City Notes
Christmas tree lighting

With the West Haven Christmas tree aglow in the background, The John C. Ireland Bandstand on the snow-covered Green is bedecked with huge electric snowflakes as Victorian-era streetlamps decorated with angels blowing on trumpets illuminate the walkways during a Yuletide celebration from yesteryear. (Contributed Photo)

Christmas tree lighting on Green set for Nov. 24

WEST HAVEN, Nov. 15, 2018 — The annual lighting of the Christmas tree on the Green will herald an evening of merrymaking Nov. 24.

On a nearby stage on Main Street, the festivities will kick off at 4 p.m. with renditions of holiday carols and Yuletide classics performed by students of St. Lawrence School, followed by the Bailey Middle School chorus.

At 6 p.m., Mayor Nancy R. Rossi will greet revelers. The West Haven High School and Seahawks cheerleading teams, dressed as elves, will then escort Santa and Mrs. Claus to the stage, where they will join Rossi and her special guests — city schoolchildren who have achieved various academic honors — to set the tree aglow.

Santa and Mrs. Claus will arrive in a 1916 Ford pump firetruck from the West Haven Fire Department.

The city’s official Christmas tree is encircled by five smaller evergreen trees adorned with fluorescent-colored lights.

Before returning to the North Pole, Santa and Mrs. Claus will meet visitors and pose for snapshots in their workshop until 8:30 p.m.

Organizers will offer the photos with Santa as a free digital download online. Starting Nov. 27, people can view and download their photos on the city’s Flickr page at The internet address is case-sensitive.

Just steps from Santa’s workshop, boys and girls can drop off their wish lists at St. Nick’s official U.S. Postal Service mailbox.

The ceremony is sponsored by Baybrook Remodelers Inc., Anthony Cordone, First Congregational Church of West Haven, Komar Construction Co., the McCarthy family, New Life Church, The Rock House School of Music, RVP Studios, Studio G Music Instruction, USAlliance Federal Credit Union, West Haven Chamber of Commerce and West Haven United.

Huge electric snowflakes will decorate The John C. Ireland Bandstand, and Victorian-era streetlamps bedecked with angels blowing on trumpets will illuminate the walkways.

Along with hayrides, children can ride on a firetruck. Youngsters can also enjoy a variety of craft stations on the Green, where they can make ornaments, write letters to Santa, and make cards for U.S. troops overseas and those at the Veterans Affairs Hospital on Campbell Avenue.

The activities are free, but people are asked to bring nonperishable items for the West Haven Emergency Assistance Task Force, which provides food for residents in need.

West Haven United, an organization aimed at bringing the city’s volunteer groups together, will announce the winners of its ornament-making and merchant window-decorating contests.

Volunteers from the Chamber of Commerce will hand out hot chocolate, and vendors will sell food and novelties.

The vendors will include the Cappetta’s Italian Imports & Pizza truck, Casa Bianca Pizza, Riley’s Mobile Kitchen and Sweet Cupcasions.

Also, volunteers from West Haven United will sell hot apple cider and snacks.

After the lighting, the sounds of the holiday season will fill the air with live music on the bandstand from Rock House, RVP Studios and Studio G.

If it rains, the lighting will go on at 5 p.m. Nov. 26.

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Fighting Cancer

Fighting cancer

WEST HAVEN, Nov. 15, 2018 — From left, tournament organizer and breast cancer survivor Elma Mohan and Dubel’s Cafe owner Fred Hugendubel, co-chairman of the Dubel’s Golf Tournament, present a $6,000 check for the West Haven Breast Cancer Awareness Program to committee member Beth A. Sabo this morning at City Hall.

The money was raised at the annual golf tournament in October.

The other organizers were co-chairman Art Gilbert, Kaci Fabish, Jo-Anne Hugendubel-Case, Sue LePre and Mary Price.

Since its inception in 2000, the program has collected hundreds of thousands of dollars for breast cancer research and education.

(City Photo/Michael P. Walsh)


‘No Parking’ signs posted for 3-day volleyball tournament at UNH

WEST HAVEN, Nov. 15, 2018 — The University of New Haven women’s volleyball team (25-5) is hosting the NCAA Division II East Region Championship Nov. 15-17.

Matches for the eight-team tournament start as early as noon today, with the final match set for 7 p.m. Saturday.

During that time frame, residents should observe the “No Parking” signs that have been posted throughout the neighborhood.

The city is grateful to the residents of Allingtown for their cooperation and patience in advance of the tournament.

Read the official UNH Department of Athletics Letter.

Snow parking rules

City issues snow rules for parking

WEST HAVEN, Nov. 15, 2018 — To help crews expedite snow removal, Public Works Commissioner Tom McCarthy is reminding residents and businesses to observe parking regulations during and after storms.

