:00 noon:

All three groups of riders got off to a great start. The third group, riding in the 10K course, were the last group to start promptly at 10 a.m., and that’s the group shown in our photos.

And about that party, the word from Bob Switzgable, owner of Ski Sundown:

“The after-ride party is OPEN TO ALL! Come on down with your family, and enjoy the party!”

Donations for the Village will be welcome, of course.

 

The 10K riders set off on the Village Ride at 10 a.m. on Saturday morning. Photo: Maria Moore

 

Waiting for the riders to cross the finish line and for the party to start. Photo: Maria Moore

 

 

Ski Sundown will be seeing a different kind of action on Saturday when it hosts ‘The Village Ride,’ a cycling event that is expected to draw 400 participants to the ski resort.

The event includes three different rides through the Litchfield Hills, each accommodating different skill levels:

  • The 100K ride: registration is at 7 a.m., with the ride starting at 8 a.m.  The course takes the riders into Massachussets and then loops back to Ski Sundown; click here to view the course.
  • The 50K ride: registration is at 8 a.m., with the ride starting at 9 a.m.  The course takes riders into Colebrook and loops back to Ski Sundown; click here to view the course.
  • The 10K ride: registration opens at 9 a.m., with the ride starting at 10 a.m.  The course takes riders into Barkhamsted and then loops back to Ski Sundown; click here to view the course.

Once riders cross the finish line, they’ll be treated to a post-ride party with food, music by The Colby’s and Flipper Dave, and beer provided by Thomas Hooker, a co-sponsor of the ride. There will also be a “Rail Jam” – snow in June! – along with the CT Whale Hockey team Slap Shot Cage and Bounce Houses.

With perfect weather in the forecast, the Village Ride is lining up to be a memorable event. Be sure to make way for the riders and cheer them on as they make their way through town!

Proceeds from the ride will benefit the Village, an organization dedicated to supporting children in need in the Greater Hartford area.

To learn more about the Village Ride and for registration information visit The Village Ride website.

To learn more about the Village for Families and Children, a Connecticut non-profit human services agency founded in 1809 visit the Village’s website.

To learn more about Ski Sundown and the many events the ski resort hosts throughout the year visit the Ski Sundown website.

Ski Sundown is all ready for the Village Ride on Saturday, June 16. Photo: Maria Moore

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Town’s Past And The Present Come Together At Business Council’s Summer Celebration

By: Maria Moore

With antique images of New Hartford decorating the interior and the sound of music from LPs (long play records) playing on a turntable, the Lodge at Ski Sundown was transformed into the perfect setting for the Business Council’s ‘New Hartford Past & Present’ celebration.

More than 50 local business owners came together on June 5 to visit with each other and enjoy a glass of wine and hors d’oeuvres, before seating themselves to hear presentations by the evening’s special guests: former First Selectwoman Anita Baxter speaking on New Hartford Past and current First Selectman Dan Jerram speaking on New Hartford Present. And as a symbol of the promise that the future holds for our town, the audience heard from Caleb MacDonald of New Hartford, the recipient of the annual scholarship awarded by the Business Council. Caleb was accompanied at the celebration by his parents, Donna and Pat MacDonald of MacDonald Builders. Guest speaker Anita Baxter was introduced by her children, Bart Baxter and Alison Baxter Bannerman, while Anita’s husband, former First Selectman Bill Baxter enjoyed the evening as a member of the audience. Dan Jerram was introduced by his parents, Jim and Maureen Jerram of Jerram Winery.

The images of New Hartford in the 19th and 20th century were provided by the New Hartford Historical Society; Anne Hall, a member of the Society, graciously shared her knowledge of the images with the viewers. One photograph, in particular, showing the town dominated by Greenwoods Pond in the early 20th century, drew the most attention and Anne was overheard explaining the features of the image to several curious viewers, including the NewHartfordPlus reporter.

Following are images of the Summer Celebration, an evening when participants were invited to look back and at the present and into the future of New Hartford, with the business community at center stage.

Anita Baxter speaking on the business climate during the 1980s when she was First Selectwoman, with her children Bart and Alison listening attentively. Photo: Maria Moore

Jim Jerram and Maureen Jerram introduce their son, current First Selectman Dan Jerram, one of the two guest speakers at the Summer Celebration. Photo: Phil Worley

Business owner Jeff Radwick (on the left) speaking with former First Selectwoman Anita Baxter and present First Selectman Dan Jerram. Photo: Phil Worley

Dan LaPlante (owner, DanDee Acres) and Donna LaPlante (Town Clerk and Business Council Board member) talking with Pat Casey (center, President of the New Hartford Historical Society). Photo: Maria Moore

Pat Casey (on the right, President of the New Hartford Historical Society) talks with Cameron Cunningham (New York Life), Kim Hanson (Branch Manager, Torrington Savings) and Wells Cunningham of C Tech Adhesives (on the left). Photo: Phil Worley

Many Thanks to:

  • Guest speakers former First Selectwoman Anita Baxter and current First Selectman Dan Jerram
  • Bob and Ann Switzgable of Ski Sundown for hosting the Summer Celebration at their Lodge;
  • Alison Bannerman of New Hartford Wine and Beverage for supplying the beverages;
  • Anne Hall and Pat Casey of the New Hartford Historical Society for providing the visual glimpse of New Hartford’s past;
  • The volunteers who helped set up and break down the event.  They included Donna LaPlante (New Hartford Town Clerk and wife of Dan LaPlante of DanDee Acres), Kim Trumbull (realtor with Realty Works) and Anne Hall (member of the New Hartford Historical Society);
  • The Event Planning Committee of the New Hartford Business Council who brought the concept of the event to life: Mary Ann Gunning (owner of Chapin Park B&B), Carol Monroe (Branch Manager, Northwest Community Bank), Maria Moore (co-owner of NewHartfordPlus.com), Cameron Cunningham (investment representative of New York Life), and Kim Hanson (Branch Manager, Torrington Savings Bank).

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BUSINESS NOTES: ‘Business After Hours’ At Pooch Palace – A Great Place To Relax & Mingle; Annual Scholarship Opportunity Announced By Business Council

By: Maria Moore

Charlene and Dean Martel

There’s nothing quite like relaxing and enjoying a drink and hors-d’oeuvres with friends after a day at work and recently New Hartford business owners had the opportunity to do just that at the ‘Business After Hours’ Mingler hosted by Pooch Palace.

Betty O'Connor Miller

Charlene Martel, owner of Pooch Palace, recently moved her business a couple of doors down from her original location at 202 Main Street to 196 Main Street; a move, she said, that has allowed her to add new services such as a treadmill and a dog water jacuzzi service for her four-legged clients.

On Wednesday evening, April 3, however, Charlene had transformed her Pooch Palace into the perfect setting for the business get-together. More than two dozen guests attended the event and they flowed smoothly between the large reception area where the hors-oeuvres had been laid out and the inner room where the refreshments were located. Everyone enjoyed catching up with each other and meeting new friends and, as is traditional at New Hartford Business Council minglers, everyone had the opportunity to introduce their businesses and their new ventures to their fellow business owners.  That is the time when many business cards are exchanged and not a few business relationships have been forged.

Phil Worley (at left) with Ron Miller

Charlene made all feel welcome at her beautiful spa and salon for pets. One can only imagine what a great time pets must have at their own Pooch Palace!

Pooch Palace is located at 196 Main Street in the Pine Meadow section of New Hartford.  The pet spa and salon is open Monday through Saturday, from 9 a.m. through 4 p.m.    To contact Charlene please call 860-693-1116 or email her at cmartel2711@aol.com.  To learn more about Pooch Palace and its wide variety of services offered, please visit the Pooch Palace website.

