City Notes
Christmas card designers

Christmas card designers

WEST HAVEN, Dec. 22, 2017 — Mayor Nancy R. Rossi presents her Christmas card designers, from left, Bailey Middle School seventh-graders Jasmin Cintron and Llianay Romaro and eighth-graders Eveleen Jiang and Sofia Lora, with their original artwork, enclosed in a frame with a professional copy of their card and a mayoral citation, Thursday in the school lobby. The students, who were accompanied by their parents and Bailey art teacher Kathy Shea, were cited by Rossi for their “Selection as a Mayoral Christmas Card Artist.” (City Photo/Michael P. Walsh)

Kelly returns as West Haven’s tree warden

Assistant City Clerk Sharon Recchia swears in new tree warden Leo Kelly on Wednesday morning at City Hall as Mayor Nancy R. Rossi looks on. Kelly previously held the post in 2013-14. (City Photo/Louis Esposito Jr.)

Kelly returns as West Haven’s tree warden

WEST HAVEN, Dec. 22, 2017 — A familiar face has returned as the city’s tree warden.

Leo Kelly, who served as tree warden from Jan. 28, 2013, to Dec. 1, 2014, was sworn in by Assistant City Clerk Sharon Recchia as Mayor Nancy R. Rossi stood by during a brief ceremony Wednesday morning at City Hall.

Kelly, a licensed arborist since 1979 and certified tree warden since 2010, was appointed by Rossi for the part-time position, which was formerly held by Bob Herrington, also a licensed arborist and certified tree warden.

Kelly, a lifelong city resident, will receive a $4,999 stipend for the job, which is under the aegis of the Department of Public Works and acting Commissioner Louis P. Esposito Jr.

Kelly, 65, is a former firefighter and paramedic of the West Shore Fire Department. He retired in 2009 after a 28-year career.

As tree warden, Kelly’s responsibilities include overseeing the maintenance, removal and replacement of public trees. However, only city trees that are deemed hazardous are removed, he clarified.

Kelly, who sits on the board of directors of the Tree Wardens Association of Connecticut, said he will work with city departments, tree contractors and utility companies to ensure that public trees are made safe and future tree planting is done under the “right species, right site” practices.

Anyone with questions or complaints about city trees and shrubs can call Kelly at 203-937-3585.

West Haven tax bills due Jan. 1

West Haven tax bills due Jan. 1

WEST HAVEN, Dec. 22, 2017 — The second installment of the city’s real estate, personal property, and motor vehicle tax and sewer bills are due Jan. 1.

The 2016 supplemental motor vehicle bill is for vehicles registered after Oct. 1, 2016.

Additionally, at the time the bills were mailed in July, a yellow notice was sent with the bills that stated: “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 the Connecticut  Taxation Statute 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 becomes necessary.”

Taxpayers will receive a yellow motor vehicle bill that represents 5 mills — the difference between the approved budget and the amount previously billed — and in the case of the West Shore and Center fire districts, an additional 2 mills, Tax Collector Dorothy Chambrelli said.

Payments after Feb. 1 are considered delinquent and subject to interest, Chambrelli 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 at Tax Collector.

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

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

After Feb. 1, taxes with interest can be paid by mail to the Office of the Tax Collector, P.O. Box 401, West Haven 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.

For the latest news and information, subscribe to the city’s Facebook page at

Plunge into L.I. Sound, play beach volleyball for breast cancer

More than 200 intrepid participants navigate 2-foot swells in the 41-degree water of Long Island Sound during the 17th annual Icy Plunge for the Cure, a benefit for breast cancer research and education, on Jan. 28 at Savin Rock Beach. The 2018 plunge, set for 9 a.m. Jan. 13, will feature a follow-up event, the first Spike for the Cure beach volleyball tournament, also a benefit for breast cancer, at 11 a.m. at Sea Bluff Beach. (City Photo/Michael P. Walsh)

Plunge into Long Island Sound, play beach volleyball for breast cancer research and education

WEST HAVEN, Dec. 15, 2017 — Get ready for a doubleheader of arctic proportions.

