Happy Labor Day!
We hope everyone had an enjoyable and safe summer. Strange times indeed and we can only hope that things in Rowayton will get back to normal as soon as possible. The Fall is typically a very busy time in town with students returning to school, fundraisers by many organizations, and a range of events, but this year will be different...many traditional Fall events have been cancelled but there are still some things planned.
The next Commissioners Monthly meeting will be held via Zoom on Wednesday September 16 at 7PM. In the interim, the 6TD Commissioners are using this e-blast to share a range of information with residents - both new and old.
Sixth Taxing District News and Information
What is the Sixth Taxing District? And What do we do?
Rowayton's official name is the Sixth Taxing District of the City of Norwalk (6TD) and there are three Commissioners who are elected to run the 6TD. The Commissioners oversee 4 full time, 8 part time and 9 seasonal employees as well as 20 acres of property and a total of 8 buildings. In addition, we work with the City of Norwalk to assist our residents with everything from crime to traffic to property taxes.
 
In the 1920s, the 6TD was originally created as a lighting district within the City of Norwalk. Over time, we started to provide services that were not being provided by the City including garbage collection, as well as financial support to the Rowayton Library and the local volunteer fire department. These services continue to be at the heart of today’s 6TD. We have grown from a small, part-time entity to a $1.8 mm a year organization. The 6TD now has actual offices above the library, a main phone number 203-854-6666 and its own 6TD website at www.Rowayton6TD.com. All Commissioners and employees have their own email addresses.
 
Every year, on the first Wednesday in March, the 6TD has its Annual Meeting and the budget for the coming fiscal year, starting July 1, is approved by those residents in attendance. A budget of $1.8 million was approved this March 4th. When a 6TD resident pays their City of Norwalk property tax bill, about 5% of the amount is sent back to your local government, the 6TD. The largest parts of the 6TD operating budget include payroll (25% of the budget), garbage with yard waste pick-up and disposal (20%), and the 6TD's contribution to the Rowayton Library (12%). The budget and the PowerPoint presentation from all annual meetings is on the 6TD's website.
 
While we work cooperatively with the City and use our relationships as much as we can, the 6TD has no oversight of The Department of Public Works, road repairs, City-provided recycling services, the Police Dept. or the school system.
Sidewalk and Road Safety Improvement Projects in Rowayton
The 6TD knows that many of our residents would appreciate having more sidewalks and footpaths as well as better maintenance of the existing ones. This is a complicated issue as (1) this is in the jurisdiction of the City and not the 6TD; (2) many of our roads are very narrow and (3) State law requires that the property abutter be responsible for maintenance of the walkway. This was discussed extensively at a public 6TD July 2018 meeting (link to the video on the 6TD’s website).
The 6TD is working with the City to improve the situation. After several years of discussion as well as the circulation of a petition (with 300+ signatures), the City has proposed to spend $80,000 on engineering work for sidewalks along Hunt/Witch as well as a section of Rowayton Avenue. This is a key step in the process and this work will determine what is feasible.
In addition, the 6TD has a project to improve pedestrian and vehicular safety in the area of the entry to Bayley Beach. We started by moving the fence off the road and cleaning out garbage, debris and dead trees. We removed the Wee Burn stone gates at the request of the RBA to improve the sight lines and functionality of our sidewalk. The sidewalk is planned to run along Pine Point Road and down the driveway to the actual entrance of Bayley Beach. This is part of a safety improvement and traffic calming plan for the area.  The new sidewalk is also meant to be an anchor to a larger project that we hope the City will consider along Roton Avenue such that residents would be able to walk to Bayley Beach safely on a sidewalk.
 