Many Thanks: To Charlene Martel, the perfect hostess for the evening who was ably assisted by her husband Dean Martel of Premier Energy Co.

Many Thanks: To Phil Worley, Executive Director of the Canton Chamber of Commerce and Director of the New Hartford Business Council, for sharing his wonderful photos with us for this article.

The ‘Business After Hours’ Mingler was sponsored by the New Hartford Business Council. To learn more about the benefits of membership in the Business Council visit the New Hartford Business Council website.

From left to right: Dean Martel of Premier Energy Co. and Charlene Martel of Pooch Palace enjoy socializing with Barbara Goulet and Rick Goulet of Goulet Printery. Photo: Phil Worley

From left to right: Tom Goddu of Blazing Pencils, Maria Moore of NewHartfordPlus and Paul Amenta of Little Brook Engraving, share a friendly moment at the Mingler. Photo; Phil Worley

Dean Martel and Attorney Skip Rogers socializing at the Mingler. Photo: Phil Worley

Ron Miller of Ace Marketing and Carole Monroe of Northwest Community Bank share a joke; Bill Buell of Eastern Accents is in the background. Photo: Phil Worley

From left to right: Rick Goulet, Skip Rogers, Tom Goddu and Paul Amenta congregate in the inner room at the Mingler. Photo: Phil Worley

From left to right, Kim Trumbull of Realty Works, David Whitney of Whitney Productions and Dawn Whalen (and Dawn's daughter) listen as other business owners introduce their businesses to those at the Mingler. Photo: Phil Worley

Annual Scholarship Opportunity Announced By New Hartford Business Council

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The New Hartford Business Council announces its annual student scholarship. This year the Business Council will award a $1,000.00 scholarship to a high school senior, a resident of New Hartford, attending any area school. Students planning to attend in the fall of 2012 a two-year community college, a two- or four-year college/university or who are planning to attend a trade/technical school may apply for the scholarship.

Students interested in applying should contact their school administrator. Applications are also available by calling Attorney Norman E. Rogers, Jr. at 860-379-9600 or by visiting the New Hartford Business Council website.

Application deadline is May 15, 2012 and should be mailed to: Norman Rogers, 7 Church Street North, PO Box 1020, New Hartford, CT 06057.

About the New Hartford Business Council: The New Hartford Business Council was formed in 1987 to promote the local business community. Our focus is to help businesses stay on track and create opportunities for people to spend their dollars locally. By promoting member networking events, we provide a forum to discuss common interests, resolve common concerns, and foster a positive business environment. The mission of the New Hartford Business Council is to create and promote a professional and productive partnership among area businesses, through community functions and social networking, in ways that will foster a positive business environment, thereby creating opportunities for area commerce.

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Northwest Community Bank Helps Regional's 'All-Star' Robotics Team Get A Step Closer To St. Louis; Do Your Part To Support The Team, Too: 'Benefit Blast' On Saturday

“We love to help the students in their endeavors,” Gayle Moraski,  Vice President of Northwest Community Bank told our reporter.  So when Gayle heard that Northwestern Regional # 7′s Robotics team had only a couple of weeks to raise the funds necessary for the team members to travel to St. Louis later this month to compete in the Robotics World Championships, she didn’t hesitate to offer her bank’s help.  

On Thursday morning, April 12, Gayle came to the New Hartford office of Northwest Community Bank and she and Carol Monroe, Manager of the local branch, presented a $1,000 check for the Robotics program to Dr. Judith Palmer, Regional # 7′s Superintendent. Judy told Gayle and Carol how Regional’s newly-formed Robotics team had competed for the first time at the Robotics Regional Competition in Hartford at the end of March and how they had finished 22nd out of the 64 teams that were competing. “And they were named the 2012 Rookie All-Star Team, winning them a place in the World Competition in St. Louis!” Judy said proudly. “We’re so happy to be able to help out,” Gayle said, adding that they were very fortunate that Steve Reilly, their bank president, has made such a strong commitment to the community.

The three women went on to talk briefly about the highly successful banking program which the bank and the school have partnered in at Regional for many years. And then, with many thanks for their bank’s donation to the new Robotics program, Judy left to return to Regional, carrying with her the bank’s donation that would help the team get one step closer to St. Louis.

From left to right, Gayle Moraski and Carol Monroe present Superintendent Judy Palmer with the bank's donation to help the Regional Robotics team travel to St. Louis for the World Competition. Photo: Maria Moore

Help Support The Robotics Team: ‘Benefit Blast’ Tomorrow Evening, Saturday, April 14!

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With the World Competition in St. Louis in just two weeks, the Robotics team really needs your help to travel to St. Please contribute to this amazing group of kids and their mentors:

  • Donate directly to the team using the Donate button in the upper right-hand corner of the NRG 4055 website;
  • Mail your check to: RSD#7 (write ‘Robotics’ in the memo), 100 Battistoni Drive, Winsted CT 06098;
  • Buy tickets to the ‘Benefit Blast’ being held tomorrow evening, Saturday, April 14, and enjoy a great party while contributing to the team!

For more information, check out the NRG 4055 website.

Please show your support for this wonderful group of kids by giving generously to help them fund the next step in their incredible journey as the ‘Rookie All-Stars’!

The NRG 4055 Gearheads team with the completed robot. Photo courtesy of the NRG 4055 Gearheads

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COMMUNITY NOTES: Order Deadline Today For Conservation District’s Earth Day Plant Sale; Pooch Palace To Host ‘Business After Hours’ Tonight; Exhibition Packed With Talent At Senior Center On Wednesday

Last Day To Order Plants For Earth Day Plant Sale

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Today, April 3, is your last chance to order plants from the Northwest Conservation District’s 30th Earth Day Plant Sale catalog. The catalog was mailed to everyone’s home but a copy of it is available online on the Conservation District’s website. Pre-ordered plants will be available for pick up during the three-day Earth Day Plant Sale during the weekend of April 20 through April 22 held at the Goshen Fairgrounds.

Plants available in the catalog are:

  • evergreen seedlings such as Norway Spruce and Balsam Fir;
  • native shrubs and ornamentals such as Guinevere Butterfly Bush and Kaleidoscope Mountain Laurel;
  • shrubs and trees such as Spice Bush and ‘Young Lady’ Smoke Tree;
  • edibles such as peach and apple trees, berries and asparagus;
  • ground covers such as pachysandra and periwinkle.

To place your order online, visit the Northwest Conservation District’s Earth Day Plant Sale store.

There are also a number of perennials including astilbes, clematis, peonies, etc. which cannot be pre-ordered but which will be available for purchase during the three-day sale at the Goshen Fairgrounds. To see a full list of the perennials available see the Perennials list on the NCD’s website.

This Plant Sale is the biggest fundraiser benefiting the Northwest Conservation District. Help support this great organization by buying your garden plants from them during their 30th Earth Day Plant Sale.

‘Business After Hours’ This Evening At Pooch Palace

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Pooch Palace is hosting a ‘Business After Hours’ this afternoon, Tuesday, April 3, from 5:30 p.m. until 7:30 p.m.to welcome the business community to their new location at 196 Main Street in the Pine Meadow section of New Hartford. Invited to the event are New Hartford Business Council members, Canton Chamber of Commerce members and prospective members of either organization. There will be appetizers, a variety of beverages and desserts.

Charlene Martel, the owner of Pooch Palace, will give a brief presentation to introduce everyone to the newly-expanded services she offers at her business. There will also be a brief Business Council update given by acting President Ron Miller.