If it were not already epic enough with its Icy Plunge for the Cure, the city’s Breast Cancer Awareness Committee is presenting an additional goodwill contest on the same January morning for those looking to challenge themselves while raising money for a good cause.

The first winter beach volleyball tournament, appropriately called the Spike for the Cure and organized by the Department of Parks and Recreation, will complement the 18th annual Icy Plunge for the Cure on Jan. 13.

Both events will benefit breast cancer research and education, said city Human Resources Commissioner Beth A. Sabo, a founding member of the committee, established in 2001.

Participants in the plunge can break out the polar swimwear at 9 a.m. at Savin Rock Beach, off Captain Thomas Boulevard. Then, at 11 a.m., participants in the volleyball tourney can bust out the cold weather sportswear on the frozen tundra of Sea Bluff Beach, just down the way off Ocean Avenue.

Registration for the plunge starts at 7:30 a.m. in the Savin Rock Conference Center, 6 Rock St.

The first 100 people to register will receive “plungewear.” The top fundraiser will receive a prize.

Participants will wait on the beach for the signal to charge into the frigid surf of Long Island Sound. Wetsuits are not allowed.

More than 200 people took part in last year’s frosty dip, which netted about $30,000, said Sabo, who supervises Park-Rec.

And organizers anticipate another hearty turnout this year, with several city, police and fire departments forming teams and issuing challenges to one another to help raise the stakes and more money.

After the plunge, organizers will hold a raffle with prizes donated by area businesses.

Sabo said the plunge is a celebration of survivors and a remembrance of loved ones who have died of the disease.

Registration forms are available in the Department of Human Resources on the second floor of City Hall, 355 Main St.

Pledges for the plunge must be handed in the day of the event, Sabo said. Checks are payable to the West Haven Breast Cancer Awareness Program.

Proceeds have previously gone to the Smilow Breast Center at Yale New Haven Hospital and Looking Forward, an education and wellness program for cancer patients at Smilow.

For information or to sponsor the plunge, call Sabo at 203-937-3558.

For the Spike for the Cure, Park-Rec is registering six-person teams for the single-elimination tournament. The team entry fee is $100.

Register at the department’s Painter Park office, 190 Kelsey Ave. Checks are payable to the West Haven Breast Cancer Awareness Program.

The tourney winner will receive a prize, said organizer Diane Dietman, recreation program coordinator.

For information or to sponsor the tournament, call Park-Rec at 203-937-3651.

Send donation checks to the West Haven Breast Cancer Awareness Program, Department of Human Resources, 355 Main St., West Haven 06516.

City issues snow rules for parking

City issues snow rules for parking

WEST HAVEN, Dec. 8, 2017 — To help expedite snow removal, the Department of Public Works is reminding residents and businesses to observe parking regulations during and after snowstorms.

Under normal snow conditions, once snow begins to fall, a parking ban is in effect on the even-numbered side of most roads, unless one is posted with a “No Parking” sign on the odd side.

The ban is in effect for 36 hours after a snowstorm. Residents are urged to park in driveways or designated private lots.

During an official snow emergency declared by Mayor Nancy R. Rossi, a parking ban will run from 11 p.m. to 7 a.m. on both sides of Campbell and Savin avenues, Morgan Lane, Elm Street, Meloy Road, Second Avenue from Elm to Beach streets, and Main Street from Savin to Washington avenues.

Police will tag and tow vehicles violating the parking ordinance at the owner’s expense.

Per city ordinance, residents and businesses are responsible for removing snow from sidewalks on and bordering their properties. Also, per ordinance, plowing or blowing snow into city streets is prohibited, and violators are subject to fines.

Residents and businesses with mailboxes damaged by snow thrown from a plow are the responsibility of the property owner. The city will only repair mailboxes damaged by the striking of a plow blade if there is visible evidence, such as paint or tire tracks.

Snow removal around mailboxes is the property owner’s responsibility.

For information, call the Public Works Department at 203-937-3585.

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