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8/14/2020 - Southbury Establishes Long-Term Recovery Committee

Group To Identify Community Needs and Coordinate with Federal and State-Level Recovery Teams

The Town of Southbury has established a Long-Term Recovery Committee to help the community respond to the long-term effects of the coronavirus pandemic. The purpose of the committee is to identify urgent needs, accelerate recovery, and expedite coordination with the state’s emergency management structure. The committee held its introductory meeting on Aug. 11 via a video conference call.

The Committee will be chaired by Southbury Economic Development Director, Kevin Bielmeier, and town Finance Director, Dan Colton. The committee currently has 12 members who each represent a different sector including, but not limited to, business owners, interfaith communities, education and health and human services.

The initial task of the committee is to identify unmet needs throughout the community and to match those needs with existing resources. Where resources are not available, the committee will work closely with the Naugatuck Valley Council of Governments and the Department of Emergency Management and Homeland Security (Region 5) in seeking state or federal relief.

“The goal of the Long-Term Recovery Committee is to ultimately find long-term economic recovery here in Southbury,” said Bielmeier. “It’s important to identify our town’s needs and seek resources at the Federal and State level.”

The committee is not restricted to a timeline. Instead, it will raise concerns as they are identified and will continue to do so as needs are discovered. The committee plans to meet weekly via video conference to share reports from sector stakeholders.

The members of the Southbury Long-Term Recovery Committee and the respective committee roles and sectors they represent are listed below:

  • Tim Baldwin, CT D.D.S./Southbury Training School (Emergency Management)
  • Justin Bette, Bette Realtors (Seniors and Small Business)
  • Kevin Bielmeier, Economic Development Director, Town of Southbury (Co-Chair)
  • Sara Blersch, Director, Farmer’s Market (Farms and Rural)
  • Dan Colton, Finance Director, Town of Southbury (Co-Chair)
  • Monsignor Joseph Donnelly, Sacred Heart Church (Interfaith Community)
  • Rob LaBonne III, Owner, Southbury Self-Storage (Businesses and Fiduciary Liaison)
  • Neil Lustig, Director of Health, Pomperaug District Department of Health (Health and Human Services)
  • Tom Marks, CEO and General Manager, The Leverage Marketing Group (Communications)
  • Dawn Reshen-Doty, CEO, Benay Enterprises, Inc. (Non-Profit Community Organizations)
  • Shawn Rochester, CEO, Good Steward, LLC (Inclusivity)
  • Joshua Smith, Region 15 Superintendent (Education and Youth)