For more information about Pooch Palace visit the Pooch Palace website. For more information about the New Hartford Business Council visit the Business Council’s website.

Got Talent? Come & See The Work Of Those Who Do!

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The following is information we received regarding the Talent Exhibition being held at the Senior Center tomorrow, Wednesday, April 4:

You’re Invited to a Talent Exhibition being held on Wednesday, April 4 from 12:00 noon until 2:00 pm at the New Hartford Senior Center.

Come join us in celebrating the talented members of our community! Meet the artists who: draw, paint, sew, knit, crochet, make furniture, garden, make pottery, dance, photography, craft, write, etc. Artists will be available to chat about their craft, answer questions and share their knowledge.

The Talent Exhibition is free; refreshments will be served.

For more information contact Jean Barnicoat, Senior Center Director, at 860-379-3980 or email Jean at seniors@town.new-hartford.ct.us.

Some of the artwork that will be displayed at the Talent Exhibition. Photo: Mary Femniak

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State Inspection Program Makes More Locally Raised Turkeys, Chickens Available; MarWin Farm Of New Hartford Is One Of Two Farms Approved

The following press release from the CT Department of Agriculture features New Hartford’s MarWin Farm as one of two farms approved to sell their products directly to families, restaurants and other institutions:

Connecticut Agriculture Commissioner Steven K. Reviczky announced today that two farms have been approved by the state Department of Agriculture through its new Poultry Slaughter Inspection Program, making more Connecticut Grown poultry available to consumers, restaurants, hotels, and boarding houses this holiday season.

MarWin Farm in New Hartford and Ekonk Hill Turkey Farm in Sterling are the first two Connecticut poultry farms to be inspected and approved through the new state program, which resulted from passage of Public Act 10-103, An Act Concerning Farms, Food, and Jobs. MarWin Farm is raising approximately 2,500 chickens, 125 turkeys, and 200 specialty birds such as guinea hens and ducks. Ekonk Hill Turkey Farm has some 3,000 turkeys and 1,200 chickens in production.

“This new inspection program has enormous potential to get more Connecticut Grown poultry onto the plates of local consumers,” said Commissioner Reviczky. “It opens a new door for restaurants looking to serve Connecticut Grown turkey, chicken, and duck on their menus because they are no longer limited to using USDA inspected poultry in order to comply with the public health code.”

State and local health departments, which regulate foodservice establishments, recognize these state-inspected farms as approved food sources for restaurants, hotels, and boarding houses. This is good news to chefs who have been frustrated by limited availability of local poultry.

“I just served my first Connecticut Grown turkey from Ekonk Hill Turkey Farm last week,” said Wayne Kregling, executive chef at Brownson Country Club in Shelton. “The quality and flavor were superb, and I am excited to now be able to offer this delicious poultry to my customers.”

To comply with the state program’s strict sanitation requirements, which are comparable to those of the USDA program, both farms made improvements to their existing facilities and developed written Hazardous Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP) and recall plans. Ekonk Hill applied and was approved for $10,000 in matching funds through the Connecticut Department of Agriculture’s Farm Reinvestment Grant to help pay for the facility upgrades.

Because only one USDA inspected poultry processing facility currently exists in the state, MarWin, Ekonk Hill, and many other local farmers have until now opted to offer custom on-site processing of customer-owned birds. The new state program allows producers who successfully comply with requirements, pass inspection, and become approved to sell their poultry to an expanded customer base.

“It’s a great service to provide to our state’s farmers,” emphasized Commissioner Reviczky. “I hope more local poultry producers take advantage of the program to increase production and grow their businesses. It will benefit our state’s consumers, agricultural industry, and economy.”

Farm To Chef: New Law Allows Farmers To Sell Directly To Local Restaurants

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The Hartford Courant featured MarWin Farm on their November 21 front-page article:

Connecticut farms have a new delicacy available for gourmets and gourmands at their favorite restaurants and hotels locally-raisedturkey. And chicken and duck… Two approved farms have slaughtered turkeys over the past few days in time for Thanksgiving.

Continue reading the Courant article online.

Check out MarWin Farm’s Products that include duck, guinea fowl, quail, chicken, rabbit, turkey, goose and pork – all “better-than organic” as those of us who have eaten their products can attest!

Kenny Dahill of MarWin Farm serving one of his delicious grilled quail with Bourbon sauce at the Taste of Litchfield Hills at Ski Sundown this past September. With Kenny is Joanne and Eddie (enjoying his shaved ice). Photo: Maria Moore

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Businesses Take Time Away From Business For A Picnic; Town Brochure Introduced

Following are two press releases we received from the New Hartford Business Council:

On a recent hot and humid evening members of the New Hartford Business Council gathered at Berkshire Hall, Brodie Park, to celebrate, network and reflect.

Matthew Paniati and Dawn Whalen. Photo: Phil Worley

First, the celebration: The Business Council recognized the accomplishments of two New Hartford high school seniors with a presentation of a $500.00 scholarship to both. Matthew Paniati, graduating with a 3.72 GPA and placing 17th in his class of 191, was the first to be presented with the scholarship. He is the son of James and Lorri Paniati, is a Scholar Athlete, recognized by the State of Connecticut for scoring highest on the CAPT and also received numerous recognitions and awards for academic excellence. In the fall Matthew will be attending Bentley University in Waltham, MA with an undeclared major.

Kelly Morrissey and Dawn Whalen. Photo: Phil Worley

Kelly Morrissey, graduating with a 4.04 GPA and placing 7th in her class of 191 was also presented with a scholarship by Dawn Whalen, President New Hartford Business Council. She is the daughter of John and Patricia Morrissey, plays Varsity field hockey, is a member of various clubs and also received numerous awards and recognitions for her academic excellence. Kelly will attend UConn in Storrs with an undeclared major.

Second, the networking: While connecting and re-connecting with colleagues and fellow business owners, attendees enjoyed picnic fare of pulled pork and Jamaican jerk chicken sliders, cole slaw, cocktail franks, pasta salads and cookies all coordinated and by Deb & Michael Kuszaj of Blue Sky Foods and Peg Budny (Peggy’s Personalized Promos). While sipping lemonade over ice donated by Birch Lane or enjoying a cold beer, members were also treated to freshly-popped popcorn courtesy of Carol Monroe of Northwest Community Bank. The band ‘Not Quite Bluegrass’ treated everyone to a medley of acoustic tunes perfectly suited for the picnic theme. Members of the band include John Pierce – guitar, Pat MacDonald – mandolin (of MacDonald Building and Remodeling), Rick Prince – banjo, Scott Camera – dobro, and Dave Aston – bass.

Keynote speaker Carol Mon talks about expectations and attitude in running a business. Photo: Maria Moore

Third, the reflection: Using the theme for the evening “Running a Business Isn’t Always a Picnic,” keynote speaker Carol Mon gave an inspiring presentation on how picnics, despite the ants, can be like running a business. “It’s all about expectations and attitude,” Mon repeated over the course of her 30-minute presentation. With the right attitude and expectations running a business can be more reflective of the fun, food and company associated with picnics – and then those pesky ants won’t seem so distracting.

During the general announcements portion of the evening, Whalen stressed the need for more volunteers by focusing on not what the Business Council can do for its members but rather what members, as business owners in New Hartford, can do to give back to those who support their businesses on a day to day basis. There are various committee opportunities as well as more formal roles available on the Board of Directors and upcoming officer vacancies. If you are interested in offering your time or talents, contact Dawn Whalen at dawn.whalen@charter.net.

To see more photos from the event by Phil Worley, Executive Director, Canton Chamber of Commerce, see Phil’s Photobucket page.