Per the “Severe Weather” parking ordinance under Chapter 188 of the West Haven Code, police will tag and tow vehicles violating the ordinance at the owner’s expense. Violators will receive a $100 fine.

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 storm. Residents are urged to park in driveways or designated private lots.

However, 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.

McCarthy is also reminding residents and businesses to shovel their sidewalks within 24 hours after a storm or face a $25 fine “for each day that the violation persists.”

According to the “Removal of Snow and Ice” ordinance under Chapter 195 of the West Haven Code, people are given 24 hours to remove snow from sidewalks on and bordering their properties. Violators are subject to the $25-per-day fine, which is enforced by the Police Department, the ordinance states.

To report a complaint, call the department’s nonemergency line at 203-937-3900. Complaints are kept confidential.

McCarthy also pointed out that plowing or blowing snow into city streets is prohibited and violators are subject to a $60 fine for each offense, per the ordinance.

Also, 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.

Residents are also urged to help firefighters keep hydrants clear of snow.

For more information, call the Department of Public Works at 203-937-3585 or visit Public Works.

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

Small Business Saturday is Nov. 24

Small Business Saturday is Nov. 24

WEST HAVEN, Nov. 15, 2018 — Mayor Nancy R. Rossi has announced the city’s participation in the ninth annual Small Business Saturday on Nov. 24.

Nov. 24 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 Rossi hopes take advantage of sales at downtown specialty shops.

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

“West Haven has a number of small businesses that offer gifts for the holidays,” Rossi said. “From practical selections, such as gift certificates for oil changes, car washes, landscaping services and beauty salons, to more romantic ideas like jewelry, fine dining and wine, we have it all.

“We also have businesses where you can shop online for truffle products and gourmet meats for gift-giving or for your holiday tables.”

“And don’t forget our restaurants,” Rossi said. “After all that shopping, you’re going to need a break and a bite to eat.”

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 108 million consumers shopped or dined 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. 24.

“West Haven’s diversity is reflected in our small businesses,” Rossi said. “When you support a small business, you’re supporting our community as well.”

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

Read the Proclamation.

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

Assessor’s office closed for maintenance Friday

Assessor’s office closed Friday for data entry maintenance

WEST HAVEN, Nov. 15, 2018 — The assessor’s office will be closed Friday for data entry maintenance, Assessor Ann Marie Gradoia said.

The office, on the first floor of City Hall, will reopen for business Monday.

Sale of waterfront park brings The Haven a step closer

Mayor Nancy R. Rossi heralds the sale of the city-owned Bayview Park property to The Haven Group LLC by presenting a $257,500 check on behalf of the developer to Finance Director Ronald Cicatelli on Friday at City Hall. Joining them are, from left, city Treasurer Michael P. Last, Planning and Development Commissioner Fred A. Messore, state Reps. Charles J. Ferraro, R-West Haven, and Michael A. DiMassa, D-West Haven, and city Corporation Counsel Lee Tiernan. When completed, The Haven, a $200 million, 261,182-square-foot luxury outlet center, will cover 26 waterfront acres that will feature dozens of upscale retail shops, restaurants, a promenade and a 200-seat amphitheater. (City Photo/Michael P. Walsh)

Sale of waterfront park brings The Haven a step closer

WEST HAVEN, Nov. 9, 2018 — Mayor Nancy R. Rossi heralded the sale of the city-owned Bayview Park property to the developer of The Haven for $257,500 during a check presentation Friday at City Hall.

Rossi presented the check on behalf of The Haven Group LLC to Finance Director Ronald Cicatelli in the third-floor City Council chambers as city and state officials looked on.

Joining the mayor and Cicatelli were state Reps. Charles J. Ferraro, R-West Haven, and Michael A. DiMassa, D-West Haven, as well as city Treasurer Michael P. Last, Corporation Counsel Lee Tiernan and Planning and Development Commissioner Fred A. Messore.

After weeks of negotiations, the city and The Haven Group agreed to terms on the sale of the .87-acre parcel at Water and Main streets for $257,500. The price represents an amount slightly higher than the appraised value, said Rossi, who thanked the developer for agreeing to the terms.

Although a development agreement between West Haven and The Haven Group more than three years ago included the sale of the waterfront park, the city was obligated to resolve several issues related to the property’s title before the sale could take place.

“One of my first actions as mayor was to demand that the corporation counsel do what was necessary, as quickly as possible, to complete the sale of this park because The Haven Group told me it was a necessary component for the development of the upscale waterfront shopping experience,” Rossi said. “The Haven Group has made clear that the sale of the park by the city of West Haven was necessary before any development would take place.”

