City Notes
O’Brien declares Nov. 25 Small Business Saturday in West Haven

O’Brien declares Nov. 25 Small Business Saturday in city

WEST HAVEN, Oct. 30, 2017 — Mayor Edward M. O’Brien has announced the city’s participation in the eighth annual Small Business Saturday on Nov. 25.

Falling between Black Friday and Cyber Monday, Small Business Saturday is a day to celebrate and patronize the small, independently owned businesses that help stimulate local economies across the country.

“I am once again proud to acknowledge the many quality and vital small businesses in every corner of our city and the invaluable contributions they make to our economy and the life of our community,” said O’Brien, a former downtown merchant. “I urge both residents and visitors to make every attempt to support West Haven’s small businesses on Nov. 25.”

Before taking office in 2013, O’Brien was the founder and owner of GoldWorks at 499 Campbell Ave., a jewelry repair and retail shop that has operated in the heart of the downtown business district since 1988.

Small Business Saturday was established by American Express in 2010 in response to the most pressing need of small-business owners — more customers — and has served as the ceremonial kickoff to the holiday shopping season for small businesses ever since.

According to AmEx, an estimated 112 million consumers shopped at small businesses on Small Business Saturday last year.

Similar to last year, the Small Business Saturday Coalition, led by Women Impacting Public Policy, a nonpartisan small-business advocate known as WIPP, is rallying mayors nationwide to show their support and encourage their communities to shop small on Nov. 25.

In recognizing the importance of supporting independent businesses, O’Brien has issued a Small Business Saturday proclamation declaring the special observance in West Haven.

Read the Proclamation.

“The City of West Haven, Connecticut, supports our local businesses that create jobs, boost our local economy, and preserve our neighborhoods,” the proclamation reads.

Nov. 25 also marks the lighting of the city’s Christmas tree on the Green. The Yuletide event attracts hundreds of people each year, many of whom O’Brien hopes take advantage of sales at downtown specialty shops.

Merchants and consumers can learn more about Small Business Saturday, including how to participate, at

Committee gives $29K to YNHH for breast cancer programs

City Breast Cancer Awareness Committee gives $29K to Yale New Haven Hospital for breast cancer programs

WEST HAVEN, Oct. 30, 2017 — From front left, Eileen Hansen, administrative manager of women’s oncology services at the Smilow Breast Center at Yale New Haven Hospital, Linda Penn, manager of integrative medicine and the Cingari Family Boutique at the Smilow Cancer Hospital, and Camille Servodidio, program manager of women’s oncology services at the Smilow Cancer Hospital, receive a $29,500 check from, from left, West Haven Breast Cancer Awareness Committee members Jennifer Cavallaro and Beth A. Sabo and Mayor Edward M. O’Brien on Friday at City Hall.

The money, raised at the committee’s 17th annual Icy Plunge for the Cure in January, will maintain funding for patient information binders, which are given to each person diagnosed with breast cancer at Smilow, and for a hospitality cart, which provides snacks and other amenities for patients at the Smilow Breast Center.

The donation will also support funding for mastectomy specialty bras for uninsured patients through Looking Forward, an education and wellness program for cancer patients at Smilow.

Since its inception in 2001, the committee has collected more than $780,000 for breast cancer research and education.

The 2018 plunge is tapped for 9 a.m. Jan. 13 at Savin Rock Beach.

(City Photo/Rob Granoth)

Driver safety course offered in West Haven

Driver safety course offered Nov. 29

WEST HAVEN, Oct. 30, 2017 — The West Haven Senior Center will offer an AARP Driver Safety Program from 2-6 p.m. Nov. 29 at the Johnson Community Center, 201 Noble St.

The program is designed to help sharpen driving skills, develop strategies to adjust to age-related vision changes, develop hearing and reaction times, and learn about the effects of medication on driving performance.

Participants must complete the class to receive a certification for insurance purposes.

The fee is $15 for AARP members and $20 for nonmembers, payable to AARP.

To register, call the senior center at 203-937-3507.

Public meeting slated Nov. 14 for regional disaster planning

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

To learn more about the regional disaster planning project, visit

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

Solar panel facility eyed at former West Haven landfill

WEST HAVEN, Oct. 26, 2017 — The City Council heard a proposal Oct. 23 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

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 Oct. 20 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)

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