Wreaths Across America 2019
Wreaths Across America Ceremony, 2019 (photo credit Andre Garant)

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Lori Spielman, First Selectman

First Selectman's Corner

Phone: 860-870-3100
Email: LSpielman@ellington-ct.gov

2020 is here and I am looking out my window with not a cloud in the sky, freezing cold temperatures and next week is supposedly our January thaw. What thaw?! I am not sure the ground ever froze sufficiently to call it a thaw.
Here at Town Hall we are starting the year on a fine note. The building has been renovated, on time and within budget and the changes are refreshing. New bathrooms, changes to the conference room and to the Tax Collector’s office will make conducting business easier and more efficient. All work was covered by a state grant.
The Scarecrow Contest was better then ever this past fall. 38 entries, all terrific, survived the best and the worst of the weather that October could give us! It was great to see all of the families and passers-by stopping to walk the green and look at the scarecrows, always smiling.  Thank you, thank you to all who participated. You all made it really fun.
The Holiday Lighting contest was successful as well, although there were fewer entries perhaps due to the short window between Thanksgiving and Christmas. After all, we all need more than 3 weeks between major holidays to get anything done.
Winterfest is always a fun event and this past year was a great success. It is a wonderful time of year to visit the Library, The Nellie McKnight Museum and the Congregational Church. The Torchlight Parade is loved by children and adults alike and I love seeing so many residents participate in this event. It represents the very best of Ellington and our community spirit.
With January comes the budget process and this year as in previous years the challenge will be to balance our budget at a time when state government is so unstable. There will be many hours put in by paid staff and volunteers alike to make this budget possible and I encourage people to attend the public meetings this spring.
Also this spring, don't forget to pencil in our annual Earth Day Fair in April. It will be a great chance to enjoy a pleasant day  of food and fun while learning about the exciting new plans for the Nellie McKnight Museum and the planned improvement of the area around the War Memorials with hardscape and benches. The goal is to make our Town center interesting , educational and customer friendly. 
  I continue to be involved at the state level with the Capital Region Council of Governments and the Connecticut Conference of Municipalities. I enjoy the meetings. It gives me the opportunity to build a network that benefits the Town of Ellington. Recently I was honored to be elected as Co-Chairman of the Crumbling Foundation Commission which I have been involved with since it’s inception.
I have great respect for all of my colleagues who face the same challenges as we do here in Ellington.  Towns and cities face different problems but one thing that remains the same is the huge responsibility placed on the shoulders of those of us who are elected to serve our citizens.
I take my job very seriously, as I have since being elected the first time. I appreciate everyone’s support and belief that I can help to make Ellington a better place to live. My family has been here for generations and I will be spending my life here as so many others will. I want this Town to be the very best it can be for generations to come.
Happy New Year Folks,

Lori Spielman
First Selectman

We’re getting the word out in so many different ways!  

Are you in the know about Town happenings and information? See all of the avenues available to you and don’t miss the First Selectman’s Community Voice Channel recordings with a new special guest each month.  These recordings are posted on the website and on our social media sites or you can always visit Community Voice Channel at www.cvcct.org and click on “on demand”.

Website: If you're receiving this via email, you already know that you can receive notifications to your phone or email on a wide variety of topics, from Town Alerts to Employment Opportunities to Calendar and Meeting Information. However, if you're viewing this through our website, you can sign up to directly receive news on whichever topics you wish! Please start by creating an account; from there, or if you already have an account but want to see exactly what you're signed up for, “Notify Me” will show you all of your options. For the first few editions, we plan to send the Newsletter to all subscription lists, but please be sure you're signed up to ensure direct receipt in the future.

For Emergency Notifications, utilize the “Ellington Emergency Notification (via Everbridge) page

Facebook: www.facebook.com/townofellington
Twitter: @townofellington
Instagram: townofellington

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Ellington Town Hall Hours

8:30 am - 6:00 pm
Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday
8:30 am - 4:00 pm
8:30 am - 1:30 pm

Holiday Schedule

Town Offices will be closed on the following dates
Monday, January 20 - Martin Luther King, Jr. Day
Monday, February 17 – Presidents' Day
*There will be no delay in trash/recycling collection for these holidays.
Check the Hall Memorial Library website for closing dates at library.ellington-ct.gov

Town of Ellington Directory

Town of Ellington
55 Main Street, P.O. Box 187, Ellington, CT  06029


Animal Control                                                                                               (860) 870-3155
Assessor’s Office                                                                                           (860) 870-3109
Building Department                                                                                      (860) 870-3124
 Emergency Services (Non-emergency)                                                         xxxxxxxxxxxxx

Crystal Lake Fire Department                                                                        (860) 870-3174 Ellington Volunteer Fire Department                                                              (860) 870-3190

Ellington Volunteer Ambulance Corps                                                           (860) 870-3170

Emergency Management                                                                               (860) 870-3182
Finance Department                                                                                       (860) 870-3115
Fire Marshal                                                                                                   (860) 870-3126
First Selectman’s Office                                                                                 (860) 870-3100
Hall Memorial Library                                                                                     (860) 870-3160
Housing Rehabilitation                                                                                   (860) 870-3132
Human Services                                                                                            (860) 870-3128

Police (non-emergency)                                                                                 (860) 870-3154
Public Works                                                                                                  (860) 870-3140
Recreation Department                                                                                  (860) 870-3118
Registrars of Voters                                                                                       (860) 870-3107
Senior Center                                                                                                 (860) 870-3133
Tax and Revenue Collector                                                                            (860) 870-3113
Trash (Bulky Pick-up) All American Waste                                                    (860) 289-7850
Town Clerk                                                                                                     (860) 870-3105
Town Planner                                                                                                 (860) 870-3120
Youth Services                                                                                               (860) 870-3130

Winter Weather Cancellations and Delays

  • Town Office closings
  • Delayed openings
  • Meeting cancellations
  • Program cancellations

will be posted on the Town website at ellington-ct.gov and on the Town Facebook page; cancellation notificationsWFSB Channel 3.