For more information on the New Hartford Business Council visit the NHBC website.

Attention to detail makes the perfect event, as Deb Kuszaj of Blue Sky Foods proves once again! Photo: Maria Moore

Many thanks go to the co-sponsors for the evening: Phil Havens (Philip Havens Technology, LLC), Mike D’Apice (Insurance and Investment Solutions), Anita Barden (New Hartford Farmers Market), Skip Rogers (Rogers Law Firm) and Pat MacDonald(MacDonald Builders).

The event would not have been possible without the working hands of Deb Kuszaj (Blue Sky Foods), Kim Trumbull (Realty Works), Carol Monroe (Northwest Community Bank), Peggy Budny (Peggy’s Personalized Promotions), Joan Auclair for designing the postcard and Ashley & Morgan Trumbull (dedicated teen volunteers).

Special thanks to Skip Rogers for once again coordinating the scholarship application process as well as Kim Trumbull for helping to review the applications.

Members of 'Not Quite Bluegrass' entertaining local business owners at the NHBC picnic at Brodie Park. Photo: Phil Worley

Local business owners relaxing while listening to the keynote speaker at their Business Council picnic. Photo: Maria Moore

New Hartford Town Brochure Introduced

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Mary Ann Gunning (Chapin Park B&B) at the brochure booth at the picnic. Photo: Phil Worley

Dawn Whalen, President of the New Hartford Business Council, also introduced the highly-anticipated New Hartford Town Brochure, hot off the presses. The product of 15 months of volunteer work of the Brochure Committee consisting of Deb Kuszaj, Susan Wacht (GeminEye Images), Gardner Graves (Realty Works), Joan Auclair (Goulet Printery), Norma Richmond (Honorary Member) and Christine Hayward (Town Hall), this brochure shows the true character of New Hartford and will certainly encourage people to visit our quaint town.

This product is phase one of a two phase project; phase two will include opportunities for businesses to advertise as well as have a town map with all the key points of interest (ETA on the details for phase 2 TBD). The committee will begin to work with tourism outlets throughout Connecticut, New York, Rhode Island and Massachusetts to get the brochure into key tourism hot spots to encourage visitors to choose New Hartford. The brochure can be found at Town Hall and many storefronts throughout New Hartford. To get your copy contact Deb Kuszaj at blueskyfoods@earthlink.net.

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Winter Wine Trail: A Winter Trail Like No Other

Article and Photos By: Maria Moore

Jerram Winery in New Hartford has joined with 5 other wineries to offer a winter trail like no other: A Winter Wine Trail where you can visit each of the six participating wineries between January 1 and March 1 and enter to win some great prizes; see the press release at the foot of this article. And so yesterday afternoon, faced with a choice between helping her husband Bob with his wood trip or doing research for this article, our reporter, as always took the high road (or rather the road up the hill) and visited the Jerrams at their winery.

Vintner Jim Jerram was behind the counter in the tasting barn of his Jerram Winery, tending to a couple who were there enjoying his winery’s New Year’s Special: a taste of 8 wines and assorted cheeses for $25. The atmosphere was warm and welcoming and our reporter soon found herself included in the group.

Jim Jerram

The wine-tasting couple, Jim Gargiulo and his partner Charlene Mason chatted with Jim as he described the qualities of each of the wines they were tasting, Charlene in her stemmed wine glass and Jim in his stemless one. Our reporter, who spends much less time in wineries than she would like to, commented on Jim’s stemless glass and asked whether that was a better way to enjoy the wine. “We’re doing an informal survey.” Jim Jerram replied, pulling out a notepad from behind him and quickly summing up the notes. “So far we’ve had 30 visitors use the stemless glasses and 40 the stemmed.” As to whether either type of glass gave a better experience of the wine, the vintner replied: “It depends on the wine and on the individual’s preferences,” adding that nowadays there are no set rules on how to best enjoy wine. “I chose the stemless glass because I can warm the glass a little with my hand which releases the bouquet of the wine.” Jim Gargiulo said of his choice of glass. And Charlene, picking up her glass, added that she tended to hold her stemmed glass by the top of the stem at the base of the glass. And our reporter? Old habits die hard and she continued holding the glass by the stem, enjoying the smell as well as the taste of the wine with each sip.

The wine tasting continued amid pleasant conversation and then, all too soon, it was time for our reporter to take her leave. But not before drinking the last few sips of ‘Aurora,’ her chosen wine on this visit, a fruity wine without being too sweet. “This is a nice wine.” She commented and Charlene, after checking her list of wines she had tasted, agreed, adding: “That’s the wine I’ve like best!” “That’s Maureen’s favorite wine,” Jim volunteered. And Jim Gargiulo? No comment from him as he continued to enjoy his glass of Nor’Easter.

About Jerram Winery: Jim and Maureen Jerram have operated their winery since 1998. The winery is located at 535 Town Hill Road (at the top of the hill) on Route 219 in New Hartford. The Jerrams are open 11:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. on weekends from January through April, and 11:00 until 5:00 p.m. on weekends from May through December. Hours may vary depending on the weather, when visitors arrive, etc. A good rule of thumb, Jim said, is to call ahead: 860-379-8749.

Many Thanks: To Jim Gargiuolo and Charlene Mason for their friendliness and camaraderie: “Salut!”

Many Thanks Also: To Jim Jerram for his easy manner, whether pouring the next glass of wine or sharing his expertise. Jim personifies: “Bienvenue” ~ perhaps the name of his next wine?

See also our February 15, 2009 on the Jerram Winery Good Wine Flows From Three Generations of Jerrams.

Jim Jerram talks about the qualities of his proprietary red wine, Nor'Easter which he has just poured for Jim Gargiulo and Charlene Mason during the couple's wine tasting trip to the winery on New Year's Day. Photo: Maria Moore

Following is the press release for the Winter Wine Trail which led to our reporter’s visit to her neighbors’ winery up Town Hill:

Do you only drink wine in the summer? Then why should you only wine taste in the summer? Come see what the local vineyards have to offer in the winter, and we will heat up the trip. Visit the six participating wineries on the Litchfield Hills Winter Wine Trail between January 1st and March 1st and be entered into a Grand Prize Drawing.

Pick up a FREE registration card at any of the following wineries:

+ DiGrazia Vineyards, 131 Tower Rd., Brookfield;

+ Jerram Winery, 535 Town Hill Rd. Rt 219 New Hartford;

+ Haight-Brown Vineyard, 29 Chestnut Hill Rd. Litchfield;

+ Hopkins Vineyard, 25 Hopkins Rd. New Preston;

+ Miranda Vineyard, 42 Ives Rd. Goshen;

+ Sunset Meadow Vineyards, 599 Old Middle St., Goshen.

Use the registration card as your guide through the trail. Have it signed at each winery. Upon visiting all six wineries, turn in your card for entry in the drawing to be held on March 23rd.

Grand prize: Package of Two Free Wine Tastings at each participating winery;

Second Place Prize: Overnight stay at the Tollgate Hill Inn.

Third Prize: Dinner at a Litchfield County Restaurant.

There is no cost to enter this program, though it is limited to the first 1,000 participants. Registration cards available for pick-up on or after Jan. 1st Please call for updated hours prior to visiting, as each winery’s operational hours vary.

The Winter Wine Trail is organized by Tina Lambro of the Haight-Brown Vineyard. For more information about the Winter Wine Trail, please call 860-307-5426. Or just ask Jim, Maureen or one of the other vintners on your next stop on the Winter Wine Trail.

