During a news conference this morning at the Savin Rock gazebo, U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., and Mayor Nancy R. Rossi discuss how an upcoming Senate vote could bring “millions of dollars” in federal aid to the city’s coastline. Joining them are, from left, City Clerk Deborah Collins and state Rep. Dorinda Borer, D-West Haven. (City Photo/Michael P. Walsh)
Blumenthal, Rossi discuss federal aid for city’s coastline
WEST HAVEN, July 20, 2018 — During a news conference today at the Savin Rock gazebo, U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., and Mayor Nancy R. Rossi discussed how an upcoming Senate vote could bring “millions of dollars” in federal aid to the city’s coastline.
In the next three weeks, Blumenthal said, the Senate is poised to vote on the Water Resources Development Act, broad legislation to address the nation’s water infrastructure needs.
West Haven’s shoreline was severely eroded by Superstorm Sandy, making private and public infrastructure vulnerable to future weather events.
Blumenthal and Rossi were joined at the morning announcement by state Rep. Dorinda Borer, D-West Haven, and City Clerk Deborah Collins.
Early last month, Borer heralded $3.9 million in state funding for a new Cove River tide gate system to mitigate flooding and protect the tidal wetland, which abuts the campus of West Haven High School.
During the news conference, Connecticut’s senior senator said he fought for key provisions in the bill benefiting the state, including measures to safeguard West Haven’s beaches from future storm damage.
Blumenthal said the provisions, also supported by U.S. Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Conn., call for the city to receive millions in federal funding to build dunes along the shoreline.
“Dunes are immensely important to the protection of property and life,” Blumenthal said.
The Army Corps of Engineers would oversee the federal project, he said.
“We are taking a multipronged approach to minimize the effect future storms will have on West Haven,” Rossi said. “On a beautiful day like today, it may be difficult to imagine why we are talking about coastal resiliency and storm hazard mitigation, but this is exactly when we should be making plans — not when a serious storm is in the forecast.”
She added: “This afternoon I’ll be meeting with our emergency operations center coordinator and the United Illuminating to discuss how West Haven can be ‘storm smart.’ The Atlantic hurricane season started seven weeks ago today and doesn’t end until Nov. 30. We have to be ready.”
West Haven prides itself on being home to the longest stretch of publicly accessible shoreline in Connecticut. The city’s nearly 4-mile tract of beach on Long Island Sound comprises 25 percent of the state’s public beaches, a valuable asset that is ripe for attracting new businesses to the city, Rossi said.
City grants writer Eileen M. Krugel said the federal funding would finance the construction of beach dunes from the Savin Rock Conference Center on Rock Street to Beach Street and Morse Avenue, a distance of about a mile.
While some beach areas have dunes, particularly along Beach Street, the funding “would provide uniformed dunes that would include protective grasses, fencing and dune crossovers preventing degradation by pedestrians,” Krugel said.
“These dunes would provide a protective measure in West Haven’s resiliency efforts,” said Krugel, adding that the project would complement the new tide gates as part of the city’s Coastal Resilience Plan.
Officials have said the gates are vital to the preservation and restoration of the Cove River tidal wetland. When functioning, they are designed to protect the surrounding infrastructure and restore tidal flushing of the 90-acre marsh without flooding upland property, including homes, businesses and West Haven High, which is undergoing a $134 million reconstruction.
The gates, however, have been deemed “nonfunctioning” for the past 45 years, officials have said.
On Oct. 29, 2012, the surge of Superstorm Sandy overwhelmed the tide gates and flooded the high school’s ballfields and track, prompting city officials to seek state funding to safeguard the area from a similar flooding event.
Officials said the dune project would also complement the $14.5 million reconstruction of a section of Beach Street and First Avenue that was 5 feet underwater during Sandy.
The federal and state project, originally estimated at $8.5 million, has increased by $6 million because soil tests showed a subsurface of peat, Krugel said.
The project includes raising a 4,000-foot stretch of First Avenue and Beach Street from Monahan Place, near the wastewater treatment plant, to Morse Avenue, near the former Chick’s Drive-in restaurant.
Elevations will range from 2 to 5 feet, based on existing topography, City Engineer Abdul Quadir has said.
During Sandy, the Water Pollution Control Plant, 2 Beach St., was inaccessible to staff and emergency vehicles for nearly 12 hours because of extensive flooding.
In the storm’s wake, the city has taken steps to make it more resilient to tidal flooding and coastal storms, including dredging the Old Field Creek salt marsh near Beach Street, thanks to federal funding to help Connecticut municipalities like West Haven make such improvements.
The raising of Beach Street is being paid for in part by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Community Development Block Grant Disaster Recovery program.
The project also includes the construction of concrete sidewalks and a two-way bike lane for future connection to a regional shoreline bikeway system, Assistant City Planner David W. Killeen has said.
Bulk trash pickup canceled for Aug.
WEST HAVEN, July 20, 2018 — As part of the city’s ongoing efforts to cut costs, the bulk trash pickup slated for Aug. 6-10 has been suspended, Mayor Nancy R. Rossi and acting Public Works Commissioner Lou Esposito said Thursday.
