Charter Oak earns top ranking among CT credit unions for satisfaction, trust, services, and advice

            Waterford, CT – July 18, 2018 – Charter Oak Federal Credit Union has been named the “Best In State” credit union for all of Connecticut in the first-ever Forbes Media nationwide survey of the best financial institutions.

            Charter Oak received the top honor based on a number of criteria, including overall recommendations and satisfaction, as well as trust, terms and conditions, branch services, digital services and financial advice.

            “We’re honored and proud to be named by Forbes as the ‘Best In State’ credit union,” said Brian A. Orenstein, Charter Oak’s President and Chief Executive Officer. “We've worked very hard to deliver the best service we can to our members and provide them with the best products of any financial institution serving our marketplace,” he said. “So it’s very gratifying that the survey participants strongly agreed by awarding us this prestigious honor,” Orenstein said.

            This is the third top survey honor that Charter Oak has earned during 2018. Earlier this year, Charter Oak was awarded “Best Credit Union” in The Day Publishing Co.’s annual “Readers’ Choice” survey and Charter Oak was also named “Best Credit Union” in The (Norwich) Bulletin newspaper’s annual “Best Of” readership survey.

            The nationwide online Forbes survey awarded its “Best In State” honors to only 145 credit unions across the country, which represents only 2.5 percent of the more than 5,800 credit unions in the United States. Forbes partnered with the market research firm Statista to produce the magazine’s first-ever look at the best-in-state credit unions and banks. The top credit unions and banks in every state were chosen based on an independent survey from a sample of more than 25,000 U.S. citizens spread across the country who have, or had, a checking account with the financial institution being surveyed.

            Overall, the nation’s credit unions scored higher than banks in the survey, with a ranking of 80 percent (based on a score from 0 to 100) compared to banks’ rating of 75.2 percent. Charter Oak’s ranking in the “Best In State” survey was 83 percent, the highest of any of the other Connecticut credit unions ranked by the survey.

            Charter Oak is eastern Connecticut’s largest credit union with assets of $1.08 billion as of March 31, 2018. Charter Oak offers an expansive and convenient network of 16 branches serving New London and Windham counties, providing one of the largest and most convenient branch networks of any financial institution serving eastern Connecticut. For more information about Charter Oak’s broad range of products and services, please visit any of our convenient branches, or visit our website at CharterOak.org, or contact our Call Center at 860.446.8085 or 800.962.3237. Federally insured by NCUA. Equal Housing Lender.

Charter Oak Federal Credit Union is like a bank, just better! We’ve been proudly serving eastern Connecticut since 1939 and we offer great checking, deposit, lending, insurance and investment products. And because we’re a credit union, we’re owned by our members, not by shareholders. So we can offer lower rates on loans and higher rates on deposits. It’s easy to become a Charter Oak member: simply live, work, worship, learn, or volunteer in New London or Windham counties. So join today and see why Members Bank Better at Charter Oak!



Stonington residents overwhelmingly approve Perkins Farm tax break

Published July 17. 2018 9:51PM | Updated July 17. 2018 10:17PM

By Joe Wojtas   Day staff writer

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Stonington — Residents at Tuesday night’s town meeting overwhelmingly approved a tax break worth more than $1.3 million to the developer of the first phase of the proposed $70 million Perkins Farm project in Mystic.

Under the terms of the so-called fixed assessment, local developer David Lattizori would agree to invest $16.3 million in phase one, which calls for 121 upscale apartments.

Despite criticism of the plan on social media in recent days, the majority of those speaking at the town meeting supported the plan, saying it will help Lattizori offset some of the large infrastructure and other upfront costs he has expended over the past several years and pave the way for the second and third phases.

Phase 2 of the project calls for townhouse condominiums, and Phase 3 calls for a medical, research and office complex on the 70-acre site, which is off Jerry Browne Road across from the Stone Ridge retirement community. Phase 3 is proposed to create hundreds of permanent jobs.

Lattizori told the crowd gathered in the Stonington High School auditorium that his family has owned the property since 1999 and was approached three years ago by a Stone Ridge resident who wanted to see the highest and best use of the land as opposed to the residential subdivision that had been approved.

“We’re not out-of-touch, out-of-town developers. We grew up here,” he said about him and his sister. “We have a chance to reinvest in the town we call home. Three years ago, we took a huge risk to do something other than single-family homes.”

He said he has held countless meetings to discuss his plans with residents, incorporated their suggestions and received unanimous approval from all town commissions.

“This town said there is a need for this type of development,” he said.

Lattizori pointed out that the plan calls for preserving 50 percent of the site as open space. This part of the property is considered the most valuable because it borders Jerry Browne Road but residents wanted the rural character of the street preserved.