2019 Holiday Lighting Contest

Congratulations to our 2019 Winners! 

Fan Favorite: 48 Blueberry Circle (Adam Vieweg)
Most Creative: 59 Crane Road (Tony & Betty Keilty)
Best Theme (Business): Oakridge Dairy LLC
Best Theme: 10 Settlers Way (Brenda & Mike Lucey)
Most Over the Top: 21 Birchview Drive (Paul & Lauren Kindall)
Best Business: Hoffman Family Farm

Honorable Mention: 14 Buff Cap Road (Connie Fogarty)
48 Blueberry Circle
48 Blueberry Circle
59 Crane Road
59 Crane Road
Oakridge Dairy
Oakridge Dairy
10 Settlers Way
10 Settlers Way
21 Birch View Drive
21 Birch View Drive
Hoffman Family Farm
Hoffman Family Farm
1st Place - Fire Prevention Poster Contest
1st Place - Fire Prevention Poster Contest
1st Place - Fire Prevention Poster Contest


57 Main St., P.O. Box 187    Ellington, CT  06029--0187
Tel: 860-870-3126    Fax: 860-870-3122
Email: firemarshal@ellington-ct.gov

James S. York II, Fire Marshal
Robert  E. DaBica, Senior Deputy Marshal
Carl W. Dojan, Deputy Fire Marshal
Sydney C. Kern, Deputy Fire Marshal

36th Annual Fire Marshal’s Fire Prevention Poster Contest
Sponsored by the CT FAIR Plan

Each year, 5th grade students in Ellington participate in the Annual Fire Prevention Poster Contest. This contest begins during Fire Prevention Week in early October where students work under the direction of their classroom teachers and art teachers to design posters utilizing the state-wide theme:
This year, 206 Ellington students participated alongside over 30,000 students state-wide. The contest is intended to develop fire safety awareness for our students that will be communicated to their families to promote fire prevention as everyone’s responsibility, every day.
Winning posters are selected by an independent panel of judges from within the Ellington Elementary Schools. The winning posters were awarded at the December 2019 Board of Selectman’s Meeting and Ellington’s First Place Poster was entered into the Tolland County Fire Prevention Poster Contest in January 2020. Winning posters at the county and state levels are used for the production of Fire Prevention Calendars and Posters which will be circulated with next year’s contest.
Best of Luck in the Tolland County Contest to Ellington’s First Place Winner, Hayley Badera from Crystal Lake School!

Carbon Monoxide (CO) Awareness

            After feeling snow throughout December, winter is now in full swing. With the low temperatures here to stay, you have probably started using heating equipment in your home or allowing your vehicle to warm-up before leaving. The incomplete burning of fuels used to heat your homes, run your cars or generators, or cook your food can produce Carbon Monoxide (CO). CO is a color-less and odor-less gas which can be lethal to both you and any pets in your home. 
To reduce the likelihood of having carbon monoxide in your home, follow these safety tips:

  • Ensure all vents to the outside of your home are clear of snow and/or debris.
  • Warm your vehicles outside of your garage. An open garage door may not provide enough fresh air to the area to prevent CO build-up.
  • Use generators outside and away from doors and windows.
  • Only use charcoal or gas grills outside, away from doors and windows.
  • Have a carbon monoxide detector on each floor of your home and outside of sleeping areas.
  • Test carbon monoxide detectors monthly and replace batteries as needed.
  • Replace carbon monoxide detectors every 5 years, or when the manufacturer recommends replacement.

Symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning can include: headache, dizziness, weakness, upset stomach, vomiting, chest pain, and confusion. CO symptoms are often described as “flu-like.” (From the Center for Disease Control. For more information see https://www.cdc.gov/co/faqs.htm)
If you suspect that you have a carbon monoxide (CO) issue in your home, have everyone in your home move to fresh air and call 911.
As always, if a fire, injury, or other emergency occurs, call 911 immediately.

Assessor’s Office

Kim Bechard, Assessor

 Assessor’s Maps
Ellington’s maps are available on line at ellingtonct.mapgeo.io. Owner information is updated frequently on this site.
Homeowner’s Tax Relief Program
The Homeowner’s Tax Relief Program allows a tax credit for qualifying individuals. To qualify, the homeowner (or spouse, if domiciled together) must have been 65 years of age by the end of 2019 and reside at the property. 2019 income limitations set by the State of CT Office of Policy and Management are $37,000 for an unmarried person, and $45,100 if married. Income is defined as adjusted gross income and tax exempt interest, plus any other income not included in the adjusted gross income. Totally disabled persons, regardless of age, are eligible provided they have a Social Security Award letter or SSA-1099 with Medicare premiums. The filing period for the Homeowner’s program is February 1 through May 15, 2020.
Additional Veterans’ Exemptions
An additional exemption may be available for those veterans who meet the income requirements. Applications for this program must be filed between February 1 and October 1, 2020. Both of these programs require applications to be filed every two years.  If you are currently on one or both of these programs and it is your year to refile, applications will be mailed to you February 1.  Forms will be available after February 1 in the Assessor’s Office. For questions or help completing these forms, please contact us at 860-870-3109.
2020 Revaluation
The Town of Ellington has contracted eQuality Valuation Services, LLC of Waterbury, Connecticut to assist with the October 1, 2020 revaluation of all properties, as mandated by state law.
Each section of town will be notified in advance that the eQuality data collectors will be in their neighborhood.  A complete inspection of the property is necessary to assure accuracy of the Assessor’s information for the valuation process.  This includes exterior measurements, listing interior features, and photos of each building.
All eQuality representatives will have photo identification and a signed letter of introduction from this office.  Their vehicles will be clearly marked and registered with the Ellington Resident State Trooper’s office.  We encourage homeowners to ask for identification prior to admitting anyone into their homes.  If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us or the Resident Trooper’s office.
We appreciate your cooperation and assistance in providing eQuality representatives with access to your property for the information necessary to complete the revaluation project. 

