The project will include three public meetings:
Public Meeting 1: Project "Kick Off"
Over 40 people attended the project kick off meeting held at Camp Niantic on Monday evening, September 14, 2015. Attendees were welcomed by Colonel Gerald Lukowski Jr., who provided introductory comments regarding the CTARNG, its proud history and its current deployments throughout the world. More details regarding the specific operations and contributions of Camp Niantic and Stones Ranch were provided by Lt Colonel Joseph D’anao II.
These were followed by a detailed presentation by the project consultant, including a description of the Joint Land Use program, the project’s management organization and schedule, an overview of all compatibility factors and, most important, opportunities for the public to offer ideas, comments, insights and suggestions during the project. Attendees were asked to submit answers to a select group of questions via electronic polling devices, with results being tabulated and displayed in real time.
Following these presentations, attendees participated in an informal “issues” exercise where members of the project’s Policy Committee guided open discussions focused on issues of concern to participants. Maps of the subject facilities and their environs were provided, as well as comment cards. Attendees were also encouraged to visit the project web page and sign up for email notifications, as well as to submit comments directly via the link provided on the web page.
Topics discussed included environmental concerns, noise, flight safety, land use, communications and others. Many participants indicated that they would follow the project’s progress and continue to provide input.
Public Meeting 2: Interim Findings and Preliminary Recommendations
The focus of the second public meeting was a presentation of the interim findings, including the results of data collection and analysis, information about existing and anticipated future conflicts between community development and military operations, proposed strategies to mitigate and/or eliminate identified conflicts, and other preliminary recommendations. Public comments were solicited with emphasis on the implementation strategies.
While the meeting included a formal presentation, it also included a less formal component. This more casual approach encouraged participation by allowing attendees to move about and engage freely in smaller groups or individually, accessing as much or as little information as they want. In addition, it also provided for casual non¬threatening opportunities for participants to engage in conversation with Committee members, project staff and each other.
Public Meeting 3: Final Draft Recommendations
Prior to the JLUS Policy Committee and participating jurisdictions taking any formal actions, the consultant will present the final draft JLUS report, including recommendations and an Implementation Plan to the public. The purpose of this event is to solicit final public input to be considered by the Policy Committee for possible Report amendments prior to presentation to the respective governments for formal consideration and endorsement. Due to the nature of this event, it is anticipated that its format will necessarily be more structured and formal, with comments being documented so they can be catalogued, evaluated, and where deemed appropriate, addressed through final edits to the final JLUS.