City Notes
4-day Savin Rock Festival opens tonight

Elements, "the ultimate Earth, Wind & Fire tribute," are headlining the 36th annual Savin Rock Festival at 8:30 p.m. Saturday 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)

4-day Savin Rock Festival opens tonight in Grove

WEST HAVEN, July 27, 2017 — The 36th annual Savin Rock Festival starts tonight in Old Grove Park with four days of games, food, rides and entertainment.

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

It kicks off 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 performs 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 today, 5-9 p.m.; Friday, 5-10 p.m.; and Saturday-Sunday, noon-10 p.m.

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

On Friday, Turbulence, “Connecticut’s favorite party band,” opens at 5:15 p.m., followed by the History of Rock & Soul Starring Pauly and the Goodfellas at 8:30 p.m.

Local organizations are setting up informational booths, and the food court is 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 Saturday, the West Haven High School dance team and the Top Hat Dance Academy 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, goes on at 4 p.m., followed by “music that’ll move ya” by Ball in the House at 5:30 p.m.

Elements, anchored by a 12-piece band, start at 8:30 p.m., performing a 90-minute set of Earth, Wind & Fire hits, including “September,” “Can’t Hide Love,” “Boogie Wonderland” and “Fantasy.”

If it rains, Pauly and the Goodfellas and Elements are set to play in the Carrigan Intermediate School auditorium, 2 Tetlow St.

On Sunday, Simply Dance is on 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 rhythm and blues band Nu Groove at 5:30 p.m.

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

The West Haven High School Band Parents is holding a craft fair Friday, 4-8 p.m.; Saturday, noon-8 p.m.; and Sunday, noon-6 p.m.

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

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

The cash-only beer garden is pouring three craft, domestic and imported draft beers, as well as a hard cider and a wine. It is serving beer Friday, 5-9 p.m., and Saturday-Sunday, 1-9 p.m.

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.

Sandy Point improvements lauded

Mayor Edward M. O'Brien praises city officials and West Haven Watershed Restoration Committee members Wednesday for the recent improvements in the Sandy Point municipal parking lot on Beach Street as Councilman Nicholas W. Ruickoldt, D-2, looks on. (City Photo/Michael P. Walsh)

Sandy Point improvements lauded

WEST HAVEN, July 27, 2017 — Mayor Edward M. O’Brien and Councilman Nicholas W. Ruickoldt praised city officials and West Haven Watershed Restoration Committee members Wednesday for the recent improvements in the Sandy Point municipal parking lot on Beach Street.

With nearly two dozen people gathered in the beachfront parking lot, O’Brien applauded Ruickoldt, D-2, for obtaining $15,000 from the city to help beautify the lot, while Ruickoldt commended O’Brien — as well as Human Resources Commissioner Beth A. Sabo, Assistant City Planner David W. Killeen and Mark E. Paine Jr., assistant to the public works commissioner — for overseeing the undertaking.

The upgrades financed by the Department of Public Works included the installation of a flagpole, three wooden planters and a guardrail, along with a butterfly garden and a sign containing an informational kiosk.

Thanks to a grant from Audubon Connecticut, the restoration project included plantings of “bird-friendly” flowers, shrubs and trees indigenous to the Sandy Point salt marsh by members of the Watershed Restoration Committee, whom O’Brien called “selfless and tireless” for “volunteering their time, talents and energy to preserving the area.”

The project, accomplished through a collaboration of the city and the committee, also included the construction of an observation deck where bird lovers can watch piping plovers and other shorebirds. The handicapped-accessible deck was paid for by Local Capital Improvement Program funds from the state Office of Policy and Management.

The Sandy Point Beach & Bird Sanctuary, a site listed on the Connecticut Coastal Birding Trail, has been designated an “Important Bird Area” by Audubon Connecticut, a state office of the National Audubon Society.

Sandy Point, which serves as a migratory route for some of the most endangered bird species, is now supervised by trained volunteer bird monitors, known as Audubon Wildlife Guards, from Audubon Connecticut.