To learn more about Connecticut wineries and to learn about the CT Wine Passport, a state-sponsored Wine Trail which includes all Connecticut wineries and runs between May and November, please visit the Connecticut Wine Trail website.

You may also download a copy of the Guide to Connecticut Farm Wineries on the CT Department of Agriculture’s website.

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Local Bank Celebrates Businesses, Community With Holiday Mingler

Text By: Maria Moore; Photos By: Phil Worley
[All photos have now been uploaded]

Great food, great drinks and a great atmosphere: All essential ingredients for a great party and all very much on display at the Holiday Mingler which Northwest Community Bank recently hosted in New Hartford. This year’s Mingler brought together about 75 members of the New Hartford Business Council and other business owners and leaders, giving everyone the opportunity to relax and and mingle and enjoy some holiday cheer during a hectic time of the year.

Phil Havens & Dawn Whalen

Dawn Whalen, President of the New Hartford Business Council (NHBC), welcomed everyone to the Mingler and made a point of thanking Carol Monroe, Manager of the bank’s New Hartford office, and her staff for their wonderful hospitality. Dawn was followed by Phil Havens, Vice President of the Business Council, who presented checks from the proceeds of the NHBC’s Holiday Marketplace to representatives of both libraries in town, Andrea Gaedeke from the Beekley Library and Joan Auclair from the Bakerville Library.

Steve Reilly

Following the presentation to the libraries, Steve Reilly, president of Northwest Community Bank, spoke a little about his bank’s 150-year history in the area and he emphasized their commitment to giving back to the communities they serve. And then it was time for the guests and their hosts to mingle and catch up with old friends and meeting new ones, until, all too soon, it was time for the Mingler to end. As one of the guests was heard to exclaim at the gathering: “There’s so much excitement in the air, it’s contagious!” The mark, indeed, of a great party!

Northwest Community Bank’s Holiday Mingler took place on Wednesday, December 15.  Two local businesses catered the event, Chatterley’s Restaurant and New Hartford Wine and Beverage.

To read more about the Holiday Mingler and to see more photos of the event, please visit the New Hartford Business Council’s website.

Many Thanks: To Carol Monroe and her staff at the Northwest Community Bank branch in New Hartford for hosting this wonderful Holiday Mingler: “Thanks for your hospitality, everyone!”

Many Thanks Also: To Phil Worley, Executive Director of the Canton Chamber of Commerce for generously sharing his wonderful photographs of the Holiday Mingler. “Your photos are the best, Phil!”

Phil Havens presenting the checks from the Holiday Marketplace to Andrea Gaedeke and Joan Auclair with Dawn Whalen in the background.

Carol Monroe talking with one of the guests at the Mingler.

Joanne Dahill (Marwin Farm) and Anita Barden (Barden Farm) hatching up their next event? Behind Dawn is a glimpse of Bart Baxter, past President of the NHBC.

David Childs catches up with Mike Devins.

Mary Ann Gunning sharing a few words with Maria Moore (NewHartfordPlus editor) with Bob Moore (New HartfordPlus techie) in the background.

Mike D'Apice (Insurance & Investments) enjoying a visit with Betty and an employee of the bank.

Skip Rogers (Rogers Law Firm) shares a good laugh with Anita Baxter (Baxter Communications).

Andrea Gaedeke (Beekley Library), Phyllis Webb (Magic Fluke), David Childs (Economic Development Chairman) and Mary Ann Gunning (Chapin Park B&B) sharing some holiday cheer at the Mingler.

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Bank Of America Closing New Hartford Center Branch

By: Maria Moore.

Bank of America will be closing its New Hartford Center branch on April 1, T. J. Crawford from the bank’s Media Department confirmed today.  Letters were mailed to the bank’s New Hartford branch customers on December 17 informing them that the branch would be closing.  “We wanted to give our customers plenty of notice to ensure that they would have plenty of time to become accustomed to one of our other branches.” T. J. said.

Asked the reason for the closure T. J. explained that the bank evaluates all of its banking centers on an ongoing basis and that evolving customer demand dictates their decisions.  Our reporter commented that the branch is in the center of New Hartford and is very convenient for residents to use.  “If it’s in the interest of the bank to close a banking center, then it will be closed.” T. J. responded, adding that New Hartford customers have available to them branches in Winsted , Canton and Torringford to meet their banking needs.  Asked what will happen to the employees at the branch, T. J. said that they would all be placed in other banking centers.  “Although no decision has been made as to where they will go, it will be somewhere where their customers (from New Hartford) will be going. ”  He said.

The Town of New Hartford currently has its accounts with Bank of America.  However, Town Treasurer Gordon Ross recently informed the Board of Finance that he was looking into moving the town’s accounts to Northwest Community Bank, as Northwestern Regional #7 had recently done.

The Bank of America branch in the center of New Hartford which will be closing as of April 1, 2011. Photo: Maria Moore

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Architectural Review Committee Reappointed, Likely To Take Active Role In Future

By: Maria Moore

After many years’ hiatus, the town’s Architectural Review Committee has been reappointed and will most likely be taking an active role in the town’s future commercial development.

The appointments were made by the Planning and Zoning Commission at their meeting this past Thursday, December 8.  All the original members of the Architectural Review Committee were reappointed.  They are:

  • David Sessions (3-year term);
  • Ken Kimmerle (2-year term);
  • Frank Misiorski (2-year term);
  • Bill Bohan (1-year alternate);
  • Gordon Ross (2-year alternate).

Also appointed to the Committee are Marty Connor, the town’s consulting Planner (1-year term) and Roger Hurlburt, the consulting Engineer (1-year term).

The Architectural Review Committee’s First Task:  Drive-Thru Restaurant at Former Waring?

It has been many years since the Architectural Review Committee met, and it may have met to review only one case: that of the original rehab of the former Waring building in which Collinsville Antiques is located on Route 44 in Pine Meadow.

The reappointed Committee members may find that their first task may also be a project at the former Waring building: a drive-through fast-food restaurant, that is a Dunkin’ Donuts.  Blackhammer, LLC, the owner of the former Waring building has applied for a Special Exception for the Dunkin’ Donuts to be located in their building.  A public hearing has been scheduled for January 12 for that Special Exception.  Architectural plans for the project have yet to be submitted to the Land Use Office, interim Zoning Officer Rista Malanca said today; however, if and when the plans are received, they will be reviewed by the Architectural Review Committee.

The New Zoning Regulations, The Architectural Review Committee And The Future Look of New Hartford

The Architectural Review Committee and setting standards for the Committee to apply is being spearheaded by the Economic Development Committee. For an update on this topic see our January 24 report Architectural Design Review Standards, Economic Development, Goals Discussed At EDC Meeting.

The former Waring building in Pine Meadow is home to an antiques store, a storage facility and perhaps soon, a Dunkin Donuts. Photo from NewHartfordPlus archives

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Fall Events & More: Business Council Updates

By: Dawn Whalen, President ~ New Hartford Business Council

With the kids back in school and fall just around the corner, we’d like to share the following monthly update with all our New Hartford Businenss Council (NHBC) members and prospective members:

nhbc-masthead_hsMembership Invoices: Membership invoices were recently mailed out. All legacy members and new members that joined at a prorated rate in the last few months will receive an invoice, otherwise members will now receive an invoice on their anniversary date (i.e. you joined in February 2010, you will receive an invoice at the beginning of January 2011 with a due date of February 1).

Please note: our membership dues are $75.00; if you plan to join the Canton Chamber of Commerce (which we highly recommend), your NHBC dues will be $50.00 and you will receive $25.00 off Canton’s membership as well. Visit the Canton Chamber website for information regarding membership.

