City Notes
Savin Rock Festival offers 4 days of bands, food, fun

Elements, "the ultimate Earth, Wind & Fire tribute," are headlining the 36th annual Savin Rock Festival at 8:30 p.m. July 29 in Old Grove Park, performing a deluge of hits spanning the musical genres of rhythm and blues, soul, funk, disco, pop and rock. (Publicity Photo)

Savin Rock Festival offers 4 days of bands, food, fun

WEST HAVEN, July 13, 2017 — Elements, “the ultimate Earth, Wind & Fire tribute,” will headline the 36th annual Savin Rock Festival, performing a deluge of hits spanning the musical genres of rhythm and blues, soul, funk, disco, pop and rock.

The event, which pays homage to the legacy of Savin Rock Park, will also feature its second beer garden — complete with live music — since the festival began in 1982.

The four-day festival will kick off July 27 in Old Grove Park with a midway of games, rides and music — and, of course, boatloads of mouthwatering seafood.

It will open at 5 p.m. with welcoming remarks from Mayor Edward M. O’Brien and the national anthem sung by Caitlin Morrissey.

Santana tribute group Sacred Fire will perform at 5:15 p.m., followed by party rock band The RumRunners at 7:15 p.m.

The festival, sponsored by the University of New Haven, is July 27, 5-9 p.m.; July 28, 5-10 p.m.; and July 29-30, noon-10 p.m.

Marenna Amusements will offer wristbands for unlimited rides for $30, 24 tickets for $24 and 12 tickets for $10. Otherwise, tickets cost $1 each.

On July 28, Turbulence, “Connecticut’s favorite party band,” will perform at 5 p.m., followed by the History of Rock & Soul Starring Pauly and the Goodfellas at 8:30 p.m.

Pauly and the Goodfellas, “the ultimate show from the gangstas of soul,” is “North America’s premier musical comedy adventure,” said concert promoter Mark Gravino, owner of EastWest Productions LLC of East Haven.

A number of civic and fraternal organizations and nonprofit groups will have informational booths set up, and the food court will have a row of area vendors serving up the fare — fried seafood, split hot dogs, frozen custard — that catapulted old Savin Rock to notoriety as “the Coney Island of Connecticut.”

On July 29, the West Haven High School dance team and the Top Hat Dance Academy will perform at noon and 12:15 p.m., respectively, followed by alternative rock group Clockwork at 1 p.m. and country cover band Boondocks at 2:30 p.m.

Rubber City, powered by a horn section that rivals such bands as Chicago and Tower of Power, will go on at 4 p.m., followed by “music that’ll move ya’” by Ball in the House at 5:30 p.m.

At 8:30 p.m., Elements will re-create the sounds and sensations of Earth, Wind & Fire, the critically acclaimed ’70s and ’80s group that was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2000.

“Get your feet ready,” Gravino said, “for a 90-minute show anchored by a 12-piece band and laced with such timeless classics as ‘September,’ ‘Can’t Hide Love,’ ‘Boogie Wonderland’ and ‘Fantasy.’”

If it rains, Pauly and the Goodfellas and Elements will play in the West Haven High auditorium, 1 McDonough Plaza.

On July 30, Simply Dance will perform at noon, followed by classic rock band Stratus at 1 p.m., oldies group Vinnie Carr at 2:30 p.m., pop rock group Sister Funk at 4 p.m. and R&B band Nu Groove at 5:30 p.m.

At 8 p.m., the festival will close with a two-hour concert by The Wayouts, “Connecticut’s freshest and most diversified cover band.”

The West Haven High School Band Parents will hold a craft fair July 28, 4-8 p.m.; July 29, noon-8 p.m.; and July 30, noon-6 p.m.

To help with expenses, the Savin Rock Festival Committee will sell T-shirts and other merchandise in the hospitality tent. It will also charge nonresidents $10 for parking.

Organizers said the parking revenue and beer and merchandise sales will support next year’s festival budget.

The beer garden, which is cash only, will pour three craft, domestic and imported draft beers, as well as a hard cider and a wine. It will serve beer July 28, 5-9 p.m., and July 29-30, 1-9 p.m.

O’Brien applauded the committee’s contributions in planning the 2017 festival.

“The proud heritage of Savin Rock lives on in West Haven thanks to the hard work of the festival committee,” O’Brien said. “All the committee members have devoted their time, talents and energy to ensure another quality festival for the enjoyment of all.”

West Haven’s flagship festival was established by the Chamber of Commerce — initially under the direction of Brian M. Stone, David Gesler and Michael Shiner and thereafter by John L. Perrone and his wife, Mary Perrone — to bring organizations, clubs, businesses and families together for a summer festival that celebrates life in one of America’s oldest coastal communities.