Ellington Public Schools

Ellington Public Schools

47 Main Street • PO Box 179
Ellington, Connecticut 06029
(860) 896-2300

New and Improved EPS Volunteer Process
Brian Greenleaf, Director of Finance and Operations

The “season of giving” may have just ended, but the Ellington Public Schools are lucky to have a dedicated community willing to give back all year. Volunteers from across our community come to the Ellington Public Schools to share their gifts with our students and to support our schools. Volunteers are an essential part of work in the schools, helping with everything from chaperoning, to classroom help, to fundraising, and office work. 
If you are interested in volunteering, the first step is to coordinate with our principals and teachers. They will let you know what opportunities are available. 
The second step is to complete an online application, found here: EPS Volunteer Application.
EPS recently streamlined the volunteer screening process with an on-line application that will perform all required State background screening.  Applications take 5 minutes to complete and are approved within hours, at no cost to the volunteer. Previously, volunteers were asked to submit paperwork through the State fingerprinting process, at a cost of $85, which could take over 3-months. 
More information on volunteering can be found on our website
We look forward to seeing you in our schools!

Public Works

Department of Public Works

21 Main Street
860-870-3147 (Fax)

Timothy Webb, Director
Thomas Modzelewski, Foreman

CHRISTMAS TREE PICK UP – Trees will be picked the first two weeks of January on your trash collection day.  Please make sure to leave it butt end out with no decorations or tree stands.  You can also drop them at the town garage by the recycle shed. 
RECYCLE SHED – The recycle shed for electronics, etc. will be open during standard working hours year round.  Additional shed hours will be Saturday, January 11, 2020 from 9 to noon. 
HOUSEHOLD HAZARDOUS WASTE – The MIDNEROC center in Willington is currently closed for the winter.  It is scheduled to reopen in April. 
HOFFMAN ROAD BRUSH DROP OFF – This area is currently closed for the winter and is scheduled to reopen in April.
MAILBOX POLICY – Residents are asked to make sure their mailboxes are secured and sturdy before the winter snow begins.  Mailboxes damaged by snow load will not be repaired by the Town. 
BASKETBALL HOOPS – Basketball hoops located on the side of the roads should be moved out of the right of way for winter.  The Town will not be responsible for damage to the hoops and any damage to Town trucks will be reimbursed by the homeowner. 
WINTER SAND – Sand will be available to residents throughout the winter months.  The pile is located at the Town Garage, 21 Main Street, this service is for residents only. 
SNOW REMOVAL FROM FIRE HYDRANTS AND SIDEWALKS – Residents are required to remove snow from sidewalks within 24 hours of the cessation of a snowfall.  Residents are asked to clear fire hydrants that are located on or near your property as a safety issue and courtesy to the Fire Department. 

PLOW DAMAGE TO DRIVEWAYS AND LAWNS – The Public Works Department repairs lawn damage in the spring.  Plow damage to driveways must be reported within two weeks of the storm’s occurrence.  At that time, you will be put on a list for review and/or repair in the spring.  

What's In and Out in Recycling
2020 Recycle Calendar
2020 Recycle Calendar
Ellington Farmers Market

Ellington Farmers' Market Kicks Off Winter Season

Dianne Trueb, Market Master

The winter season of the Ellington Farmers’ Market is in full swing at the Indian Valley Family YMCA, 11 Pinney Street. The market, held every other Saturday through March 14, is a non-profit 501c3 dedicated to providing healthy, local food sources to the community along with education on healthy eating and lifestyle. Up to $20 in SNAP benefits will continue to be matched at each market; simply present your EBT card at the market table and receive tokens to shop with.

The market hosts twenty-five vendors bringing locally produced foods including produce, dairy, beef, seafood, pork, poultry, lamb, a wide variety of baked goods, cheeses, honey, specialty sauces, soups, ready-to-eat items and artisan wares. January 18 will play host to Certified Health Coach Kim Schneider at 2:30 pm with a special "Food, It Feeds the Mind, Body and Soul" presentation. Then, stock up for all of your party needs at "Super Saturday" on February 1. Other February dates include February 15 (Staying Healthy with Herbs) and on February 29, Dr. Bugman is back! 

The current market information can be found at www.ellingtonfarmersmarket.com where you can also sign up for the market’s newsletter. 

Calendar of Events for Boards and Commissions

 *Always check the Town website prior to attending, as there may be changes*

January 13             Human Services Commission           Arbor Commons               6:00 pm
January 13             Board of Selectmen                          Town Hall                          7:00 pm
January 14             Developing Positive Youth Culture    Arbor Commons               6:00 pm
January 14             Capital Improvements Committee     Town Hall                          6:30 pm
January 14             Library Board of Trustees                   Hall Memorial Library      7:00 pm
January 15             Water Pollution Control Authority       Public Works                    7:00 pm
January 20             Martin Luther King Jr. Day                 Town Offices will be Closed
January 25             Board of Ed Budget Workshop           Administration Building   7:00 pm 
January 27             
Board of Selectmen (Cap. Improvements)   Town Hall                        7:00 pm
January 27             Planning and Zoning Commission      Town Hall Annex             7:00 pm
January 28              Housing Authority                               Snipsic Village                6:00 pm
January 29              Board of Education                            Administration Building   7:00 pm
February 4               Conservation Commission                Town Hall Annex             7:00 pm
February 4               Board of Finance                               Town Hall                        8:00 pm
February 5               Trails Committee                               Town Hall                         6:00 pm
February 10             Human Services Commission           Arbor Commons              6:00 pm
February 10             Board of Selectmen                          Town Hall                         7:00 pm