Board of Directors Monthly Meeting: The Board of Directors meets the 2nd Wednesday of each month from 8 – 10am @ the Town Hall Sessions Room. We want you to know that any member is invited to attend this meeting. We will have a standing “member comment” agenda item during the first 15 minutes of the meeting. You are welcome to bring your ideas and opinions to be heard during this time.

Store Front Businesses: We need your help! We are looking to post our membership application in each store front business around town. We will provide you with a brochure stand as well as the updated tri-fold membership application (design by GeminEye Images, printing by Realty Works). If you are willing to help promote the NHBC, please contact Ron Miller (Ace Marketing), Membership Committee member, at ronm331@yahoo.com. We will be “making the rounds” to drop off the brochure stands in the coming weeks.

Did you know? We have a Marketing/Advertising/Public Relations Committee! This committee, headed by Gardner Graves (Realty Works), is responsible for promoting our events through newspaper, TV, radio and other media. This group also sends out articles regarding businesses and is currently developing a New Hartford tourism brochure/map. They meet Wednesdays from 8:00 – 9:00am. If you are interested in being a part of this committee, please contact Gardner at gardner@realtyworksct.com.

Upcoming Member Events: We have developed a calendar of member events for September and October:

1. September 23, 7:00pm @ the Town Hall Senior Center – Small Business Opportunities during Demographic Change.

We will have open networking from 7 – 7:30 and at 7:30 Marcia LaReau of Forward Motion, LLC will speak about current demographic changes and their impact to small business cash flow. You don’t want to miss this learning event.

2. October Member Event:  Date TBD – Personal Fitness as a Business Owner- Join owner Tim Calder @ Personal Best Fitness Training (http://www.timcalderfitness.com/) (in the Maradino’s Plaza) for an evening of fitness tips…bring your water bottle and dress ready to burn some calories!!

Farmers Market: Any business interested in being the “feature business of the week” at our Farmers Market booth, please contact Dawn Whalen via this email address: nhbusinesscouncil@yahoo.com. We have all of September and October available.

Facebook: We have a facebook page… search New Hartford Business Council and become a fan. Please send your newsworthy items to nhbusinesscouncil@yahoo.com… we’ll post your business announcements.

New Hartford Day: New Hartford Day is scheduled for Sunday, September 19 and we will have a booth to encourage new members…please stop by and show your support of the business council. If you would like to help out at the booth, please send an email to nhbusinesscouncil@yahoo.com.

NHBC Web site. We are in the final stages of design for our new web site. Stay tuned for an announcement coming soon.

Congratulations to Kristen Dombrowski, the 2010 Business Council’s Scholarship recipient. Kristen, who is from New Hartford and is a member of the 2010 graduating class at Regional #7 received the $1,000 scholarship which is annually awarded by the New Hartford Business Council to an area graduating senior.

Kristen led a very successful high school career including serving as Class President. She ranked #4 in her class and won the Regional #7 Superintendent’s Award and CABE Award for leadership; she played soccer, participated in indoor track and was the softball team captain. Kristen is attending Babson College in the greater Boston area and she hopes one day to be an entrepreneur.

Congratulations again to Kristen, and the best of luck to her as she embarks on her college career.

From left to right are Phil Havens and Dawn Whalen, Vice President and President of the Business Council; Kristen Dombrowski, NHBC Scholarship recipient; Kim Trumbull, NHBC Secretary and Carole Monroe, NHBC Treasurer.  Photo taken at Northwest Community Bank by Susan Wacht of GeminEye Images.

From left to right are Phil Havens and Dawn Whalen, Vice President and President of the New Hartford Business Council; Kristen Dombrowski, NHBC Scholarship recipient; Kim Trumbull, NHBC Secretary and Carole Monroe, NHBC Treasurer. Photo taken at Northwest Community Bank by Susan Wacht of GeminEye Images.

yp_fingers_hsNewHartfordPlus, a member business of the New Hartford Business Council, is now hosting a Yellow Page Business Directory. The NHBC Members’ Directory is no longer a section of NewHartfordPlus; however, NHPlus has incorporated the member businesses into our Yellow Page section. The NHBC is in the process of developing its own website where its members will be listed.

We welcome all businesses to our Yellow Pages, which offer a low-cost opportunity to make your services easily accessible to residents of New Hartford and surrounding communities. Please email us at newhartfordplus@gmail.com if you would like to take advantage of this business opportunity, or if you have any questions.

Posted in BIZ, NEW HARTFORD0 Comments

Fall Events & More: Business Council Updates

By: Dawn Whalen, President ~ New Hartford Business Council

With the kids back in school and fall just around the corner, we’d like to share the following monthly update with all our New Hartford Businenss Council (NHBC) members and prospective members:

nhbc-masthead_hsMembership Invoices: Membership invoices were recently mailed out. All legacy members and new members that joined at a prorated rate in the last few months will receive an invoice, otherwise members will now receive an invoice on their anniversary date (i.e. you joined in February 2010, you will receive an invoice at the beginning of January 2011 with a due date of February 1).

Please note: our membership dues are $75.00; if you plan to join the Canton Chamber of Commerce (which we highly recommend), your NHBC dues will be $50.00 and you will receive $25.00 off Canton’s membership as well. Visit the Canton Chamber website for information regarding membership.

Board of Directors Monthly Meeting: The Board of Directors meets the 2nd Wednesday of each month from 8 – 10am @ the Town Hall Sessions Room. We want you to know that any member is invited to attend this meeting. We will have a standing “member comment” agenda item during the first 15 minutes of the meeting. You are welcome to bring your ideas and opinions to be heard during this time.

Store Front Businesses: We need your help! We are looking to post our membership application in each store front business around town. We will provide you with a brochure stand as well as the updated tri-fold membership application (design by GeminEye Images, printing by Realty Works). If you are willing to help promote the NHBC, please contact Ron Miller (Ace Marketing), Membership Committee member, at ronm331@yahoo.com. We will be “making the rounds” to drop off the brochure stands in the coming weeks.

Did you know? We have a Marketing/Advertising/Public Relations Committee! This committee, headed by Gardner Graves (Realty Works), is responsible for promoting our events through newspaper, TV, radio and other media. This group also sends out articles regarding businesses and is currently developing a New Hartford tourism brochure/map. They meet Wednesdays from 8:00 – 9:00am. If you are interested in being a part of this committee, please contact Gardner at gardner@realtyworksct.com.

Upcoming Member Events: We have developed a calendar of member events for September and October:

1. September 23, 7:00pm @ the Town Hall Senior Center – Small Business Opportunities during Demographic Change.

We will have open networking from 7 – 7:30 and at 7:30 Marcia LaReau of Forward Motion, LLC will speak about current demographic changes and their impact to small business cash flow. You don’t want to miss this learning event.

2. October Member Event:  Date TBD – Personal Fitness as a Business Owner- Join owner Tim Calder @ Personal Best Fitness Training (http://www.timcalderfitness.com/) (in the Maradino’s Plaza) for an evening of fitness tips…bring your water bottle and dress ready to burn some calories!!

Farmers Market: Any business interested in being the “feature business of the week” at our Farmers Market booth, please contact Dawn Whalen via this email address: nhbusinesscouncil@yahoo.com. We have all of September and October available.

Facebook: We have a facebook page… search New Hartford Business Council and become a fan. Please send your newsworthy items to nhbusinesscouncil@yahoo.com… we’ll post your business announcements.

New Hartford Day: New Hartford Day is scheduled for Sunday, September 19 and we will have a booth to encourage new members…please stop by and show your support of the business council. If you would like to help out at the booth, please send an email to nhbusinesscouncil@yahoo.com.