From the dawn of the Savin Rock House hotel in 1838, “the Rock” had long been a resort hub until it was officially incorporated as an amusement park by the Savin Rock Park Co. Inc. on Memorial Day 1925, when it opened to 300,000 visitors and 66,000 automobiles in one spectacular day.

For the next four decades, the popular seaside park captured the hearts and imaginations of “Rock rats” of all ages with its distinctive sights, sounds and smells. “The playground of New England” shuttered Sept. 21, 1966, to pave the way for the Savin Rock Urban Renewal Project.

Attendees are reminded that a city ordinance prohibits domestic animals on certain parks, beaches or recreation areas. The fine is $50 per offense.

Also, per the Police Department, backpacks, bicycles and glass containers are prohibited, and coolers are subject to search.

View the event schedule at 2017 Savin Rock Festival.

Follow the Savin Rock Festival on Facebook.

State advisory commission optimistic about city’s fiscal outlook

City Finance Director Kevin McNabola, left, discusses West Haven's improving financial condition before the Municipal Finance Advisory Commission Wednesday morning at the state Office of Policy and Management in Hartford. (City Photo/Michael P. Walsh)

State commission optimistic about city’s fiscal outlook

WEST HAVEN, July 13, 2017 — City Finance Director Kevin McNabola discussed West Haven’s improving financial condition during a meeting of the Municipal Finance Advisory Commission Wednesday morning at the state Office of Policy and Management in Hartford.

During the 45-minute meeting, the eight-member commission of municipal finance experts, who operate under the umbrella of OPM, painted a more rosily fiscal picture for the city than their previous meeting with McNabola last year.

After McNabola outlined a number of long-term strategies for controlling city expenditures, the commission applauded the City Council for recently adopting bonding ordinances for the amended $17.35 million financing of West Haven’s cumulative general fund deficit and the $133.25 million reconstruction of West Haven High School.

The advisory commission, also known as the MFAC, also commended the council for approving a balanced budget ordinance.

“I think it was a really good move,” Commissioner Kathleen A. Clarke-Buch said of the ordinance, which the council adopted July 25, 2016.

The measure requires McNabola to provide council members with quarterly financial reports, including year-to-day reports of actual financials.

The MFAC singled out the fact that West Haven has grappled with its current fiscal problems because the former City Council failed to approve an earlier deficit reduction plan.

Commissioner John H. Schuyler said that if the city had initiated the deficit bonding sooner, “you would be out of the woods by now.”

Commission Chairman Thomas S. Hamilton added, “It seems pretty clear that (deficit financing) is the only real avenue to fix your problem, and the key thereafter is balanced budgets.”

McNabola said he’s optimistic the bonding ordinances, coupled with the economic boom of The Atwood, The Haven and other developments on the horizon, will give the city’s bond rating a positive outlook.

The nearly completed Atwood is an $18 million, 90,150-square-foot housing and retail project on Route 1. The demolition phase for The Haven South, a $200 million, 250,000-square-foot luxury fashion outlet mall on Water Street, is about to happen, city officials said.

According to McNabola’s “Moving West Haven Forward” presentation, the administration of Mayor Edward M. O’Brien eliminated more than $3.2 million of nonrecurring revenues in the fiscal year 2017 budget and reduced the tax collection rate from 98.7 percent to 98.5 percent to reflect the previous year’s actual percentage.

Other highlights of the presentation included a reduction of $1.6 million in the fiscal 2017 budget by not filling six full-time positions in the Police Department; a savings of more than $1.3 million in health care costs through restructuring; and a realization of $623,588 in cost avoidance on electricity by extending the city’s electricity contract.

McNabola credited the administration with implementing advanced tax collections that generated $7.2 million and $6.7 million in revenues in the fiscal 2015 and 2016 budgets, respectively, helping to strengthen the city’s cash flow position.

The MFAC, appointed by Gov. Dannel P. Malloy, is responsible for reviewing proposed regulations regarding the standards for municipal audit reports. The commission also works with OPM-referred municipalities to improve their fiscal conditions.

Additional parking meters installed in beach lots

Additional parking meters installed in beach lots

WEST HAVEN, July 13, 2017 — From left, Stephen J. Neifert, operations manager at Wescor Parking Controls Inc. of Auburn, Mass., demonstrates the new solar-powered, multispace parking meter for nonresidents at the April Street boat ramp June 29 as Mayor Edward M. O’Brien and police Sgt. Eric Pimer look on.