The 6TD’s sidewalk/intersection improvement plan is on hold for now as the Board of Directors for Roton Point insist on having a vote of its members to approve the plan – this is on hold until after the pandemic is behind us. The City has told us this has to be completed as one project – the sidewalk installation and the intersection improvement. Otherwise, we could have installed the sidewalk now and worked on the intersection after the vote. The project has City Hall approval and is fully funded in the 6TD’s 2020/21 budget.
Promoting Town events/causes
There has been much talk about the Old School Fence and what can and can't be posted on the fence. Prior to the pandemic the Sixth Taxing District worked with all local Rowayton non-profit organizations to develop guidelines for lawn signs, the Banner across the Avenue, the Old School Fence, and this very e-blast you are reading. We met, we debated and we drafted guidelines we all approved. Read full set of guidelines here. Please reach out if you have any questions.
Next Door Rowayton
Next Door is a for profit social media platform that develops walled communities for local neighborhoods. Rowayton is a neighborhood with 4500 people, plus adjoining neighborhoods in Norwalk and Darien. Many times things posted on Next Door Rowayton are from people not living in town.
The 6TD has nothing to do with Next Door Rowayton...we might occasionally post announcements to make residents aware of something, but we do not monitor NDR or use it as an official means of communication.
There are several local monitors who try to make sure that conversations stay civil. But like other social platforms, conversations can include misinformation, opinions that are not facts, and links to sites that have no credibility. Please keep this in mind when engaging.
Route 136 Re-Paving is underway
The Connecticut Department of Transportation has begun a milling and resurfacing project on Route 136 in Darien and Norwalk. The project consists of milling and resurfacing 2.32 miles of Route 136 in Darien and Norwalk.  This project is scheduled to occur Sunday, August 23, 2020 through Tuesday, September 15, 2020.  The milling segment of this project has been completed and the resurfacing segment of this project is anticipated to be performed on Tuesday, September 1, 2020 through Tuesday, September 15, 2020.
No work will occur from 5:00 a.m. on Friday, September 4, 2020 through 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, September 8, 2020.
The 6TD has been informed that the State will not be addressing footpaths/sidewalks along Route 136 even though we asked many times. In addition, we did notify the City about the mislayed new catch basin in the middle of the footpath opposite the United Church. We have been told that all questions, concerns, etc., should be directed to the ConnDOT Public Relations Officer, Mr. Richard Porter at (860) 597-3057 or via email: richard.porter@ct.gov
Water Restrictions
The City of Norwalk has declared a Water Emergency and is asking residents and businesses to conserve water after what officials said was ongoing high temperatures and no significant rainfall. City officials, South Norwalk Electric and Water and the First District Water Department request residents reduce or eliminate non-essential water use. A range of activities are no longer allowed and irrigation systems can only run twice a week. More information is available at https://www.norwalkct.org/CivicAlerts.aspx?AID=1988
The 6TD's twice weekly summer garbage pick up has now ended. We are now back to once a week pickup -- either Monday or Tuesday depending on where you live.
 
Due to the Labor Day holiday, everyone's garbage and recycling pickup will be one day later this coming week. Thus, Monday pick up will be on Tuesday and Tuesday pick up will be on Wednesday.
 
The 6TD's yard waste pick up continues on Wednesdays (except for this coming week when it will be suspended due to the holiday). If you have excess or overly large yard waste debris due to Storm Isaias, the 6TD's contractor will be calling the City of Norwalk for a one time pickup. This will likely occur this week so have your debris out sooner rather than later.
If you want to get in touch with The 6TD please reply to this email or send to info@rowayton6td.com
Thank you Don!
The Sixth Taxing District would like to thank Don Wilson for 27 years of Service as the Beach Director at Bayley Beach. Don will be retiring after the 2020 summer season. He has been fixture at Bayley since 1988 and he will be impossible to replace.
For those that don't know Don prior to his running Bayley Beach, he has quite an impressive resume. Born and raised in Bethlehem, PA, he played D1 basketball at Penn State against some of the biggest names that ended up in the NBA. After college he moved to Norwalk to be Math Teacher and worked at Brian McMahon for 36 years. While there he was involved with many sports including tennis head coach for 22 years. Don also had a hand in starting several of the youth sports programs in town. See a great profile of him from The Norwalk Hour in 2012.
We thank Don for keeping order at Bayley Beach for all of these years and we wish you well in retirement.
Bayley Beach Post Labor Day
With the official end of the summer season, Bayley Beach is in transition. With our Beach Director, Don Wilson, leaving shortly, we will have gate guard and lifeguard coverage only on weekends in September. The food concession, Di’s Sea Shanty, plans to remain open as long as there is business – especially on the weekends.
 
We expect all users of Bayley to continue to adhere to social/physical distancing protocols while at the beach. The playground, basketball and volleyball courts remain closed. If these rules cannot be observed, we would have to consider closing the beach like we did this spring.
 
Things to Do, Fundraisers, and Events around Town
Rowayton Arts Center
Next up at the Rowayton Arts Center (RAC) is the popular Marine & Coastal show beginning September 13, with opening day hours from 4 to 6 pm. Normal gallery hours will then resume through next summer: Tuesday through Friday from 12 pm to 5 pm and Saturday from 10 am to 1 pm. Also, view recent shows in RAC’s online gallery at racgallery.carbonmade.com
 
RAC offers a full slate of adult art classes both online and in studio starting September. Two classes will be held in the RAC classroom: “Mixed Media and Collage” and “The Art of the Knife.” The rest will be held online via Zoom: oil painting, watercolor and drawing, plus portraiture. New this season is music appreciation among others.
 