February 10             Inland Wetlands Agency                   Town Hall Annex              7:00 pm
February 11             Library Board of Trustees                  Hall Memorial Library      7:00 pm
February 12             
Economic Development Commission        Town Hall Annex             7:00 pm
February 12             Parks and Recreation Commission    Arbor Commons            7:00 pm
February 17            Presidents' Day                                   
Town Offices will be Closed
February 18            BOS Cap. Improvements Pres. to BOF       Town Hall                       8:00 pm
February 19             Water Pollution Control Authority       Public Works                  7:00 pm
February 24             Board of Selectmen (Budget)             Town Hall                       7:00 pm
February 24             Planning and Zoning Commission      Town Hall Annex           7:00 pm
February 25             Housing Authority                               Snipsic Village               6:00 pm
February 26             Board of Education                            Administration Building   7:00 pm

Town Hall – 55 Main Street
Town Hall Annex – 57 Main Street
Arbor Commons – 31 Arbor Way
Public Works – 21 Main Street
Snipsic Village – 20 Main Street
Administration Building – 47 Main Street
Hall Memorial Library – 93 Main Street

Ellington Singers - Holiday Concert
Ellington Singers - Holiday Concert
Ellington Senior Center

Ellington Senior Center, 40 Maple Street

Erin Graziani, Director
Samantha Baer, Assistant Director

Stop in to get your copy of our monthly newsletter, The Maple Street Monthly; follow us on Facebook or check out our website http://seniorcenter.ellington-ct.gov to see what is offered!
Winter Weather Policy Reminder:  If the Ellington Public Schools are closed or delayed, so is the Senior Center. Stay tuned to channels 3, 8, and 30, as well as Facebook, for closings due to weather. Sign up on our website to receive email and/or text alerts. 
Below is a list of special events that have been planned so far!  Additional information is available at the Senior Center and online.  Please sign up in advance so we can plan proper seating:

  • Joe Ouellette presents “History for Fun” at 1:00 pm on January 15 - “Orville & Wilbur Wright - What Dreams We Have” and 1:00 pm on February 19 - “The Life & Times of Levi Strauss”.
  • Trained volunteers will complete federal and state income tax returns at no charge for those 50 and older through the AARP Tax Aide program on Thursdays from 9:00 am-1:00 pm, February 6-April 9. We will begin scheduling appointments for Ellington residents January 2 and non-residents beginning January 23. Stop in or call Alisha to schedule an appointment.  

Ellington residents age 55+ are welcome to join us for the following programs. *Call or visit our website for additional details, including schedule and/or fees. Subject to change.
MONDAYS 8:30 am – 6:00 pm
9:00 am – 9:45 am Zumba Gold*
9:00 am-1:00 pm Chess Mates
10:00 am-12:00 pm Canasta
11:00 am-12:30 pm Advanced Line Dancing* (Session resumes 2/3)
1:00 pm-3:00 pm Needle Crafts
1:15 pm-3:30 pm Board Games
2:00 pm-2:45 pm Tai Chi for Arthritis & Fall Prevention
3:00 pm-3:30 pm Mindful Meditation
TUESDAYS 8:30 am– 4:00 pm
9:15 am-11:30 am Bridge
10:00 am-10:45 am Chair Exercises*
10:00 am-12:00 pm Acrylics & Canvas* (1/7, 1/21, 2/4, 2/18)
11:00 am-11:45 am Simple Circuit Fitness*
12:00 pm-1:30 pm Hand Massages*
12:30 pm-2:00 pm Ask the Nurse (1/14, 2/11)
1:00 pm-3:30 pm Dominoes
1:00 pm-2:00 pm TED Talks*
6:00 pm-8:30 pm Setback
WEDNESDAYS 8:30 am – 4:00 pm
9:00 am-3:00 pm Podiatry Clinic* (1/8, 2/5)
9:30 am-11:30 am Cut Ups Carving Club
10:00 am-11:45 am Ellington Singers*
1:00 pm-2:00 pm Cornhole/Ladder Ball
2:00 pm-3:30 pm Shuffleboard
THURSDAYS 8:30 am – 4:00 pm
9:00 am-2:00 pm AARP Tax Aide*
9:30 am-11:45 am Sew and So
10:00 am-10:45 am Chair Exercises*
11:00 am-11:45 am Simple Circuit Fitness*
1:00 pm-2:15 pm Creative Writing & More (1/16, 2/20)
FRIDAYS 8:30 am - 1:30 pm
9:00 am-10:00 am Yoga*
9:00 am-12:30 pm Wii Bowling
10:30am-11:15am Chair Yoga*
Billiards, Library, Le Petite Café*, Just Visiting 
We have made some changes in our kitchen. Visit our website or stop in for more information. The kitchen will remain closed through January and will tentatively reopen on February 4. Suggested donation ranges from $.50-5.00. Menu is subject to change. MSC is partially funded by a grant received by North Central Area Agency on Aging Inc., “Funded in part by the Older Americans Act”. 