This means Lattizori will have to incur additional costs to extend a road, water, sewers and other infrastructure to the rear of the property along Interstate 95.

“When we put in the infrastructure, this will become one of the most valuable properties in Mystic,” he said.

Dr. Gene Winchester said he had been working with Lattizori to secure medical tenants for Phase 3 and so far there has been tremendous interest, as Mystic is seen as a very desirable market.

Other speakers said tenants will be attracted by the fact that the town “has skin in the game” by approving the tax breaks.

Economic Development Commission Chairman Dave Hammond said Lattizori already has borne sizeable unanticipated costs throughout the approval process. Local businessman and former Planning and Zoning Commission Chairman Chuck Sneddon called Lattizori and his father, who had tried to develop the site in the past, “gentlemen of the first order” who “conduct themselves with honor” and do what say they will do.

“This doesn’t cost you anything. The taxes will go up every year for seven years to where it becomes the highest taxpayer in the town,” he said.

Representatives of the Stone Ridge retirement community, located across the street from the site, the Greater Mystic Chamber of Commerce and Olde Mistick Village all spoke in favor of the project.

“Mr. Lattizori has gone above and beyond to make sure this project is done right,” said Peggy Roberts, the president of the Greater Mystic Chamber of Commerce. “It sends a signal that Stonington embraces well-planned, healthy growth.”

A few speakers questioned giving tax breaks to a residential project that does not create jobs, the length of the tax breaks and offering them to a developer when the town is struggling to pay for equipment and may have to invest more in the school renovation project for PCB remediation.

Over a seven-year period, the building’s assessment, which is 70 percent of the fair market value, would be fixed at $11.4 million. This would normally produce an annual tax payment to the town of $259,334 a year based on the current tax rate of 22.68 mills. The agreement calls for Lattizori to pay a sliding scale of taxes on the building that begin in year one at 7 percent, or $18,153. The tax payment would increase 7 percent a year to 49 percent, or $127,071, in year seven.

In total, Lattizori would pay $508,295 in taxes on the building over the seven years, compared to the $1,815,341 he would pay without the tax break.

The agreement also calls for Lattizori to pay the full tax bill on the 71 acres of land and infrastructure improvements, which is estimated at $83,412 a year over seven years for a total of $583,887.

Between the land and the apartment building, Lattizori would pay $1,092,183 over seven years. It is estimated the completed project eventually will produce about $1.3 million a year in tax revenue for the town.

First Selectman Rob Simmons has pointed out that over the past 30 years, the town has approved similar tax plans, which are allowed under state law, for the former MAN Roland development, Davis Standard, Dekalb Plant Genetics, Lapham-Hickey Steel Corp., Quaimbog Professional Building, Zachry Nuclear Inc. and Threadmill Apartments. Only the Threadmill is a residential project.



COMO’s Annual Village Fair Offers Summer Fun for All Ages

66 Years of Community Summer Tradition


With summer in full swing, the Stonington Community Center (COMO) staff are busy preparing for another fantastic fair day, and they need your help!

The Annual Stonington Village Fair is a regional time-honored tradition that draws thousands annually. Residents and tourists alike, generations of families and friends come together to enjoy a quintessential New England festival. Join us at the Stonington Borough Green at Wadawanuck Square on Saturday, Aug. 4th for a fun-filled day of games, music, sweet bread sale, food, crafts and more for people of all interests and ages. Whether your perfect afternoon consists of relishing an overfilled New England-style cold lobster roll and perusing artisanal craft vendors, or enjoying live music as the kids delight in fun fair games- there is something for everyone at the Village Fair! This year’s fair, presented in part by Gold Sponsor Valenti Family of Dealerships, will be open between the hours of 11 a.m. and 4 p.m.

The COMO can’t pull off this great event, which serves as a major fundraising event for the community nonprofit, without the assistance of generous volunteers who give their time in support of this popular community event.

Looking for a different way to get involved with this festive summer tradition? Volunteer! The COMO has volunteer shifts available Saturday, August 4th between the hours of 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.. From set-up, games, concessions, book sale, ticket sales, and Fair break-down, it truly takes a village to make this beloved event run smoothly. Gather a group of friends or family and make a fun event of it!

All proceeds of the Annual Stonington Village Fair benefit the Stonington Community Center, a nonprofit organization dedicated to strengthening families and community since 1945. For more information or to register to volunteer at the fair, visit www.thecomo.org or call the COMO at 860.535.2476.

