City Notes
Statement from Mayor Nancy R. Rossi

Statement from Mayor Nancy R. Rossi on shoreline initiatives

WEST HAVEN, June 7, 2019 — “The Beach Street project, which excludes the former Debonair Motel, is a complex construction project consisting of three phases. It is and has always been a top priority of my administration.

We received funding for phase one, the design and construction aspect, which is scheduled to begin this fall. The design for phase two is underway. Once phase one is complete, phases two and three can move forward. If the project proceeds as planned, our city engineer estimates the completion of phase one by July 2020.

In the meantime, I believe it is important to work on our other priorities, one of which is the renovation of the Savin Rock Conference Center.

After years of deferred maintenance, the building needs a new roof and other upgrades. Removing the interior walls to make one large banquet facility and adding a kitchen will make the facility more marketable. The SRCC can bring people and business to West Haven if it is renovated and managed properly. The SRCC will also bring a reliable, long-term revenue stream to the city, which given our financial condition is an important part of necessary structural change.

The future Center for the Arts continues to sit vacant in the center of West Haven.

I believe that converting the 107-year-old building into a performing arts center will further our goal of revitalizing our downtown. Downtown West Haven would benefit from the addition of commercial attractions supported by foot traffic, and I believe the arts center will be an important component of downtown revitalization as well as structural change.

While I understand the frustration created by vacant properties on Beach Street, our economic development commissioner has been in close contact with those property owners.

It is important to remember that these properties are privately owned. That said, we will continue to push for the properties’ proper maintenance, aggressive marketing and eventual development. We encourage the owners to find buyers who will invest in these commercial spaces and grow our grand list. All these efforts will benefit residents and visitors to our beautiful shorefront.

With regard to the vacant properties, I have taken a different approach than in the past. My administration communicates with the property owners and has offered to assist them as they work to sell or develop their properties and revitalize the Beach Street corridor. In keeping with our newly adopted Plan of Conservation and Development, we are mindful of the unique challenges of the Shoreline Residential Retail Design District but realize that a responsible redevelopment approach will result in grand list growth.

My administration has also made The Haven project a priority.

We sold Bayview Park, have worked with the developer to secure local approvals, and are now awaiting a certificate from the Connecticut Department of Transportation’s Office of the State Traffic Administration to install turn lanes and widen Elm Street. It is taking longer than I would have liked, but once The Haven demolition begins, it will spur development along Beach Street and throughout our city.”


First responders conduct armed intruder drill

First responders conduct armed intruder drill

WEST HAVEN, June 7, 2019 — Mayor Nancy R. Rossi, green jacket, joins first responders as they participate in an armed intruder drill at the former Thompson Elementary School, 165 Richards St., on Thursday.

The large-scale drill, conducted by the city’s Police Department and three fire departments as well as emergency medical service personnel, was held to prepare first responders for an armed intruder incident.

The five-hour drill was the culmination of six months of planning. More than 100 people participated, and many outside agencies attended.

(City Photo/Lou Esposito)

Armed intruder drill

Mayor Rossi pauses with officials of the West Haven Police Department, West Haven Fire Department, West Shore Fire Department and City of West Haven Fire Department Allingtown. (City Photo/Lou Esposito)

Cleo Blue

Veterans groups sponsoring Cleo Blue concert on West Haven Green

WEST HAVEN, June 7, 2019 — The West Haven Veterans Council and West Haven Vietnam Veterans are sponsoring a free concert on the Green at 7 p.m. June 15.

The two-hour concert features dance party favorites by Cleo Blue.

People are encouraged to bring blankets or chairs.

Dog obedience program offered in West Haven

Dog obedience program offered

WEST HAVEN, June 7, 2019 — Are you a dog owner looking for a “paw-sensitive” approach to handling your canine?

The Department of Recreation’s dog obedience program, designed by Evelia Rivera, a certified professional dog trainer, is geared to all types of canines, including puppies and adolescent, rescue and older dogs.

The department is offering two six-week training levels — 2 to 12 months old and 13 months and older — Saturday mornings, starting July 13, in the parking lot behind the department’s Painter Park office, 190 Kelsey Ave.

The fee is $85 for residents and $95 for nonresidents.

Visit for registration details and requirements for dogs and handlers.