Transportation is available to Ellington residents 5 days a week for social activities and non-emergency medical appointments. Please call the Transportation Line at 860-870-3137 to request a transportation packet that provides you with the program’s rules and regulations. EMATS is partially funded by a grant received by North Central Area Agency on Aging Inc., “Funded in part by the Older Americans Act”.
Below is a preview of our 2020 trips. Flyers will full details will be posted on our website and in the Information Center as they become available:
4/18/20: MGM Springfield Casino & Show at the Majestic Theatre (“9 to 5”). $55 pp.
5/20: Yard Goats Baseball Game. Cost TBD.
6/25 Thimble Islands Cruise & Chowder Pot Restaurant. Cost TBD.
7/19: Hudson River Cruise. Cost TBD.
9/1/20-9/17/20: Escorted Trans-Atlantic Cruise from Amsterdam to Boston.  Includes flights and transportation, 15 night aboard Royal Caribbean’s Brilliance of the Seas. Norway, Iceland, Greenland. Starts at $2999 pp.
9/14/20-9/16/20: Conway, NH overnight includes: Transportation and lodging, Castle in the Clouds, Mt. Washington Cog Railroad, Lake Winnipesaukee Turkey Train. Starts at $519 pp.
11/5/20-11/15/20: Escorted 7 night Hawaiian Islands Cruise aboard NCL’s Pride of America, plus 2 nights in Honolulu. Includes air and sightseeing. Starts at $4999 pp.
11/10/20-11/12/20: Lancaster, PA, overnight includes: Transportation and lodging, “Queen Esther” at Sight & Sound Theatre, Amish Countryside Tour, Miller’s Smorgasbord, and “A Playhouse Christmas” .  Starts at $555 pp. 

Town Clerk's Office

Diane H. McKeegan, Town Clerk

860-870-3721 (fax)

2020 Hunting & Fishing Licenses: 2020 Sport Licenses and Permits are available in the Town Clerk's Office; cash or checks are accepted. The DEEP website allows you to utilize credit and debit cards to purchase your licenses and permits directly, as well.

Vital Records Certificates: Certified Copies of Birth, Marriage and Death Certificates are available for $20 each. Birth Records are restricted by law; applications must be completed. Birth Certificates from 2003 and on can be purchased at any Town Hall in the State.

Dog Licenses: All dogs must be registered at age six months or within 30 days of acquisition to avoid penalties, per Connecticut law. Proof of rabies and spay/neutering certificates must be presented. 

$8 for Spayed/Neutered Dogs / $19 for Unaltered Dogs
$1 Late Fee per month or $75 Fine (after written warning from the Animal Control Officer)

The Hockanum River Trail
The Hockanum River Trail

Volunteers Needed!

The Hockanum River Committee is looking for volunteers for the continuous work that they perform on local trails! Weather-permitting, volunteers meet on Wednesday mornings from 9:00 am - 10:30 am to perform various trail maintenance and improvements, or, you can adopt a trail to oversee! For more information, contact the Town Planner or call 860-870-3120. We'll see you out there!

The Ellington Volunteer Fire Department, Inc.

Jack Rich II, Chief                  Betsi Feldman, Treasurer
chief@ellingtonfire.org           treasurer@ellingtonfire.org

Did you know? So far this year our members have put in more than 5000 man hours in training. In addition to the monthly training, we had several members receive training beyond our regular monthly training.  These members attended training on weekends as well as during the week (totaling 1224 hours of additional training) and received certification in the following areas:

  • Rescue Core Technician: J. Chamberlin 
  • Fire Service Instructor I:  K. Gambacorta
  • Confined Space l/II:  M. Gallagher 
  • Aerial Operator: N. St. Germain
  • Pump Operator:  C. Prato  
  • Firefighter I:  K. Hany, A. D’Agostino, K. Morrow
  • Firefighter II:  R. Toomey 
  • Emergency Medical Responder: C. Prato
  • HazMat Technicians:  J. Fongemie, E. Martin, K. Ruff, J. Chamberlain, A. Virkler, N. St Germain, and C. Prato

Congratulations to these members for your achievements and hard work!
Why do we train?  Through the end of November, the department responded to 815 emergency calls, providing more than 12,000 man hours of volunteer emergency response.  The training our members receive, provide them with the knowledge and skills necessary to provide assistance whenever and for whatever reason, “the tones go off”.
We are always looking for volunteers.  If you feel you are interested in joining, contact our membership committee chairperson, FF Jordan Chamberlin.  He can be reached through email at membership@ellingtonfire.org, or by telephone at 860.836.2995. Our application for membership can be found in our “Join the EVFD” section of our department’s website, www.ellingtonfire.org. Answer the call to helping your community by joining your local fire department!

Cadet Firefighter Program:  Our Cadet Program is open to youths between the ages of fourteen and nineteen. Cadets have the opportunity to participate in the same programs and training as the regular membership in addition to their own dedicated training and activities. For more information contact treasurer@ellingtonfire.org

Photo Credit: Betsi Feldman
Photo Credit: Betsi Feldman

Recently the EVFD Cadets were invited to join the Exchange Club of Rockville at their monthly meeting. After a delicious dinner, the Cadets spoke of their experiences with our Cadet Program as well as their future plans. The Exchange Club members asked many engaging questions. Pictured from left to right are, Administrative Vice President Christopher Hoover, Treasurer George Magnuson and Cadet Hannah Norman. Congratulations to these Cadets for providing knowledgeable responses to the many questions posed to them. At the end of the evening, the Cadets were presented with a generous donation from the Exchange Club. A warm and heartfelt thank you to the Exchange Club for the donation as well as the opportunity to promote our program.  

We also want to thank all who attended or participated in the Torchlight Parade. We are truly appreciative of the community support we receive throughout the year! For more information on our department's activities and programs, please visit us at www.ellingtonfire.org or www.facebook.com/ellingtonfd

Wreaths Across America Ceremony
Wreaths Across America Ceremony (photo credit Lori Smith)

Wreaths Across America

Once again, EVFD collaborated with the Ad Hoc Ellington Patriotic Committee to remember and honor our veterans at Ellington Center Cemetery. 

