Zoom Room, power tools head list of Shelton COVID relief fund spending

Exterior of Shelton City Hall, in Shelton, Conn. Jan. 11, 2021.

Exterior of Shelton City Hall, in Shelton, Conn. Jan. 11, 2021.

Ned Gerard / Hearst Connecticut Media

SHELTON — City Hall will soon be able to host multiple meetings at one time — something not available to city boards and commissions since the onset of the pandemic a year ago.

The Board of Aldermen at its hybrid meeting Thursday voted to allow Mayor Mark Lauretti to spend $350,621 in COVID-19 relief funding received from the state Office of Policy and Management in December.

The COVID-19 relief monies have limitations imposed by the state and federal government.

Lauretti said a portion of the funds will be used for large screen televisions for the City Hall auditorium and Room 104, which has always been used for board and commission meetings. Two other offices will also have televisions installed but they haven’t been chosen yet.

The two rooms would be “Zoom” rooms, according to city Information Systems Manager Dan Bednarsky.

“The goal is to be able to hold more than one meeting simultaneously,” Bednarsky said. “We are going to get with the times with virtual meetings.”

Lauretti said the city is also spending $18,000 on a large catering tent for the Shelton Senior Center. The tent will allow major events — such as the Flag Day ceremony, which had to be postponed last year — to be held outside.

Other purchases, according to Lauretti, will include additional power tools, since, before the pandemic, city workers would share tools. Workers work alone now, Lauretti said, and the city needs to purchase more tools.

Lauretti said the city is also considering purchasing vans to aid the Shelton School Transportation Services with transporting students if necessary.

Municipalities are required to spend the COVID-19 relief funds before Dec. 31, 2021.