Public meeting slated Nov. 14 for regional disaster planning
WEST HAVEN, Oct. 26, 2017 — The public is invited to participate in a meeting for the development of the South Central Region Multi-Jurisdiction Hazard Mitigation Plan.
West Haven, together with the South Central Regional Council of Governments and its municipalities, is helping to prepare an update to the plan, which aims to identify and assess natural hazard risks, such as flooding, hurricanes and winter storms, and to determine how to best minimize or manage those risks.
The public meeting is set for 7 p.m. Nov. 14 in the Harriet C. North Community Room on the second floor of City Hall, 355 Main St.
Mayor Edward M. O’Brien, who serves as treasurer of SCRCOG’s Executive Committee and sits on its Transportation and Emergency Management and Hazard Mitigation committees, said the plan is essential to the city’s efforts in identifying ways to lessen the impacts of natural hazards.
As an officer and Executive Committee member, O’Brien helps steer planning initiatives for the region’s 15 municipalities: Bethany, Branford, East Haven, Guilford, Hamden, Madison, Meriden, Milford, New Haven, North Branford, North Haven, Orange, Wallingford, West Haven and Woodbridge.
During the public meeting, City Engineer Abdul Quadir will introduce the plan’s contents through a PowerPoint presentation. Residents will then have the opportunity to discuss ideas regarding risk reduction.
To help increase public participation, SCRCOG has launched the South Central Connecticut Hazard Mitigation Plan Survey, which gives everyone in the planning area a chance to share their opinions and participate in the mitigation planning process, said its executive director, Carl J. Amento.
Amento said the information gathered from the survey will help the planning team to better understand local concerns and issues as expressed by the region’s residents. The information can also lead to mitigation activities that should help lessen the impacts of future disasters, he said.
The online survey, which takes about five minutes to complete, is available in English and Spanish at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/CTMitigation.
To learn more about the regional disaster planning project, visit http://scrcog.org/regional-planning/regional-hazard-mitigation/.
SCRCOG, based at 127 Washington Ave. in North Haven, provides a platform for intermunicipal coordination, cooperation and decision-making. Since its inception in 1985, the planning organization, whose region covers about 570,000 people, has addressed numerous issues, including those related to housing, transportation, land use planning and economic development.
Solar panel facility eyed at former West Haven landfill
WEST HAVEN, Oct. 26, 2017 — The City Council heard a proposal Monday night from the founder of a Branford-based manufacturer, distributor and developer of solar products to build an array of solar panels atop West Haven’s former landfill.
The proposal, presented by SolarUS Inc. CEO Steven Elkin, aims to construct a ground-mounted solar generating facility on two privately owned properties on Spring Street.
Joseph A. Riccio Jr., the city’s commissioner of planning and development, confirmed that SolarUS has an option on 8 Spring St., 29.13 acres, and 2 Spring St., 12.94 acres, which are owned by Solid Waste Disposal Inc. of Connecticut.
According to Elkin’s written proposal, which he handed out to each council member, the city would off-take the energy generated by the solar panels and purchase the electricity they produce at a per-kilowatt-hour cost.
“The term of the Net-Metering Allocation will be 20 years with a starting Net-Meter Allocation agreement discount of 10 percent,” the proposal said.
Elkin estimated that the city would save $1.46 million in electrical costs over the 20 years.
During his 20-minute presentation, Elkin touted the benefits of solar energy in West Haven, including the revival of a “dead” site, generation of electrical savings and creation of jobs, as well as the ability to produce electricity locally.
He also praised solar energy’s positive impact on the environment by reducing the city’s greenhouse gases and contribution to global warming.
“The partnership we are trying to form with SolarUS will be a huge benefit to West Haven in both lowering our energy costs long term and reducing our carbon footprint,” Mayor Edward M. O’Brien said. “We want to transform a former landfill into something very positive that will not only save us money but work to modernize our infrastructure.”
Elkin’s 13-page proposal, which contained a layout rendering of the facility, said SolarUS would finance the design, engineering, permitting, procurement, construction, interconnection, operation and maintenance of the solar photovoltaic system.
Photovoltaic is the conversion of light into electricity using semiconducting materials.
The proposal also said SolarUS would generate revenue from the energy produced on-site through the net meter allocation structure and the state Zero Emissions Renewable Energy Credit Program.
Riccio said the city and SolarUs are negotiating a memorandum of understanding that will outline the terms of an agreement between the two parties.
A due diligence period will follow, “during which time environmental and geo-technical issues will be studied,” according to Elkin’s proposal.
The council is expected to consider the MOU once it is finalized.
Any Occasion Creation Florist relocates to West Haven
WEST HAVEN, Oct. 26, 2017 — Mayor Edward M. O’Brien, holding a pair of oversize scissors, cuts the ribbon Friday with, from left, Chris and Carrien Davis, owners of Any Occasion Creation Florist, and state Rep. Michael A. DiMassa, D-West Haven, to celebrate the flower shop’s move to the city’s downtown business district and its reopening at 421 Campbell Ave. Any Occasion Creation was previously located at 1330 Whalley Ave. in New Haven. Now housed in a plaza of small shops a block south of the West Haven Green, the full-service florist specializes in weddings, sympathy tributes and everyday flowers, as well as special occasions throughout the year, Carrien Davis said. The new shop, which offers local delivery, is open Monday to Thursday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Friday, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.; and Saturday, 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. (City Photo/Michael P. Walsh)
Energy Manager Today plugs city for switching to LED streetlights
WEST HAVEN, Oct. 20, 2017 — West Haven is the featured news story on the website and e-newsletter Energy Manager Today for its partnership with United Illuminating to convert the city’s 4,388 streetlights to environmentally friendly LED lighting, a move that will conserve energy while saving taxpayers an estimated $338,000 a year in electrical costs.
According to the article, “Connecticut Town Goes LED, Saving $338,000 Per Year,” “Officials in West Haven, Connecticut, are announcing the town will save $338,000 per year in electrical costs as a result of switching to LED street lights.”
The story was written by staff writer Emily Holbrook and published Oct. 18.
The article goes on to say: “Converting to LED streetlights has become a common move among energy efficient cities. Just this week, officials in Portland, Maine, announced the city would be switching to LED streetlights. And in August, Phoenix officially began its city-wide initiative to replace all 90,000 street lights — plus lighting at its park facilities — with LED bulbs. By replacing all existing street lights with LED bulbs, the city expects to achieve a total net savings of approximately $22 million through 2030.”
Energy Manager Today, owned by Business Sector Media LLC and based in Fort Collins, Colorado, “is the leading daily trade publication keeping corporate executives responsible for procuring and managing energy fully informed.”
According to its website, “Many of Energy Manager Today’s readers are energy directors and managers, developing, implementing and overseeing comprehensive enterprise-wide energy strategies for plants, retail and restaurant locations, distribution centers, corporate and government facilities and public spaces in order to reduce energy consumption and energy costs.
“Others are plant and facility managers, maintenance directors, engineers, buildings and systems directors, operation managers, energy analysts, construction managers, procurement directors and utilities managers recommending, specifying and buying energy-related equipment such as HVAC, lighting, building envelope, control systems, boilers, industrial systems, CHP, energy storage and backup power systems.”
Read the full story at Energy Manager Today.
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