Firefighter Randy Smith with his brother, Deputy Chief Bob Smith
Firefighter Randy Smith with his brother, Deputy Chief Bob Smith (photo credit Lori Smith)
Remember to Clear Your Hydrants!
Heating Safety Reminders

Preparing for a Winter Storm

Joseph Palombizio, Emergency Management Director

(The following information was supplied by FEMA, the
Federal Emergency Management Agency)

Emergency Supplies
You may not be at home when the storm starts, so it is important to have basic supplies of food and water as well as a way to stay warm without power in several locations such as your workplace, vehicle, and/or school. You can build your supplies up over time by adding a few items each week or month. Gather, in advance, the necessary supplies and items you will need to stay safe after the winter storm passes. For a complete list of emergency supplies, visit www.ready.gov/kit. Check these supplies off of your Winter Storm Preparedness Checklist once you add them to your kit.

Emergency Communication
Make sure you have everything you will need to get in touch with your family, either by cell phone or email.

Medical Needs
Be equipped to tend to any current or unexpected medical conditions you or your family members may have. Ask your doctor about storing prescription medications, such as at least a three-day supply of heart and blood pressure medication, insulin for diabetics, and other prescription drugs such as inhalers for those with asthma. Include battery backup power for power-dependent mobility devices, oxygen, and other assistive technology needs.

Critical Documents
Place any important documents in a sealed, waterproof container to keep them dry and easily accessible.

Tools and Safety Items
Small items like matches, flashlights, a multi-tool, pocket knife, and a whistle (to signal for help) can make a huge difference for your family while weathering a storm.

Have at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food and water for your family. Remember to store anything specific to your family’s needs.

Warm Clothing/Blankets
Warm clothes and blankets can help prevent hypothermia. Do not forget warm, waterproof and protective footwear as well as gloves.

Ask yourself, ”What would I need for myself and my family if a winter storm struck?” and “What would I or my family require if we did not have access to a grocery store or pharmacy for at least three days?” Add any of these specific items to your Winter Storm Preparedness Checklist.
For more resources about winter storm risks, visit ready.gov/prepare

Storm Checklist Items

Ellington Community Emergency Response Team (CERT)

Joseph Palombizio, Emergency Management Director

In 2008, the Town of Ellington established its first CERT team, consisting of 13 members.

CERT's primary mission is to aid the residents of Ellington after a disaster strikers, either weather-related, a hazmat issue, or a man-made disaster. Currently, CERT members participate in: 

  • Monthly training/meetings
  • Ham Radio Team
  • Operation of the Town Emergency Shelters
  • Light search and rescue
  • Local traffic management at parades, fireworks programs, road races and water activities.
During the last holiday season, CERT worked with Ellington Human Services and adopted seniors and a family in need, providing food, gift cards and gifts. 

Ellington CERT members have provided over 1,000 hours of volunteer time over the past year. We congratulate each and every member for their outstanding service to Ellington and surrounding towns. 

If you would like information on how to join this excellent group, please email Deputy Emergency Management Director John Streiber. You must be 18 years of age, pass a criminal background check and successfully complete the 24-hour CERT Basic Training Course to become a CERT member.
Robert Tedford Memorial Park

Parks and Recreation

31 Arbor Way                                                                           
P.O. Box 187                                                                                       
Ellington, CT 06029                                                     
Phone: 860-870-3118                                        
Fax: 860-870-3198  

Dustin Huguenin, Director              Mary Bartley, Assistant Director
dhuguenin@ellington-ct.gov           mbartley@ellington-ct.gov                                            
                                                                                                                                            Parks & Recreation website: parkrec.ellington-ct.gov
Email: recreationstaff@ellington-ct.gov
Recreation News    
The Ellington Parks & Recreation Department offers a varied number of programs to select from, for ages ranging from pre-school to adult. Please visit our website for a complete list of programs along with dates, times and fees.                                                      
Program Registration Process
Program registration is through the ActiveNet online system.  In order to register for a program you must have an ActiveNet account.  Accounts can be created here. Registration is not considered valid until the program fee is paid.  Requests for refunds must be made in writing prior to the start of the program.
Reminder:  In the event of inclement weather, the Parks and Recreation Department will list program cancellations on television. Tune in to Channels 3, 30 and 8 to check if there is a cancellation. Cancellations will be listed under “Ellington Recreation Department”. Notices will also be posted on our Facebook page.
ADA:  The Town of Ellington does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, religion, age or disability in provision of programs and services.  If you or a family member need special assistance, please make us aware of your needs at the time of registration.
Scholarship Programs:  If a need arises, please make a confidential inquiry to Dustin Huguenin, Recreation Director at dhuguenin@ellington-ct.gov.
2020 Hunter K. Giroux Memorial Basketball Tournament
This special event will be held in January over the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday weekend. Click here for more information.
8th Grade Boys Basketball Tournament Teams from throughout the region are expected to participate. 
Location:  Ellington Middle School, 46 Middle Butcher Road; concessions will be available. 
Businesses interested in advertising in the tournament program booklet, please contact Dustin Huguenin at (860) 870-3118. All proceeds will benefit Ellington Recreation Programming. 
Music and Movement for Tots (adult participation is required)
Instructor: Jill Maznicki
Session 1 – Wednesdays, January 8 - February 26
Session 2 – Thursdays, January 9  - February 27
10:15-11:00 am, Hall Memorial Library
Click here for more information
Spring sessions are scheduled to begin late March.
The Recreation Department will offer an Outdoor Soccer Program for boys and girls based on current CT Junior Soccer Association age/birthdate guidelines.  Based on enrollment and evaluation submittals of the respective coaches, teams may be formed in the following age groups: U8 through U15.  The deadline for players to register in order to retain his/her Fall 2019 roster placement is April 10, 2020. 
Check website for evaluation dates and details.
Due to the growing number of children interested in the sport of soccer, volunteer coaches are needed for this program.  If you are interested in volunteering please contact Dustin Huguenin, Recreation Director at dhuguenin@ellington-ct.gov.  The quantity of volunteers will determine how many children will be accepted into this program. 
Registration deadline: April 10, 2020. 
Check website for dates and times.
2020 RECREATION DEPARTMENT T-BALL PROGRAM – Coed, ages 4-5 (before 12/31/2019)
May 2, 9, 16, 30, June 6 (rain date June 13 if needed).
Saturday mornings, 10:00-11:00 am, at Ellington High School. Fee: $25 per player. Registration opens February 10 through April 24. 

