West Haven beaches reopening Friday after New Haven sewage spill
WEST HAVEN, July 9, 2020 — Health Director Maureen B. Lillis said the city’s 3 miles of public beaches can reopen Friday, after water quality samples tested in the wake of this week’s New Haven sewage spill were “within acceptable limits.”
“I just received the beach water results back from the samples we took yesterday after the sewage spill,” Lillis said. “All results are within acceptable limits, and the beaches can reopen Friday.”
The samples were collected along the West Haven shoreline Wednesday and tested by the state Department of Public Health in Rocky Hill.
More than 2 million gallons of raw sewage spilled into New Haven’s Mill River and Long Island Sound on Tuesday, forcing West Haven officials to close beaches until water quality tests were deemed safe by the DPH.
Beach parking reminders issued
WEST HAVEN, July 9, 2020 — Motorists are once again reminded about the city’s beach parking policy.
Due to COVID-19 restrictions limiting the capacity of beach lots, parking is for West Haven residents only until further notice.
The city’s new beach stickers, which take effect Monday, are only valid if affixed to the inside lower left corner of the vehicle’s windshield. Stickers are required at all times, regardless if parking lots are staffed, said Mark E. Paine Jr., the director of the Department of Parks and Recreation.
Violators are subject to a $100 fine, Paine said.
All parking meters are out of service until further notice.
According to Paine, parking lot constables may not accept parking fees or, as of Monday, check driver’s licenses or motor vehicle registrations.
West Haven residents who own their vehicles and are current on their motor vehicle taxes should have received the 2020-22 beach stickers in the mail with their tax bills. Those who lease their vehicles should have also received the stickers in a separate mailing.
Delinquent taxpayers are not eligible for the free stickers, which expire June 30, 2022, until their motor vehicle taxes are paid, city officials said.
Beach stickers are for new, leased and military-exempt vehicles, including motorcycles. A “new” vehicle means it was registered in West Haven after Oct. 1, 2019. Commercial vehicles are excluded.
Each sticker includes the vehicle’s license plate number printed on it and is nontransferable.
Anyone who did not receive a beach sticker or has recently purchased a new vehicle registered in West Haven can contact the tax office at 203-937-3525 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
For beach sticker information, call the tax office at 203-937-3525.
P&Z holding public hearings online
WEST HAVEN, July 9, 2020 — The Planning and Zoning Commission will resume its public hearing schedule remotely, using videoconference software by Cisco Webex, Chairwoman Kathleen Hendricks announced.
The commission will hold its first virtual meeting at 7 p.m. Tuesday.
Hendricks said the commission has been unable to meet since March 16, when City Hall was closed until further notice due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Based on executive orders issued by Gov. Ned Lamont, and with assistance from City Hall resources, she said the commission can now hold meetings online, with people participating by logging in by computer or calling in by phone.
“The commission has been concerned that applications have been submitted months ago and we have been unable to review them,” Hendricks said. “By moving forward now, we are hopeful we can keep businesses going in West Haven.”
Mayor Nancy R. Rossi agreed, saying, “It is time for us to move forward with this aspect of the city’s business.”
Tuesday’s agenda contains two main items: the continuation of a February hearing for an application to continue a used car dealership at 456 Derby Ave., and the hearing of a proposed text change application by the commission to define the approval process for applications within the Center’s newly established Village District.
People can participate in the meeting at https://cityofwesthaven.webex.com/cityofwesthaven/j.php?MTID=md5ed10f7428119df0d11be0aee8577b9. Click on “Join Meeting,” making sure the microphone is muted. The meeting host will instruct participants to unmute themselves when public comments are requested.
Anyone without computer access can use the meeting’s call-in number, 1-408-418-9388. At the prompt, enter the following meeting number, or access code: 129 739 7754.
The West Haven tax office’s new window service features large tents and a plywood staging area, along with a plywood ramp and walkway, on the Campbell Avenue side of City Hall to give taxpayers access to three windows to pay their taxes. The next-door assessor’s office has also been outfitted with a window as part of a smaller staging area and tent to allow staff to assist residents with services. (City Photo/Michael P. Walsh)
West Haven offers new window service to pay tax bills
WEST HAVEN, June 23, 2020 — The tax office rolled out a new window service at City Hall on June 23, Mayor Nancy R. Rossi and Tax Collector Dorothy Chambrelli announced.
The window service allows the tax office to offer in-person payments for the first time since March 16, when City Hall was closed until further notice due to the coronavirus pandemic, said Lou Esposito, Rossi’s executive assistant.
Esposito said the city has erected large tents and constructed a plywood staging area, along with a plywood ramp and walkway, on the Campbell Avenue side of City Hall to give taxpayers access to three windows to pay their taxes.
The payment windows are serviced by tax office personnel and equipped with protective plastic glass to shield both employees and taxpayers, Esposito said.
Current taxes can be paid by check, credit card, debit card or money order at the windows or by the drop box — check or money order — at the Main Street entrance of City Hall. No cash is accepted until further notice, city officials said.
Taxpayers who have cash can go to a bank of their choice to obtain a money order or certified check.
Taxpayers can also make a payment at Tax Collector. Sewer bills are on the same page but under a separate heading. Tax payment history can also be viewed and printed.
The fees for credit cards and electronic checks are available at Tax Collector Payments.
Current taxes can also be paid by mail — check or money order, no cash — to the tax office lockbox: City of West Haven, Tax Collector, P.O. Box 150461, Hartford, CT 06115-0461. When paying by lockbox or drop box, the canceled check is the receipt.
The assessor’s office, which is next door to the tax office on the same side of City Hall, has also been outfitted with a window as part of a smaller staging area and tent to allow staff to assist residents with services.
While waiting in both lines, taxpayers must wear face masks and socially distance by staying at least 6 feet apart at all times, Health Director Maureen B. Lillis said.
West Haven tax bills — real estate, personal property, motor vehicle and sewer — have been mailed and are payable in two installments: July and January. Bills $100 or less are payable in full.
Each tax bill, which is sent out once a year, has three parts: a payment coupon for July, payment coupon for January and payment coupon for taxpayers’ records.
Taxes are due July 1. Payments after Aug. 3 are considered delinquent and subject to interest, Chambrelli said.
After Aug. 3, taxes with interest can be paid by mail to the City of West Haven, Tax Collector, P.O. Box 401, West Haven, CT 06516.
Thanks to the city’s COVID-19 relief ordinance, delinquent taxes remaining due and payable from April 1 are subject to a reduced interest rate of 3% per year for 90 days from April 1. New taxes due July 1 will have a 30-day grace period and in the event they are paid late will also qualify for a reduced interest rate for 90 days.