NHBC Web site. We are in the final stages of design for our new web site. Stay tuned for an announcement coming soon.

Congratulations to Kristen Dombrowski, the 2010 Business Council’s Scholarship recipient. Kristen, who is from New Hartford and is a member of the 2010 graduating class at Regional #7 received the $1,000 scholarship which is annually awarded by the New Hartford Business Council to an area graduating senior.

Kristen led a very successful high school career including serving as Class President. She ranked #4 in her class and won the Regional #7 Superintendent’s Award and CABE Award for leadership; she played soccer, participated in indoor track and was the softball team captain. Kristen is attending Babson College in the greater Boston area and she hopes one day to be an entrepreneur.

Congratulations again to Kristen, and the best of luck to her as she embarks on her college career.

From left to right are Phil Havens and Dawn Whalen, Vice President and President of the Business Council; Kristen Dombrowski, NHBC Scholarship recipient; Kim Trumbull, NHBC Secretary and Carole Monroe, NHBC Treasurer.  Photo taken at Northwest Community Bank by Susan Wacht of GeminEye Images.

From left to right are Phil Havens and Dawn Whalen, Vice President and President of the New Hartford Business Council; Kristen Dombrowski, NHBC Scholarship recipient; Kim Trumbull, NHBC Secretary and Carole Monroe, NHBC Treasurer. Photo taken at Northwest Community Bank by Susan Wacht of GeminEye Images.

yp_fingers_hsNewHartfordPlus, a member business of the New Hartford Business Council, is now hosting a Yellow Page Business Directory. The NHBC Members’ Directory is no longer a section of NewHartfordPlus; however, NHPlus has incorporated the member businesses into our Yellow Page section. The NHBC is in the process of developing its own website where its members will be listed.

We welcome all businesses to our Yellow Pages, which offer a low-cost opportunity to make your services easily accessible to residents of New Hartford and surrounding communities. Please email us at newhartfordplus@gmail.com if you would like to take advantage of this business opportunity, or if you have any questions.

Posted in BIZ, NEW HARTFORD0 Comments

BEEP For Energy Efficiency Grants For Businesses

By: Maria Moore

Following is information on the Litchfield Hills Business Energy Efficiency Progam which we received today. The program makes available rebates for businesses and nonprofits for approved cost-efficiency building improvements The program is being administered by the Litchfield Hills Council of Elected Officials. New Hartford has been allocated $16,000 to be awarded locally.

PROGRAM DESCRIPTION
LITCHFIELD HILLS BUSINESS ENERGY EFFICIENCY PROGRAM

STATEMENT OF PURPOSE - The Litchfield Hills Council of Elected Officials believes that promoting energy efficient commercial buildings is important to the economic health of the Litchfield Hills region. The intent of the Litchfield Hills Business Energy Efficiency Program (BEEP) is to strengthen the economic viability of the region’s businesses through a comprehensive energy efficiency improvement program. By providing a financial incentive for improving the energy efficiency of business buildings, we hope to stimulate reinvestment in those buildings and facilitate local economic development.

FINANCING DESCRIPTION – The BEEP will provide incentive financing to stimulate improvements and reinvestment to commercially owned real estate, and eligible non-profit organizations in the following member towns of the Litchfield Hills Council of Elected Officials: Barkhamsted, Colebrook, Goshen, Hartland, Harwinton, Litchfield, Morris, New Hartford, Norfolk, Torrington, and Winchester.

$200,000 from OPM’s (Office of Policy and Management) Supplemental Regional Bonus Pool Block Program will leverage an estimated $190,000 in private resources to achieve an estimated total pool of $390,000 for rehabilitation investment in the eleven participating towns.

The BEEP will rebate 50% of the cost of approved energy efficiency building improvements for the first $5,000 of improvement, with a 20 % rebate for additional project expenses up to a maximum project cost of $30,000. Thus, the maximum rebate that could be provided for a single application is $7,500. The rebates apply to the expense of materials and installation costs for an improvement project and do not pertain to the cost of borrowing. The rebate will apply to projects that secure bank financing and to projects that are self-financed.

The BEEP is patterned after the highly successful Litchfield Hills Facade Improvement Program, administered by the Litchfield Hills Council of Elected Officials. A BEEP rebate will be paid after the project is approved by the local and regional BEEP Committees and implementation is complete.

PROGRAM PRIORITIES – The focus of the BEEP is to improve the energy efficiency of existing commercial buildings. Projects which enhance structures owned or operated by private, non-profit organizations are eligible provided they serve to enhance economic development (e.g. local historical society building which serves to attract tourists). Home-based businesses that are not assessed as commercial property, religious establishments, and municipal buildings are not eligible.

OPERATIONAL MATTERS – The Litchfield Hills BEEP will work as a partnership with the eleven municipalities and their Local BEEP Committees. The Litchfield Hills Council of Elected Officials, in cooperation with Northwest Connecticut Chamber of Commerce, will provide coordination and technical assistance.

The funds have been allocated to the participating communities according to a fair-share formula (see Attachment A). Any uncommitted funds remaining in a municipal allocation after one year of program operation will be re-allocated to a regional pool. Funds from this regional pool will be made available to those participating towns that have fully utilized their initial allocation. A modest percentage of the grant amount (5%) is being retained for program management by the LHCEO.

Each of the eleven participating communities will establish a local BEEP Committee appointed by the municipality’s Board of Selectmen. Ultimately, it is the responsibility of the local BEEP Committee to operate the program at the local level. The duties of the local BEEP Committee are to:

  • Appoint a committee chairperson
  • Designate a committee member as the local BEEP Coordinator
  • Select a location/office as the primary contact point for program information (e.g. First Selectman’s office)
  • Determine local application scheduling – one initial deadline; first come, first served; quarterly reviews, etc.
  • Establish local timetable requirements/performance standards for the BEEP Committee and applicants regarding application processing, length of time which applicant has to secure financing, complete project, etc.
  • Promote the program; sponsor informational briefings; contact eligible applicants; distribute brochures, etc.
  • Provide on-going technical assistance to applicants throughout the process, including assistance in completing the federal environmental form (EF-1 form)
  • Review and act upon funding applications, including forwarding the application to the CT Historical Commission for review
  • Maintain communication with applicant and Regional BEEP Committee
  • Monitor project implementation to ensure project proceeds as planned
  • Upon completion, review project paperwork and recommend final rebate amount to regional BEEP committee
  • Maintain all appropriate records and documents

Membership on the Local BEEP Committee may include:

  • Local Building Inspector
  • Engineer and/or building contractor experienced in renovation projects
  • Representative from the local historical society and/or historic preservation organization
  • Chief elected official or appointee thereof.

At the regional level, the Litchfield Hills Council of Elected Officials shall appoint and authorize a Litchfield Hills BEEP Committee to provide the necessary administrative oversight to the program and serve as a quality control check in approving projects and issuing funds. The Litchfield Hills BEEP Committee will:

  • provide technical assistance to the participating communities in developing their program/operating procedures
  • review and act on applications forwarded by the communities
  • authorize funding distribution
  • assure that all renovation projects are initiated and completed in accordance with program guidelines.

To download a PDF of the BEEP program brochure click on the following link: BEEP Brochure ~ New Hartford (266)

To download a PDF copy of the BEEP application form click on the following link: BEEP Application Form ~ New Hartford (263)

For more information about this BEEP program please call Christine Hayward, Administrative Assistant to the First Selectman at 860-379-3389. Information on the BEEP program is also available in the Notices/Announcements section of the New Hartford town website.