Girls & Boys Spring Lacrosse Outdoor Program – March 22 to June 14, 2020
The Recreation Department will be offering Spring Travel Teams for grades 1st through 8th. Registration must be received by January 31, 2020 so that the number of teams and roster size can be determined. Check website for details.
Coaching Positions:  Those individuals interested in applying for coaching positions must do so by January 25, 2020.  Questions, please email Dustin Huguenin, recreation director, at dhuguenin@ellington-ct.gov.

Grades K-2
April 18 – May 16, 2020 - Registration Deadline: April 15, 2020
The Recreation Department offers an introductory clinic to introduce kids in Grades K-2 to lacrosse.  Basic fundamentals of throwing, catching, cradling and shooting will be covered.  Equipment will be provided. Location: Pinney Fields
Cost: $25 per player. Check website for dates and times.
Ages 4-13
Instructor: Gary Marquez
Mondays, February 24, March 2, 9, 16
Location: Crystal Lake School
JUKIDO - All skill levels welcome  
Instructor: Paul Ward
Ages: 6 years and up
Six week sessions offered in January and March, Mondays, 6:00 – 7:00 pm, Center School
Check website for session dates.

ADULT SPORTS/PROGRAMS – (Ages 18 and Over)


7:00 - 9:00 pm
March 12, 26, April 2, 16, 23, 30, May 7, 14, 21
Location: Windermere School
Fee: $30 Residents/$35 Non-residents
7:00 - 9:00 pm
March 10, 17, 31, April 14, 21, 28, May 5, 12, 19
Location: Windermere School
Fee: $30 Residents/$35 Non-residents

Wednesday evenings, 7:30 – 9:00 pm
Check website for time and location.
Monday evenings through June 1, 2020.
Over 30: 5:30 pm-7:15 pm; Under 30: 7:15 pm-9:00 pm
Location: Windermere School
$25 Residents/$40 Non-Residents
Ginny’s Fitness for Longevity
Ages 18 and up
Mondays & Wednesdays, 6:00 – 7:15 pm, Center School
Fee: $40 Pre-paid Punch Cards/8 classes available at location site or $7 walk-in fee.
Email:  fitnessforlongevity@gmail.com  or call 860-463-3238 for more information.
Classes will follow the Ellington Public School Calendar. NO classes on vacation or school cancellation days.
Ages: 16 and up
Tuesday & Thursday evenings, 7:30 – 8:30 pm, Ellington Senior Center.
Fee: $40 for a Pre-Paid Punch Card/8 classes available at location site or $8 Walk-in fee
Classes will follow the Ellington Public School Calendar. NO classes on vacation or school cancellation days.
Register Online
Online registration began December 1,  2019.  Check the website for more details.

Human Services

31 Arbor Way
P.O. Box 187
Ellington, CT 06029
Phone: 860-870-3128
Fax: 860-870-3198

Joy Hollister, LMSW, Director            Rebecca Stack, Elderly Outreach/Social Worker
jhollister@ellington-ct.gov                  rstack@ellington-ct.gov

Energy Assistance – Do you need assistance with your heating source (oil, propane, wood, natural gas, electric, etc.)? If so, please call our office for more information or to make an appointment to apply for energy assistance. Applications are done by appointment only. This Federal program has income and asset guidelines that are higher than most other programs. Deadline to apply is May 1st.

Grandma’s Pantry – Do you need immediate assistance with food for yourself or your family? You are welcome to utilize our Little Food Pantry (Grandma’s Pantry) located right outside our building. Donations of unexpired, non-perishable food and hygiene products are welcomed as well. 

VITA (Volunteer Income Tax Assistance) – Do you or your household make under $54,000? If so, you could have your taxes done for FREE.  Please contact us starting mid-January for more information.

Elderly Outreach/Social Work Do you have a loved one who would like to stay in their home but needs assistance with dressing, bathing, medication management, shopping, cleaning, etc.? If so, please contact Rebecca Stack, Elderly Outreach/Social Worker. She will be able to give you more information on services available to help your loved one stay independent.

What we do – The Human Services Department provides programs and services to assist residents with their basic needs. The Department is an intake site for Energy Assistance, Operation Fuel and Renters Rebate. We also assist residents with applying for SNAP (food stamps), HUSKY, Medicare (including Part D and supplements), Social Security, and other State and Federal programs. We have a monthly food distribution program (through our food bank) as well as Grandma’s Pantry, located right outside our building for those who have immediate food needs. We offer assistance for the holidays, summer camp, back to school, as well as in certain crisis situations (utility shut offs, one time rental assistance, etc.) If we cannot directly assist you, we will refer you to who can, if applicable. Some programs we offer have income and asset tests. Additionally, some programs are based on available financial resources. In order to best assist you, we ask that residents make an appointment.
Also under the Human Services umbrella are Youth Services and the Senior Center. Please look for their information/programs also listed in this newsletter.

Memory Cafe

Ellington Human Services is excited to announce a new program coming
January 2020!

