Stonington will not become a part of the —at least not this year.
The Board of Selectmen decided not to join the Ledge Light Health District saying that while the regional health district offers a tremendous amount of services, Stonington residents appreciate the small-town intimacy of the Stonington Health Department.
Which doesn’t mean the Stonington Health Department will stay the same.
“We have to make some changes to improve the way we provide health services,” First Selectman Edward Haberek Jr., said.
Stonington has not raised the fees associated with health inspections in ten years and that is one of the things that will most likely have to change if Stonington wants to keep its small-town health department.
“Basically we are kind of holding it together, but financially we need more resources,” Haberek said.
The Board of Selectmen would like to take input from business owners and look at the current fee schedule before hopefully bringing a proposal for increased fees in front of a Town Meeting.
Haberek said making the decision to not join the Ledge Light Health District was one of the more recent difficult decisions the board had to make.
“They really did a tremendous job clarifying policies and working with us financially,” Haberek said.
Ultimately, however, the board said that the in fees from business owners contributed to their decision.
“They’re a highly professional organization,” Selectman George Crouse said. “But I think we have to look at our program first and see where we are going.”
The board, however, did not completely rule out joining the Ledge Light Health District and will re-examine the issue in a year.
“Who knows what the future will hold in the way of partnerships,” Selectman Glee McAnanly said.
Representatives from Ledge Light Health District attended the meeting and said that while working with Stonington had been tedious they wished the town the best of luck and looked forward to possibly working with Stonington in the future.