The Litchfield Hills Business Energy Efficiency Program is funded through a grant provided by the Connecticut Office of Policy and Management. The program is a cooperative venture of the Litchfield Hills Council of Elected Officials, Northwest Connecticut Chamber of Commerce, and the Towns of Barkhamsted, Colebrook, Goshen, Hartland, Harwinton, Litchfield, Morris, New Hartford, Norfolk, Torrington and Winchester.

Posted in BIZ, NEW HARTFORD3 Comments

Mustard’s Stands Firm: Celebrating 10 Years Of Great Hot Dogs; Arbella Awards Grant To Ambulance Association

Mustard’s Last Stand has stood the test of time: the little hot dog stand in the center of New Hartford is celebrating its 10th anniversary!  Open only two days per week ~ Friday and Saturday ~ the stand is a favorite stop for locals and those who make it their destination for an afternoon drive.  Our reporter and her husband Bob recently stopped by to catch up with the owners and to eat lunch at the stand.

Since it was a Saturday afternoon, it was Jennifer Lajoie who was manning the stand.  Jennifer expertly assembled the two hot dogs while chatting with our reporter and her co-worker and his wife who had driven out from Farmington for their favorite hot dog lunch.  Our reporter and her husband went to sit on the picnic table and eat in the shade of the large tree in the garden area next door to the Peddlers’ Junction building while they waited for Jennifer to join them.  A steady stream of customers kept her at the stand and soon Bob joined the line to pick up two more hot dogs with some of the delicious home-made saurkraut.

Jennifer joined our reporter, with her young daughter, Jordan keeping an eye on the stand.  “So what made you decide to open a hot dog stand?”  Our reporter asked.  “Actually, it was Jeff’s idea.”  Jennifer said and then went on to describe the circumstance.  “11 years ago, I’d just had Jordan and Jeff was working long hours at the dealership.  I was feeling pretty alone with Jordan and one day I told him I needed him to be more available to the family.  Soon after that he came up with his idea of opening the hot dog stand, right there in our front yard. ”  She added, laughing:  “I guess I asked for it ~ I wanted him home and that’s what he did!”  The first year, she said, he was home full-time, manning the hot dog stand every day of the week.  The second year, they decided to keep the hot dog stand open part-time, allowing Jeff to return to his job at the dealership and eventually, allowing Jennifer to return to work part-time.  At this point, Jeff mans the hot dog stand on Fridays, and Jennifer takes over on Saturdays.

Over the years, Mustard’s has built up a loyal clientelle.   “There was one couple, an elderly man and his wife who drove here regularly to  get their hot dogs.” Jennifer said.  “Finally I asked them where they came from and they said from Granby.  Imagine all the hot dog stands they had to pass to come here!”  “People really enjoy the saurkraut.”  Jennifer said.  She and Jeff are happy to serve up the saurkraut with their hot dogs or for a special event, but they won’t part with their recipe.   “It’s our own recipe that we developed and people really like the hint of sweetness to it.”

Another aspect of the business that Jennifer really enjoys is the number of people who stop by and ask about the Kennedy family.  “I tell them “I am a Kennedy!”  Some of those people used to live in New Hartford years ago and they knew my grandfather, and my grandmother and my mother.  And they come back to New Harford and connect with my family again.”  The Kennedys have owned the Peddlers’ Junction building and the two-family house next door since Jennifer’s grandfather’s day.  “My father bought the little house next to the bridge and turned it into a hairdressing salon for my mother, so she could work right next door to where we live.”  Jennifer added.  Just as she and Jeff are doing with their hot dog stand on their front lawn.

Our reporter and her husband Bob lingered a while longer, enjoying sitting at the picnic table, listening to the birds right in the business center of New Hartford, while Jennifer left them to go and tend to a couple who had just pulled up on their motorcycle, hungry for some good hot dogs.

Jordan (on the left) with mom Jennifer Kennedy Lajoie at the family's hot dog stand in the center of New Hartford.  Photo: Maria Moore

Jordan (on the left) with mom Jennifer Kennedy Lajoie at the family's hot dog stand in the center of New Hartford. Photo: Maria Moore


A steady stream of customers stop off at Mustard's Last Stand.  Photo: Maria Moore

A steady stream of customers stop off at Mustard's Last Stand. Photo: Maria Moore

Jennifer Lajoie

Jennifer Lajoie

The Arbella Insurance Group Charitable Foundation recently awarded a $500 grant to the New Hartford Volunteer Ambulance Association. Jennifer Lajoie, who is an employee of the Arbella Insurance Group applied for the grant for the local Ambulance Association and she presented the check to the association at their Annual Meeting this past April 21. In presenting the check, Jennifer said that a relative had recently needed the help of the ambulance service and she had been impressed by the way the members of the ambulance group had provided the service her relative needed. Jennifer thanked the members of the Ambulance Association for the work they do in our community.

The $500 grant will be used by the Ambulance Association to purchase an AED unit (an Automated External Defibrillator) for the New Hartford Senior Center.

This is the second grant that the Arbella Insurance Group Charitable Foundation has awarded to a local group through Jennifer’s efforts. The first grant, awarded in 2009 was for $1,000 which the Friends of Brodie used to purchase a metal climbing tower at Brodie Park.

Jennifer Lajoie presenting the check from the Arbella Insurance Group Charitable Foundation to the New Hartford Volunteer Ambulance Association.  Photo: Maria Moore

Jennifer Lajoie presenting the check from the Arbella Insurance Group Charitable Foundation to the New Hartford Volunteer Ambulance Association. Photo: Maria Moore


Many Thanks: to Jennifer Kennedy Lajoie for pursuing the grants from her employer’s charitable foundation for the benefit of our community.

Posted in BIZ, NEW HARTFORD0 Comments

Small Business Federal Resources Seminar Offered On June 1

We received the following invitation to a Small Business Federal Resources Seminar this coming Tuesday, June 1 from Congressman John Larson and we are passing it along to small business owners among our readers.

“I recognize that there are many challenges facing small businesses in Connecticut. From getting access to capital, receiving technical assistance, or training your workforce, I want to work to ensure our businesses are in the best position to grow and prosper.

I would like to invite you to join me for my upcoming Small Business Federal Resources Seminar on Tuesday, June 1st at Manchester Community College.

Small Business Federal Resources Seminar
Hosted by Congressman John B. Larson

Tuesday June 1, 2010

SBM Charitable Foundation Auditorium
Manchester Community College
Great Path Rd.
Manchester, CT

Registration: 8:00 a.m. – 8:30 a.m.
Seminar: 8:30a.m.- 10:30a.m.

The event will provide small businesses an opportunity to connect with federal, state, and local agencies. In addition, small businesses will learn about beneficial tax credits included in the recently passed health care legislation. Listed below are examples of agencies that will discuss how their resources and programs could be useful to our business community:

  • U.S. Small Business Administration
  • U.S. Department of Commerce
  • U.S. Department of Labor
  • Internal Revenue Service
  • Small Business Development Center
  • Connecticut Procurement Technical Assistance Program
  • Connecticut Center for Advanced Technology
  • Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development
  • Connecticut Department of Insurance

Space is limited, so please RSVP by Friday, May 28 by contacting my District office at 860-278-8888. For questions or more information, you may also contact Conor Quinn in my District office at 860-278-8888.

Small businesses represent the cornerstone of our economy, responsible for creating 80 percent of our new jobs. I look forward to working with you to build on this strength as we create jobs and economic prosperity throughout the communities of the 1st District,

Sincerely,

John B. Larson
Member of Congress

To see a Google map: to Manchester Community College, please click here.

Manchester Community College.  Photo from the internet

Manchester Community College. Photo from the internet

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