~ For those with early to moderate cognitive loss, their friends and family ~

Memory Café For fun, company and conversation

Our café will be open on the last Wednesday of each month, 1:00 pm - 31 Arbor Way
Mediated by Nicole Matson from Home Helpers Home Care

Contact Rebecca Stack for participant eligibility and more information: 860-870-3128

Instructor Mary Lee Brody demonstrates how to make delicious things with puff pastry.
Instructor Mary Lee Brody demonstrates how to make delicious things with puff pastry.
Beautiful performance of scenes from the Nutcracker by the Connecticut Ballet, funded by the Friends of the Library.
Beautiful performance of scenes from the Nutcracker by the Connecticut Ballet, funded by the Friends of the Library.
Beautiful performance of scenes from the Nutcracker by the Connecticut Ballet, funded by the Friends of the Library.
Beautiful performance of scenes from the Nutcracker by the Connecticut Ballet, funded by the Friends of the Library.

Hall Memorial Library (HML)

Susan Phillips, Director
93 Main Street, Ellington
(860) 870-3160
Website: http://library.ellington-ct.gov/

Learn to Make a Felted Wool Mushroom* with Angelina Fleury
     Tuesday, January 9 at 6:00pm
Learn to Make a Valentine’s Day Junk Journal* with Angie DeLuca
     Monday, January 13 at 6:00pm
The Link Between Sugar, Mood and Your Health
     Tuesday, January 14 at 6:30pm
Library Book Discussion: The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah
     Wednesday, January 15 at 7:00pm
Coffeehouse: The Hot Flashes
     Friday, January 17 at 7:00pm
The History of Friendly’s Ice Cream (with samples!)
     Thursday, January 23 at 7:00pm
SPECIAL LIVING HISTORY EVENT: John Koopman portraying George Washington*
(sponsored by Friends of Hall Memorial Library)
     Sunday, February 9 at 1:30pm
Sewing Class with Cheryl Jones, Project TBD*
     Monday, February 10 at 6:00
Medical Marijuana Info Session with Prime Wellness of Connecticut
     Tuesday, February 18 at 6:30pm
Coffeehouse: Red No. 5
     Friday, February 21 at 7:00pm
Was Mary Todd Lincoln Really Insane?, with Joe Ouellette
     Thursday, February 27 at 7:00pm

Register for all programs online or call us at 860-870-3160 for assistance.
*Program has limited seating, so register early!
Downton Abbey (rated PG, 122 minutes)- January 15 & 16
Judy (rated PG-13, 118 minutes)- January 22-23
Indian Horse (not rated, 101 minutes)- January 29 & 30
Harriet (rated PG-13, 126 minutes)- February 5 & 6

Movies will be shown weekly (with fresh, hot popcorn!), on Wednesday evenings at 6:30pm and Thursday afternoons at 1:00pm. Please check the website or call us at 860-870-3160 for schedule changes and future film announcements.
Save the date for our 5th Annual Mini-Golf at the Library event! We are honored to welcome back Kloter Farms and Merrill Industries as our co-flagship sponsors once again and have locked in the support of more than 40 other local businesses to help bring you yet another fun-filled Take Your Child to the Library Day! We’ll feature 26 holes of mini-golf, food by Flavors of Nawab and Craig’s Kitchen, entertainment by “Magic” Dan Sclare, face painting by Laurie Lee Baker, the After Hours Photo Booth, a fabulous Teacup Raffle and more. You don’t have to be a kid to enjoy it, so please join us to escape the winter doldrums and support your library. And if you can’t be here on February1 but would like to try to win a raffle prize, please see Francie or Sue at the library or Peg Busse around town to make arrangements.  NOTE:  The Library will close at 3:00pm on Friday, January 31 to set up the course.

Mini-Golf at HML!


Preschool Story Hours for 3-5 year olds will begin Tuesday, February 11 and continue every Tuesday until April 7. This is an independent program which includes age appropriate stories, songs, and movement activities. Occasionally, there will be a short, story video. Parents are asked to wait in the Children’s Area during this program which runs 10:15-11:00. Online registration is required and begins January 27.

Story Hours for 2 ½ year olds, with an adult, will begin Friday, February 7 10:15-10:45 and will continue until April 3. This program will include stories, songs, and story related craft projects. Online registration for this story hour also begins January 27.

Babies and Books is a program especially for children 9 months to 2 ½ years, along with their parents or caregiver.  This program introduces young children to books with stories and playing together with other children.  This program runs every Monday 10:30-11:30, February 10 – March 16. Online registration begins January 27. 

For each of these children’s programs go to the library’s web site: www.library.ellington-ct.gov to register or call 860-870-3160. All children’s programs are FREE and open to the public.

Thursday, February 6 at 10:30, Enfield Pediatric Dentistry will be offering a very special Tooth Fairy Story Time, for young children and their parents. Stories will be read that will introduce families to the correct way to care for children’s teeth. Additional information will be shared about dental health in a fun and educational way. No registration is needed.

REMEMBER! “Take Your Child to the Library Day” – Saturday, February 1,10:00 am-5:00 pm!!!
Library closings due to weather will be published on WFSB TV and website, Fox 61 website and the Library website. Library closings are not dependent on school closings.  When in doubt, call before coming out. Your safety is our greatest concern!
The Library will be closed:
Monday, January 20 - Martin Luther King Jr. Day
Monday, February 17 - Presidents’ Day
Many thanks to all my partners:  Co-chair Ellen Karadimas, Sharon McLaughlin and Ellington Congregational Church, Ellington Historical Society, Ellington Women’s Club, the Music Departments at Center School, Crystal Lake School, Ellington High School and Windermere School, EHS Opening Knight Players, Crystal Lake Methodist Church, EHS Future Business Leaders, John Dzen and his sleigh, Library Board and FOL members, and my trusty team of furniture movers. To Lori Spielman and Chris Davis for the welcoming words. Special thanks to Tim Adams, music teacher at Center School for once again bringing his sound system and setting it up in the snow. And to the Center Fire Department for the fabulous parade. And of course to Public Works for the great decorations and all else they do.

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