Similar pay-for-parking kiosks for nonresidents were also installed in the Sea Bluff, Bradley Point, Morse Park and Sandy Point beach parking lots.

The kiosks, which accept bills, coins and credit cards, charge a daily fee of $12, or $1.50 per hour.

Visitors can also buy a nonresident beach sticker for $75 in the Department of Human Resources on the second floor of City Hall, 355 Main St.

The new kiosks join several others the city installed last summer on Palace Street along Old Grove Park, a pay-for-parking site for both residents and nonresidents.

Residents, however, can park for free in all other beach lots, including South Street, Dawson Avenue, Rock Street, Oak Street and Altschuler Plaza, provided that a beach sticker is affixed to the inside lower left corner of the vehicle’s windshield.

Parks and Recreation Director Bill Slater, whose department manages the beach lots, said the Palace Street kiosks and police-issued parking tickets combined to generate more than $200,000 in parking revenue for the city last year.

Slater said the funds were used to purchase the additional kiosks, which were recommended to O’Brien by the Beach Parking Task Force, led by its chairman, Councilman Ronald M. Quagliani, D-at large.

The revenue produced by the kiosks and nonresident beach sticker sales will support the general fund, city officials said.

(City Photo/Michael P. Walsh)



WEST HAVEN, July 13, 2017 — Surfside resident Judy Denison, sitting, calls out a number as, from left, City Clerk Deborah Collins, Mayor Edward M. O’Brien, West Haven Housing Authority Executive Director John Counter, Councilman Nicholas W. Ruickoldt, D-2, and Surfside Resident Council President Bea Faulkner celebrate the opening of the new electronic Bingo machine at the Oak Street public housing complex June 29. (City Photo/Michael P. Walsh)

Farmers market open Thursdays, Saturdays on Green

Farmers market open Thursdays, Saturdays on West Haven Green

WEST HAVEN, July 13, 2017 — The Tony Inzero Farmers Market is open for its 18th season on the Green.

Through Oct. 28, the expanded marketplace at Main Street and Campbell Avenue features state farmers selling homegrown fruits and vegetables from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Thursdays and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturdays.

It includes crafters selling their wares and an internet radio station DJ playing hit music.

The Thursday markets showcase food trucks galore, dishing up baked potatoes, fried dough, Italian ice, kettle corn, lobster rolls and pulled pork.

West Haven tax bills payable in 2 installments

Tax bills payable in 2 installments

WEST HAVEN, June 26, 2017 — All city tax bills have been mailed and are payable in two installments: July and January.

Tax Collector Eric Murillo said motor vehicle bills were mailed on June 23 with an insert stating: “The enclosed motor vehicle tax bill is being calculated at 32 mills for the assessment year commencing October 1, 2016, payable July 1, 2017, and January 1, 2018, based on Connecticut State Taxation Statue 12-71e. Due to the unsettled situation regarding the State budget for 2017/2018, a supplemental motor vehicle tax bill may be issued and will be sent to you when and if it is determined to be necessary.”

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. 1 are considered delinquent and subject to interest, Murillo said.

The tax office is open from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. weekdays on the first floor of City Hall, 355 Main St.

For the convenience of taxpayers, the city has an ATM outside the office.
Taxpayers can see their tax bills, make a payment, and print their payment history for income tax purposes by clicking on Tax Collector.

Sewer bills are on the same page but under a separate heading.

In July and January only, current taxes can be paid by mail to a tax office lockbox, P.O. Box 150461, Hartford, CT 06115-0461. When paying by lockbox or the drop box outside the tax office in City Hall, the canceled check is the receipt.

After Aug. 1, taxes with interest can be paid by mail to the Office of the Tax Collector, P.O. Box 401, West Haven, CT 06516. Payments can also be made in person.

Anyone needing a motor vehicle clearance must pay in person with cash, credit card, bank check or money order.

Those with questions about assessments or vehicles they no longer own should contact the assessor’s office prior to paying their tax bills at or 203-937-3515, ext. 1004, 1005 or 1007.

For tax payment questions, call the tax office at 203-937-3525.

SCRCOG issues online survey for regional POCD

SCRCOG issues online survey for regional POCD

WEST HAVEN, June 26, 2017 — The South Central Regional Council of Governments has issued an online survey to help the 15-town region prepare an update to the regional Plan of Conservation and Development.

The POCD survey intends to gather information from those who live, work, or own a business or property in the south-central region on current and future quality-of-life issues, housing and business development, conservation, and transportation throughout the region.

SCRCOG will notify the region as it holds public workshops and meetings during the planning process, which is expected to continue throughout the year.

Take the survey at POCD.

Powered by CivicSend - A product of CivicPlus