Residents must remove bulk trash from curb or face $100 fine
WEST HAVEN, July 30, 2018 — Mayor Nancy R. Rossi and acting Public Works Commissioner Lou Esposito said Friday that some residents are putting out bulk trash for pickup despite the city having canceled its August bulk pickup week.
Rossi and Esposito are asking residents who inadvertently put out bulk trash for the suspended bulk pickup week of Aug. 6-10 to immediately remove it from the curb.
Residents who violate the request will receive a $100 fine per daily offense for putting out trash — bulk or otherwise — more than 24 hours before pickup, they said.
Residents will have to wait to put out bulk trash until the city’s next bulk pickup week, which is Oct. 8-12.
Rossi and Esposito said residents who violate the bulk trash limit of 6 cubic yards per collection will also receive a $100 fine per daily offense. The cubic yardage 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 or hire a junk removal service at their expense if trash exceeds 6 cubic yards. Otherwise, trash exceeding 6 cubic yards will be left at the curb, and a fine will be imposed, Esposito said.
To prevent a potential fine, property owners should familiarize themselves with the city’s trash guidelines at Public Works.
The August bulk pickup week was recently canceled 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 has said.
Bulk items include couches, chairs, tables, carpeting, padding, fencing and small amounts of bundled lumber, which may not exceed 6 feet in length. No building materials are accepted.
Of special note are two significant changes in bulk pickup, which are effective immediately, Esposito said.
Although mattresses were formerly considered bulk trash, the city will no longer pick up mattresses, he said. Most mattress retailers, however, will remove and recycle mattresses when a new mattress is purchased.
Residents can also drop off mattresses of any amount for free from 7 a.m.-3 p.m. weekdays at Park City Green, 459 Iranistan Ave., Bridgeport.
The city will also no longer pick up tires on residents’ curbside collection days because of rising disposal costs, Esposito said. According to the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, there are no statutes that require tire retailers to take waste tires, but most will when a new tire is purchased.
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 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 city’s 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 collection days.
The e-waste drop-off 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.
Farmers market open Thursdays, Saturdays on West Haven Green
WEST HAVEN, July 30, 2018 — The Tony Inzero Farmers Market is open for its 19th season on the Green.
Through Oct. 27, the market 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.
The Thursday markets showcase food trucks, including 744 Express and Spuds Your Way, dishing up such savory favorites as baked potatoes, lobster rolls and pulled pork sandwiches. Each truck offers a weekly special.
Taxes were due July 1; payments after Aug. 1 accrue interest
WEST HAVEN, July 30, 2018 — City taxes were due July 1, and payments after Aug. 1 are considered delinquent and subject to interest, Tax Collector Dorothy Chambrelli said.
Tax bills — real estate, personal property, motor vehicle and sewer — are payable in two installments: July and January.
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.
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 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.
Driver safety course offered Sept. 12
WEST HAVEN, July 30, 2018 — The West Haven Senior Center will offer an AARP Driver Safety Program from noon-4 p.m. Sept. 12 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.
During a news conference July 20 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 July 20 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 Friday 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.
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.