Stonington residents, business owners and government officials will have the chance to learn about the Ledge Light Health District tonight.
Representatives from the Ledge Light Health District will attend the joint meeting of the Stonington Board of Selectman and Stonington Borough Board of Warden and Burgesses to talk about the possibility of the town and the borough joining the health district.
In , which includes New London, Groton, Waterford, Ledyard and East Lyme. While the town and the borough currently have their own health department that department is stretched thin and the state is encouraging towns and health departments will smaller populations to form or join health departments that serve a larger population.
First Selectman Edward Haberek Jr., said joining the district would cost Stonington about $15,000 more but would offer the town the benefits of a bigger health staff and an organization that takes care of its administrative work such as hiring. While Haberek said the town would be O.K. if it didn’t join the district this year he said it wouldn’t be long before the town needs to hire a larger staff. Currently the town’s one health inspector is responsible for 167 establishments and numerous temporary ones.
“We want to provide the best service,” Haberek said.
But for some businesses joining the Ledge Light Health District would mean higher fees. Many to joining the district and most worry about losing the small community feel of the current health department.
Elliot Cohen of in Mystic told Patch he would like the current small health department to stay in place.
“You get individual attention and personalized training,” Cohen wrote. “You can also call and get an answer within 24 hours, when the others took longer to respond. The fees are also higher, which is just not necessary especially to Mystic seasonal businesses. Just my opinion from experience.”
One Groton Mystic business owner echoed Cohen's thoughts telling Patch his biggest problem with the Ledge Light Health District is that a different inspector shows up every time and each inspector seems to care about different things.
Groton belongs to the Ledge Light Health District so Groton Mystic businesses are already part of the district. Whatever decision the town makes will include the Stonington side of Mystic. Stonington Borough, however, will have to decide separately whether or not to join the Ledge Light Health District.
The conducted a poll of its members and found that 53.8 percent opposed joining the Ledge Light Health District and 46.2 percent needed more information before making a decision.
Both Burgess and Haberek said decisions on whether or not to join the district would take into consideration the opinions of residents and businesses owners.
Tonight’s joint meeting begins at 6 p.m. at the Community room. The public is encouraged to attend. A decision on whether or not to join the district will not be made at the meeting.