Catch of the day

Catch of the day

WEST HAVEN, July 27, 2017 — Alison Frazer, 11, of West Haven, hooks a sunfish during the city’s 21st annual fishing derby for anglers 9 and older Friday at the Maltby Lakes off Route 34. The free program, which teaches the basics of fishing, is offered by the Department of Parks and Recreation, in partnership with the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection’s Connecticut Aquatic Resources Education, or CARE, program, which provided the instruction and fishing rods. (City Photo/Diane Dietman)

All in the family: Sasso Tile Co. marks a century in business

All in the family: Sasso Tile marks a century in business

WEST HAVEN, July 21, 2017 — The owners of The Sasso Tile Co. of 55 Dogburn Road Extension receive a citation July 20 from Mayor Edward M. O’Brien, second from left, marking the company’s centennial anniversary. From left, Peter Sasso, Lawrence Sasso, matriarch Rosemary Sasso, 92, Anthony Laudano, Judi Sasso and Marybeth Sasso.

Reading the citation aloud, O’Brien recognized the family’s successful venture in the tile business, saying, “Since 1917, Sasso Tile has enriched the tapestry of our community.”

For the 100-years-in-the-making celebration, the Sassos wined and dined relatives, friends and purveyors in the rear, tent-covered parking lot with a craft beer station operated by Thimble Island Brewing Co. of Branford and pizza and cupcake trucks operated by Big Green Truck of New Haven and The Cupcake Break of Vernon.

Sasso Tile, in its fourth generation, specializes in the fabrication and restoration of marble and granite and the installation of tile, slate, limestone, marble and carpeting.

The company’s showroom, just off Route 1, has thousands of tile and carpeting samples on display.

It is open Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Thursday, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.; and Saturday, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

(City Photo/Michael P. Walsh)

Improving West Haven’s housing stock one house at a time

Mayor Edward M. O'Brien and contractor Brian Banning on July 18 stand in front of a ranch-style house at 41 Harold St. that Banning recently refurbished, an example of the new partnership between the city and local contractors to improve West Haven's aging housing stock. (City Photo/Michael P. Walsh)

Improving West Haven’s housing stock one house at a time

The blighted Harold Street house before contractor Brian Banning spruced it up. (City Photo/Frank Fanelli III)

Improving West Haven’s housing stock 1 house at a time

WEST HAVEN, July 21, 2017 — Led by contractor Brian Banning, Mayor Edward M. O’Brien on July 18 toured — and touted — a ranch-style house at 41 Harold St. that Banning recently refurbished, an example of the new partnership between the city and local contractors to improve West Haven’s aging housing stock.

Four years ago, the city foreclosed on the single-family home as well as a single-family home at 43 Linden St. that contractor Anthony Cordone has since remodeled, said Frank Fanelli III, a property maintenance/zoning enforcement officer of the Building Department who oversees the foreclosure sale process for West Haven.

Both houses were also severely blighted, affecting the quality of life in each neighborhood, Fanelli said.

After assuming ownership of the homes, the city put the properties out to bid, with Banning obtaining the Harold Street bid for $55,000 and Cordone securing the Linden Street bid for $52,000.

Banning and Cordone, known for building single-family homes in West Haven, then gutted the houses, giving them an extensive interior and exterior makeover — complete with such modern amenities as granite countertops, stainless steel appliances, hardwood flooring, and vinyl siding and windows.

O’Brien said the upgrades have significantly increased the value of the properties while growing the city’s grand list of taxable property.

The reconstructed homes, which are listed for sale, join several other city-owned properties that are being renovated by bid-winning contractors, underscoring the importance of the unique partnership, O’Brien said.

“What strikes me is that both builders have put significant dollars into the houses and are selling them for values greater than the highest-price homes in the area,” said Planning and Development Commissioner Joseph A. Riccio Jr., who supervises the Building Department. “These contractors show great faith and confidence in West Haven.”

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.

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