RAC will also arrange a weekly private 1.5 hour class for groups of children of aged six and above. You'll have your own instructor, curriculum, tons of fun supplies, and a safe environment for kids to be creative. Another option for adults is Paint and Sip parties for small groups in our studio ($45 per person). Email Education Director Suzy Aubrey if interested in the above at education@rowaytonarts.org.
To review the entire schedule, visit rowaytonarts.org/education. For other information, visit rowaytonarts.org and follow @rowaytonarts.
The Lighthouse Run for Greens Ledge Light
We've gotten the OK for this year's race, scheduled for Saturday, September 26. We've added protocols used at other races this summer to ensure that runners and volunteers remain safe during the time of COVID-19, so please come join us for the third edition of this sunset race, and support the work of restoring this local icon. Click here to sign up.
If you don't want to run/walk, please consider donating for the continuing preservation of Greens Ledge. Visit our website to see the latest photos from all of the spectacular work that has been done. And HERE is our latest newsletter.
Rowayton Library Events
Unfortunately the Library was unable to hold the Father's Daughter Ball or The Apres Summer fundraisers this year. To raise some much needed funds, and to add some fun events to town, we are having two socially distant events in October.
Location - Lawn in front of Rowayton Library
Time: 11 - 3
50 Teams Max - First Come First Serve
Seeding rounds
Double Elimination - minimum 4 games played by all teams
Bottomless Red Solo Cup
Food Truck will be on site
Cost - $105/team
Prizes for 1st, 2nd and 3rd place teams - and bragging rights!
Sign Up HERE - Remember first 50 teams get in.
While playing teams will be required to wear masks. We will have tented areas 10 feet apart for players to use their red solo cup and hang out while not playing.
October 24 - First Annual Rowayton Scavenger Hunt
This event was supposed to take place in the Spring. We have adjusted all clues so that we follow social distant protocol. A great Fall family event to run around Rowayton and answering fun questions about the town you live in.
Time: 12-3
50 Teams Max - First Come First Serve
Teams - 2-6 participants
Start and Finish - Rowayton Library Court Yard
Clues - 20-25 questions about Rowayton
Cost - $100/Team
Prizes for 1st, 2nd and 3rd place teams.
Start getting your teams together...sign-ups will start in a few weeks.
Save the date for a presentation you won’t want to miss: Thursday October 8 at 7pm
College Admissions expert Peter Van Buskirk returns to Brien
McMahon to provide insight and guidance in the college
application process during this challenging time. Presentation will be via Zoom. To register visit: www.senatorssuccessfund.org
For more information on Peter visit: www.bestcollegefit.com
As with all other events and gatherings, our summer and fall fundraisers had to be canceled due to COVID-19. These events generate the majority of our donations. Your donations help keep our equipment up-to-date, train our members, and overall keep our community safe.
In our fundraising efforts, we have opened up a squad locker store that will enable you to become a Rowayton Fire Department Supporter.
Rowayton Turkey Trot 2020 is (virtually) on!
Our Trot has become a great Thanksgiving tradition, and this year will be no different. 
We are hosting our event virtually. Run or walk the 5k or 1mile route anytime from the Saturday before, thru 12pm on Thanksgiving. Routes will be marked, and you will be able to post your 5k time on our website to share and brag with your family and friends. If friends and family cannot be here this year, they can register to run a 5k route anywhere in the US, and also post their times on our website.
Entry fees or donations will as always go to benefit local Not for Profits, who have been hard hit this year by COVID.
For more details and registration, please visit rowaytonturkeytrot.com
Thank you for keeping our tradition alive!
The Raymond Boathouse in Pinkney Park has a new entrance!
Enormous thanks to Rowayton resident Pamela Proctor and Mike Mushak of Tulip Tree Site Design for their generous donations of design, energy, materials, and time to create this beautiful new entrance to the Boathouse. Come down and take a look.
We had hoped to open our new maritime museum at the Raymond Boathouse over Memorial Day weekend, but due to COVID 19, the date had to be postponed. Work continues on the museum which will host exhibits on local oystering families, hurricanes, ship builders, sailing heroes, Native Americans and maritime disasters and much more. The space will also feature a permanent exhibit on the ecological history of the Five Mile River, highlighting the flora, fauna and marine life that flourish in our waters.
The Frank E. Raymond Maritime Museum was built for publisher George Palmer Putnam who owned a summer estate on Rowayton Avenue from 1861 to 1867. Although a resident of Rowayton for only a short time, Putnam’s indelible influence here can still be felt today. We invite our community to support this effort and share their stories of life on the Long Island Sound. Donations towards the renovation of the Boathouse may be sent to the RHS at PO Box 106, Rowayton, 06853 or through PayPal. 
In the interim, the Pinkney Museum will remain closed until we know it's safe to allow visitors again. If you would like to be added to our email list to learn about virtual events as well as news of our reopening, please email us at info@rowaytonhistoricalsociety.org
Feed it Forward
101 is open for take out and continuing to send one meal for 185 people per week to The Open Door Shelter in Norwalk. 
Please help us continue to serve our customers safely by wearing a mask when ordering in person and picking up, and please consider donating from our web site to fund the 185 person meal we are sending weekly to Open Doors . Thank you for your continued support!  The McGee Family.
Pick Up Softball
Anybody looking for a pick up softball game? A group of guys have been playing the last several years on Sunday morning from 8:15 - 10:30 on the Softball Field right off of McKinley Street.
Fast (ish) pitch, limited flight balls, wood bats...safe, not super serious and a fun time.
First game will be Monday, September 7, Labor Day and we are looking to play through the end of October. A small fee is collected to cover the cost of the balls, water, and umpire.
We are looking to expand our pool of players and if you are interested please reach out to Ryan Wilson.