About The Stonington Community Center

The Stonington Community Center, fondly known as the COMO, was founded on April 1, 1946 as a nonprofit with the goals of strengthening families and community. The first COMO programs included high school aged basketball, junior baseball teams, arts and crafts classes, teenage weekend dances and more. Over the years the COMO’s 16 acre campus has grown to include its own classrooms, Thrift Shop, four decoTurf tennis courts, art and pottery studio, annex, paddle tennis facility, and soccer fields. The COMO provides a wide range of educational, enrichment, athletic, family and community partnership programs throughout the year. Located at 28 Cutler Street, the Stonington Community Center has become an irreplaceable part of the Stonington community, serving countless children and families of the surrounding areas, regardless of financial need. For more information visit www.thecomo.org.




Groton Rotary Club Installs New Officers


GROTON – Richard Kent, Jr. will serve as president of the Groton Rotary Club for the 2018-19 Rotary year.  He succeeds Gary Weale.

Rotary District 7980 Governor Larry Gardner was present to swear in all Club officers, board members and foundation members. The event was held at a special dinner meeting held at the Shennecossett Yacht Club.

Other installed officers are: Frank Winkler, president-elect; Michael Whitehouse, vice president; Jackie Massett, secretary; and Lea Doran, treasurer.

At large members of the Board of Directors are: John Silsby, Greg Thevenet, John Scott, R.B. Kent, Lian Obrey, Bill Anhalt, and Paul McGuirk.  All club officers also serve as Board members. They are, Kent, Jr., Winkler, Whitehouse, Doran, Massett, and Weale, as past president.

Installed members of the Groton Rotary Foundation Board are Lee Vincent, chair; Bo Bohannon, Dave Brown and Ralph Alezi.

The Groton Rotary Club meets from 12:00 – 1:00 p.m. each Tuesday of the month at the Octagon Restaurant in the Mystic Marriott Hotel on Route 117 in Groton.

The Groton Rotary Club raises funds throughout the year to help finance grants to local non-profit organizations and to fund scholar awards to students at Fitch Senior High School, the Ella T. Grasso Southeastern Technical High School and the Marine Science Magnet High School in Groton.

Grants to local non-profit organizations during the past year, including:

- a $10,000grant to the Groton Little League to help fund new lights at Calvin Burrows Field;

- a grant of $1,200 for an AED defibrillator at the Groton Congregational Church;   -a $750 grant to the Bill Memorial Library a children’s learning system;

- a $750 grant to Sea-Legs program for safety and enjoyment of boating; and

- a $500 grant to the Fitch High School Falcon Robotics Club to a buy a kit to extend the high school robotics program to middle and elementary students..

The Groton Rotary Club also sponsors two dinners each year at the Groton Senior Center and clean-ups on Thomas Road at Birch Plain Creek.

The Groton Rotary Club is a community organization dedicated to the theme, “Service Above Self”, and welcomes new members. Persons interested in joining the club should visit the Club’s web site at grotonrotary.org or contact a local Rotarian.  A list of Rotary Club members is on the web site. You may also contact Club President Richard Kent, Jr. by e-mailing him at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. 

For further information contact:
Frank E. Winkler, 
Public Relations Committee
Groton Rotary Club
Telephone: (860) 446-4095
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.



Concerts in the park logo 2018


Jay Dempsey Band photo

Jay Dempsey Band Featured Next at Concerts in the Park

Come hear the music play!

GROTON – The Jay Dempsey Band featuring country music at its best will be featured at the 2018 Concerts in the Park season, on Friday, July 20, at 6:30 p.m. in Washington Park in the City of Groton.

Jay's country band features some seasoned players from "Highway Call" & "High Times." Returning to the lineup are veterans Jim Pavelski on drums, Don Hemmer on pedal steel, electric guitar, Chuck Davis on bass & vocals and the talented Phred Mileski on vocals and keyboards.

Jay's 2018 show includes some well-known traditional country tunes, featuring the pedal steel guitar, Texas Country, Southern rock and some favorite country contemporary radio hits. The band recently performed the Mohegan Sun 2018 BBQ Festival, the Taste of Mystic and North Stonington Fair.  A free, family fun City of Groton Concert not to be missed!

Groton Utilities and the City of Groton Parks and Recreation Department co-sponsor and co-produce the concert series.

The remaining concerts are July 27, 9Teen, and August 17, Souls on Fire.

Joe Presti provides sound production for all concerts.

You can also check out the complete Concerts in the Park 2018 schedule during the season on Groton Utilities’ web site at grotonutilities.com and the City’s web site at cityofgroton.com.

For concert information or cancellation notices, call 860-446-4129, the concert hotline.

Food is available on site.  The Groton Little League operates the concession stand.

The concerts are designed to be especially appealing to families for a fun, inexpensive night out. Spectators are encouraged to bring their families and perhaps a picnic supper.  The concert site also has sufficient room on the basketball court for dancing.


Frank E. Winkler
Concerts in the Park 2018
(860) 446-4095
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.