The Haven Group received site plan approval from the city Planning and Zoning Commission in July, which included sidewalk improvements to the neighborhood.

Two months later, the state Bond Commission approved $5 million in funding for the reconstruction of Elm Street — the future entrance of the $200 million, 261,182-square-foot luxury outlet center.

The National Park Service granted the city relief from its Urban Park and Recreation Recovery grant obligations concerning Bayview Park in August.

West Haven will now make improvements to the city-owned park on Contact Drive, off South Street in West Shore, as part of the approval with the federal agency.

The Park Service’s approval process required the preparing and filing of an application package earlier this year with its Philadelphia office, along with compliance with the National Historic Preservation Act and approvals from the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Further consultation and negotiation with the Park Service this year was completed by city staff, without the use of private consultants, Rossi said.

The Haven Group also recently agreed to reimburse West Haven for the cost of city attorney fees for the project as part of the negotiated sale, she said.

After a comprehensive review, Bayview Park was not found to have any significant historic value. Only a half-acre of the parcel is land that can be developed, city officials said.

Access to the waterfront by the public will remain as part of the proposed development.

Rossi said the project is a great example of a public-private partnership.

State and federal funds for the site included a $200,000 environmental cleanup in 2007, a $2 million bulkhead reconstruction in 2012 and a $2 million brownfield cleanup in 2016, as well as the recent state bond money. In addition, a real estate property tax abatement agreement was negotiated in 2015.

“All of our state delegation, the governor, the federal delegation and other public partners have been helpful and essential, and we are grateful,” Rossi said. “For its part, the developer has spent in excess of $32 million on the project since it was first pitched to then-Mayor John M. Picard in 2012 by Sheldon M. Gordon, who is now deceased.”

When completed, the project will cover 26 waterfront acres that will feature dozens of luxury retail shops, restaurants, a promenade and a 200-seat amphitheater. It is expected to generate between 800 and 1,200 jobs and several million dollars in municipal tax revenue and fees.

Bayview Park

Bayview Park at Water and Main streets overlooking New Haven Harbor. (City Photo/Michael P. Walsh)

Webster Bank

Workshop for first-time homebuyers at Webster Bank on Nov. 16

WEST HAVEN, Nov. 9, 2018 — Webster Bank, 524 Campbell Ave., will hold a first-time homebuyers workshop from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Nov. 16.

The workshop, in cooperation with the West Haven Community Development Administration, will discuss CDA’s down payment assistance program for first-time homebuyers.

To qualify for the forgivable loan program, applicants must buy a single-family house or condominium in West Haven and live in the home for five years. The loan is abated 20 percent annually and forgiven after the fifth year.

Eligibility for assistance is based on the income and number of members of an applicant’s household, according to guidelines of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Applicants must provide 3 percent of the purchase price from their own funds, and CDA will match $2 for every dollar up to $7,500.

Speaker will discuss 2019 Medicare Open Enrollment

Speaker to discuss 2019 Medicare Open Enrollment at senior center

WEST HAVEN, Nov. 9, 2018 — A representative from the Agency on Aging of South Central Connecticut will discuss the 2019 Medicare Open Enrollment from 12:30-1:30 p.m. Nov. 20 at the Allingtown/West Haven Senior Center, 201 Noble St.

Attendees will learn about any changes and plan offerings for next year.


Deadline extended for flood plain easement funding for Beach St. area

WEST HAVEN, Nov. 9, 2018 — In the aftermath of Tropical Storm Irene and Superstorm Sandy, the U.S. Agriculture Department has authorized assistance through the Emergency Watershed Protection Floodplain Easements Program.

The program, managed by USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service, or NRCS, aims to buy permanent land rights to properties to mitigate the effects of future storms. Participation in the program is voluntary.

Federal Emergency Management Agency and Sandy Surge flood maps indicate that some properties in the Beach Street neighborhood of West Haven may have been flooded during one or both of those weather events, and that some landowners may be eligible to enroll in the program.

Eligible landowners will be paid a one-time purchase price fee, based on neighborhood historic comparable sales as of Oct. 29, 2012, while the sponsor — in this case, the city — will pay the “fee simple” and become the property owner. Once the property is purchased, all on-site structures will be demolished and removed, restoring the area to its natural condition.

To apply for the program, contact city grants writer Eileen M. Krugel at 203-937-3620, ext. 3010, or Applications must be postmarked or received by Nov. 26 at City Hall, 355 Main St., West Haven, CT 06516.

Those with questions can contact program coordinator Kristin Walker at 860-871-4033 or They can also contact State Conservation Engineer Arthur Ramthun at 860-871-4030 or

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