Majestic Beauty & Beyond salon opens on Route 1

WEST HAVEN, June 5, 2019 — Mayor Nancy R. Rossi, center, and 5th District Councilwoman Robbin Watt Hamilton, third from left, cut the ceremonial ribbon April 28 with the owners of Majestic Beauty & Beyond to celebrate the salon’s grand opening at 912 Boston Post Road.

From left are Airess Walker, Razhana Wali, Ariyan Walker and Chaunte Walker.

The full-service beauty salon specializes in natural hair, color and silk press. It also offers eyelash extensions, has a makeup artist, and offers massages by a licensed massage therapist.

(City Photo/Ruth G. Torres)

Comedy Night
P&Z seeks input on village zoning concept for downtown

P&Z seeks input on village zoning concept for downtown West Haven

WEST HAVEN, June 4, 2019 — Planning and zoning officials will hold a public meeting focusing on the center of West Haven and how the city can reach the goals of the recently adopted Plan of Conservation and Development by creating a new village district regulation.

The meeting, sponsored by the Planning and Zoning Commission, is set for 7 p.m. June 18 in the Harriet C. North Community Room on the second floor of City Hall, 355 Main St.

See the Public Meeting Invitation.

P&Z Chairwoman Kathleen Hendricks said the commission aims to attract a wide range of participants for the workshop in hopes of creating a dialogue among area businesses and property owners, neighborhood residents and community leaders.

According to Assistant City Planner David W. Killeen, the meeting will include a presentation highlighting components of the POCD vision for downtown West Haven, with a focus on elements of the new village district zoning concept under consideration by the commission. The area is roughly bounded by the railroad tracks, Washington Avenue, Atwater Street and Savin Avenue.

Elements of the concept include establishing design standards and an architectural review process for visible changes to buildings in the area; guiding new development in the central business district; protecting and improving the residential and business character of the area; performing an architectural review of proposed projects as part of the current zoning approval process; and discussing other ways to improve the business climate in the West Haven Center.

The workshop will include opportunities for participants to share their reactions and ideas. The commission will use the input in finalizing how the regulation is written, Hendricks said.

The concept for a village district in the downtown area was first envisioned in the POCD, which was adopted by the commission in June 2017.

See the POCD.

For more information, call the Department of Planning and Development at 203-937-3580.

Historical Society

West Haven Historical Society headquarters, 686 Savin Ave. (Contributed Photo)

Historical Society plans activities in observance of Native Americans Day

WEST HAVEN, June 4, 2019 — The Historical Society is planning a variety of activities as part of Saturday’s “Native Americans in West Haven” exhibit at its headquarters across from the Green.

The display is set for 10 a.m.-4 p.m. at 686 Savin Ave.

Details at Connecticut Open House Day.

UI replacing poles, raising electrical wires

UI replacing poles, raising electrical wires in West Haven neighborhoods

WEST HAVEN, June 4, 2019 — United Illuminating will begin a capital improvement project to replace poles and raise primary electrical wires by 10 feet.

The work will require the pruning or removal of trees in the public right of way, said Leo Kelly, the city’s tree warden.

The project will involve work on Atwater Street, Blohm Street, Campbell Avenue, Leete Street, Noble Street, Park Street, Peck Avenue, Peck Lane, Thomas Street, Washington Avenue and William Street.

The project, done by Lewis Tree Service under a permit from Kelly, will include work on private trees with homeowner permission.

Fireworks ad book

Ad book supports overtime costs for Savin Rock Fireworks Spectacular

WEST HAVEN, June 4, 2019 — For the second year, Mayor Nancy R. Rossi has rolled out an ad book fundraising campaign to help cover overtime costs for the Savin Rock Fireworks Spectacular, which is set for 9:15 p.m. July 3.

Rossi said the ad book proceeds will specifically pay for police and public works overtime during the annual fireworks display, which is launched off Bradley Point and presented by the Savin Rock Fireworks Committee.

“Your support of this ad book will directly impact the overtime costs that come along with the city holding the fireworks,” Rossi said.

Ad book forms are available in the mayor’s office at City Hall, 355 Main St., or download an ad book form at July 3 Fireworks.

Four ad sizes are offered: $45 for a business card, $75 for a quarter page, $100 for a half page and $185 for a full page. Checks are payable to City of West Haven.