Rossi and Esposito said the city’s final bulk pickup of 2018, however, will take place as scheduled on Oct. 8-12.
Rossi said canceling the August bulk pickup will save the city approximately $50,000, plus dumping fees.
The pickup has been suspended because the weight of trash collected in the March and June bulk pickups exceeded the maximum weight of trash accepted by the city’s rubbish contractor, making bulk pickup increasingly cost prohibitive, Esposito said.
For bulk pickup, residents are reminded to separate metals and recyclables from regular trash and to put out trash no more than 24 hours before pickup.
Bulk items include couches, chairs, mattresses, tables, carpeting, padding, fencing and small amounts of bundled lumber, which may not exceed 6 feet in length. No building materials are accepted.
The amount of bulk trash per collection is limited to 6 cubic yards, which is equal to a pile of trash about 6 feet long, 6 feet wide and 4 ½ feet high. Homeowners are required to rent a dumpster at their expense if trash exceeds 6 cubic yards.
Esposito said the city will be enforcing the bulk pickup limit of 6 cubic yards.
Violations carry a $100 fine per daily offense.
To prevent a potential fine, property owners should familiarize themselves with the city’s trash guidelines at Public Works.
Bulk items must be separated and orderly. Do not place them next to a mailbox or utility pole or close to a fence, Esposito said.
Bulk trash must be generated by the customer at the residential unit where it is collected. Trash will not be collected if it is generated by anyone other than the resident of the home.
Also, do not place bulk items in front of a vacant lot or home — they will not be collected, Esposito said.
For electronic items, including TVs, the next e-waste drop-off day is Aug. 11.
Residents can drop off electronic recyclables — typically anything that contains a circuit board or needs a battery — from 8 a.m.-noon at the highway maintenance garage, 1 Collis St.
Anything that has refrigerant, including air conditioners and dehumidifiers, is not accepted. Those items are considered white goods, and residents are asked to put them out for pickup on their weekly curbside collection days.
The e-waste collection is free for residents who have such items as TVs, hand-held video games, computers, monitors, copiers, scanners, microwaves, toaster ovens and other small appliances.
Statement from Mayor Nancy Rossi
WEST HAVEN, July 20, 2018 — “We are pleased that our partner Dattco has stepped up to the plate and that senior bus service for medical appointments will be uninterrupted for Monday the 23rd of July. Unfortunately, the state oversight board has mandated contracts be put out to bid, and the existing carrier could not bid. We thank Greater New Haven Transit for their help and service and look forward to future transportation endeavors with them when applicable. We are sorry for any anxiety. We are able to waive the $2-per-rider fee for next week’s trips.
However, this service will require further budgetary examination, and my office is working to ensure that the highest level of service is provided, at the lowest affordable cost, and that the state oversight board will approve.
Riders can now book trips by calling Dattco at 203-654-7918, or if that does not work, call 203-466-1200.”
NANCY R. ROSSI, Mayor
City residents can opt out of receiving Yellow Pages directory
WEST HAVEN, July 20, 2018 — City residents have until Sept. 15 to opt out of receiving the upcoming Greater New Haven Yellow Pages directory.
People also have the choice of which telephone directories they would like to receive or stop receiving in the future.
Residents can request to opt out of future phone book deliveries by visiting www.yellowpagesoptout.com, the official site that the Yellow Pages industry provides at no cost to users, cities and states. It is a free, convenient and secure way to limit or stop home delivery of phone directories, which are 100 percent recyclable.
Data submitted will never be used for marketing purposes and never be given to third parties.
Read the official Informational Release.
WEST HAVEN, July 20, 2018 — City Clerk Deborah Collins presents a gift basket stuffed with dog toys and treats to Jackie Corvera, of Arlington Street, and her 4-year-old Pomeranian, Latte, on July 12 at City Hall for winning the inaugural Dog Contest.
The contest, held by the city clerk’s office, was an incentive for residents who licensed their dogs before June 30 as part of Dog Licensing Month.
(City Photo/Michael P. Walsh)
Farmers market open Thursdays, Saturdays on West Haven Green
WEST HAVEN, July 20, 2018 — The Tony Inzero Farmers Market is open for its 19th season on the Green.
Through Oct. 27, 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, including 744 Express and Spuds Your Way, which dish up such savory favorites as baked potatoes, lobster rolls and pulled pork sandwiches, as well as Antojos Criollos, which serves up the taste of Puerto Rico. Each truck offers a weekly special.
Farmers market vouchers available
WEST HAVEN, July 20, 2018 — Farmers market vouchers are available at the West Haven/Allingtown Senior Center, 201 Noble St.
To receive $18 in vouchers, the income limits for those at least 60 years old are $30,451 per year, or $2,537 per month, for a married couple and $22,459 per year, or $1,871 per month, for a single person.
Each voucher booklet contains six $3 vouchers.
When picking up the vouchers, eligible residents must show proof of income and sign a receipt confirming they meet the income guidelines. For proof of income, residents can show a gray Connect Card from the state.
The Tony Inzero Farmers Market is on the Green from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Thursdays and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturdays through Oct. 27.
For information about the voucher program, call the Department of Elderly Services at 203-937-3507.