Send ads by June 14 to the Office of the Mayor, 355 Main St., West Haven, CT 06516. Or send a business card, letterhead or other information to the mayor’s office, and the office can create an ad. Send PDF files to

Corporate sponsorships are also offered: $1,000 for red level, $750 for white level and $500 for blue level. For details, call the mayor’s office at 203-937-3510.

Rossi said the city will charge both residents and nonresidents for parking on July 3. The fee is $5 for vehicles with a valid beach sticker and $10 for vehicles without a valid beach sticker. All parking proceeds will also support overtime costs, she said.

The fireworks display, billed as “the region’s largest Independence Day fireworks show,” draws an estimated 100,000 people of all ages to the city’s 3 ½-mile shoreline each year. The rain date is July 5.

Before the patriotic display, partygoers can dance the night away to rock ’n’ roll hits performed by The Navels at the Savin Rock bandstand from 6:30-9 p.m.


WHEAT food pantry distributing food to school-age children

WEST HAVEN, June 4, 2019 — The WHEAT food pantry will distribute food twice a month to West Haven school-age children under 18.

The increased distribution is set for June, July and August, said Rose Majestic, executive director of the West Haven Emergency Assistance Task Force.

Families must bring a valid photo ID and two current pieces of mail with their correct name and address on them.

WHEAT, 674 Washington Ave., is open Tuesdays through Thursdays from 2-4:30 p.m. and the third Saturday of each month from 9 a.m.-noon.

For information, call WHEAT at 203-931-9877 or email


(Contributed Photo/CT Audubon)

‘Be a Good Egg’

WEST HAVEN, May 28, 2019 — With Memorial Day past and beach season underway, Connecticut Audubon reminds us how to “Be a Good Egg” at the beach.
— Keep your distance from shorebird habitat.
— Be sure to know and respect local dog/pet ordinances.
— Take your trash with you.
— Dispose of fishing line.
— Avoid feeding wildlife.
— Avoid noisy activities near nesting areas.
As a shoreline community, West Haven has a special interest in and responsibility to the health of the coastal environment. Coastal areas are uniquely important for many species of wildlife, especially birds. They offer critical breeding sites and rich sources of food for migratory stopovers.

Learn more at CT Audubon.

Take the pledge #BeAGoodEgg at CT Audubon.

Grass clippings now accepted at compost site

Grass clippings now accepted at West Haven compost site

WEST HAVEN, May 22, 2019 — The city has obtained a permit from the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection to start accepting grass clippings at the municipal compost site, Mayor Nancy R. Rossi and Public Works Commissioner Tom McCarthy announced.

The DEEP permit, good until June 30, 2022, will also allow the city to start picking up grass clippings on residents’ weekly curbside collection days through Nov. 22.

Grass clippings must be in biodegradable paper bags and will not be accepted if they are in plastic bags, McCarthy said.

Glass clippings and leaves must be in separate bags.

“Crews will not pick up grass bags containing anything other than grass,” McCarthy said. “No leaves, no branches, no sand, no rocks, no dirt.”

Residents can bring grass clippings as well as bagged leaves and untied brush to the compost site, 1 Kimberly Ave., from 8 a.m.-2 p.m. weekdays and 8 a.m.-noon Saturdays. Compost is free with proof of residence.

Dog license renewals due June 30

Dog license renewals due June 30

WEST HAVEN, May 22, 2019 — Residents who own dogs must renew their licenses from June 1-30 or face a $1 monthly fine, City Clerk Deborah Collins said.

State law requires dog owners to submit a current rabies vaccination certificate when applying for the new dog tags. Expired certificates are not accepted.

The fee for the two licenses, which are available in the city clerk’s office at City Hall, 355 Main St., is $8 for neutered or spayed dogs and $19 for other dogs. Failure to renew a license can result in a $75 fine.

Residents can also send vaccination records and checks in a self-addressed, stamped envelope to the city clerk’s office, P.O. Box 526, West Haven, CT 06516.

In conjunction with Dog Licensing Month, the city clerk’s office will hold its second annual Dog Contest for residents who license their dogs before June 30. The office will draw a winner in early July, and the winning dog will receive a gift basket and a “No. 1” dog tag and have its photo published in local newspapers.

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