City Notes
West Haven United

Meet city’s Audubon WildLife Guards

WEST HAVEN, July 26, 2019 — Starting in 2017, a group of eight West Haven High School students has helped monitor and protect the beach-nesting birds at the Sandy Point Beach & Bird Sanctuary.

Thanks to a grant from Audubon Connecticut, students in the paid seven-week program record the nesting and survival of piping plovers, American oystercatchers, least terns and common terns, keeping track of other birds species along the way.

Corrie Folsom-O’Keefe, program coordinator of the Audubon “Important Bird Area,” manages the Audubon WildLife Guards Program, and Genevieve Nuttall is the Audubon staff member assigned to the Sandy Point effort.

This year, under the leadership of Alfred Green and Victor Sieh, a West Haven High graduate and former WildLife Guard, the crew includes two graduating seniors, Daniela Morales and Mathew Wahl; two seniors, Noah Anderson and Samiyah Sutherland; and four juniors. Three of the juniors — Kyle Burt, James Weber and Anthony Pacheco — owe their participation to classmate Rianne Mustafa, who participated in the program last year thanks to the encouragement of a friend.

The guards not only keep track of nesting sites, they also help make information at Sandy Point more accessible to visitors. Although the students were aware of the area before working with Audubon, all agree the job has given them a new appreciation for birdlife and West Haven’s connection to one of its most valuable resources.

Be sure to follow their weekly reports at Sandy Point Beach & Bird Sanctuary.

Learn more about the WildLife Guards Program at Wildlife Guards and on Facebook.

Audubon I
Audubon II

Audubon Connecticut WildLife Guards educate the public about the beach-nesting birds at the Sandy Point Beach & Bird Sanctuary. The group of West Haven High School students helps monitor and protect the “Important Bird Area” as part of the WildLife Guards Program, a paid seven-week program made possible by an Audubon grant. (Contributed Photos)

Cove River

Applications available for community development programs

WEST HAVEN, July 26, 2019 — The Community Development Administration is accepting applications for a 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 then abated at a rate of 20% 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 set by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

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

Also, CDA is accepting applications for rehabilitation projects for owner-occupied single-family homes and owner-occupied multifamily homes.

Funds for CDA-approved rehab projects can be used to correct code violations or make structural improvements in homes. Cosmetic work does not qualify.

Eligibility for assistance is based on HUD income limits.

Applications for the programs are available by contacting CDA administrative assistant Rosa Richardson at 203-937-3550 or Anyone with questions can call the same number.

West Haven sets lineup for Summer Concert Series

The Signature Band plays concert series Thursday night

WEST HAVEN, July 26, 2019 — The West Haven Summer Concert Series continues on the Green at 7 p.m. Thursday with dance rock anthems performed by The Signature Band.

The two-hour concert is free.

The Thursday night series will follow Aug. 8 with rhythm and blues and classic rock hits by The Nu Groove, also on the Green.

The lineup will continue with R&B, funk and reggae favorites by Le’Mixx Band on Aug. 15 in Old Grove Park.

See the Flyer.

Concerts postponed by rain will move to the same time and venue the following Monday.

For rescheduling information, visit the Department of Parks and Recreation website,, or call 203-937-3677 after 4 p.m. the day of the concert.

Follow-up workshop set for downtown village district concept

Tuesday workshop slated for downtown village district

WEST HAVEN, July 25, 2019 — The Planning and Zoning Commission is holding an interactive public workshop for the proposed village district regulation for the center of West Haven.

The workshop is set for 7 p.m. Tuesday in the Harriet C. North Community Room on the second floor of City Hall, 355 Main St.

The workshop is a follow-up to the June 18 public information session that introduced the concept of the village district regulation for downtown West Haven.

Based on the positive reaction at the June meeting, the commission is inviting members of the public to share their input on a draft regulation of the proposed village district.

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

Hendricks said the commission is considering the regulation initially for the area roughly bounded by the railroad tracks, Washington Avenue, Atwater Street and Savin Avenue.

Elements of the zoning 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; and performing an architectural review by a professional architect of proposed projects as part of the current zoning approval process.

The village district concept for the West Haven Center was first envisioned as one of multiple recommendations for improving the downtown area in the city’s Plan of Conservation and Development, 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.

State Farm

State Farm opens Allingtown insurance office

WEST HAVEN, July 25, 2019 — Mayor Nancy R. Rossi, holding oversize scissors, cuts the ribbon Tuesday with State Farm agent Derwin A. Griffith, third from right, to celebrate the ceremonial opening of the insurance company’s new Allingtown office at 444 Forest Road.

Also marking the event are, from left, State Farm account managers Cyndal Golbeck and Shakira Rodriguez; City Council Minority Leader Richard DePalma, R-at large; Griffith’s friend and mentor, Leroy Addison; Rossi’s executive assistant, Lou Esposito; and State Farm account manager Ashley G. Sanchez.

The independently owned office, based in the Oronoque Forest Centre, specializes in a full range of insurance, including policies for auto, home and property, life, health, disability, small business, liability, and identity restoration. It also provides financial services, such as banking and investment options.

Founded in 1922, State Farm is the largest property and casualty insurance provider in the U.S. It is also the largest auto insurance provider in America.

The mutual company, headquartered in Bloomington, Ill., has 58,000 employees and more than 19,000 independent contractor agents who service 83 million policies and accounts nationwide.

(City Photo/Michael P. Walsh)

Driver safety course offered in West Haven

Driver safety course offered Aug. 28

WEST HAVEN, July 25, 2019 — The Allingtown/West Haven Senior Center will offer an AARP Driver Safety Program from noon-4 p.m. Aug. 28 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.

New sidewalks

New sidewalks for Savin Rock Conference Center

WEST HAVEN, July 19, 2019 — From left, Mayor Nancy R. Rossi, Public Works Commissioner Tom McCarthy and Rossi’s executive assistant, Lou Esposito, look on as a crew from the city’s sidewalk contractor, Elm City Materials Inc. of Spring Street, finishes the first pour of concrete for replacing a stretch of sidewalk in front of the Savin Rock Conference Center at 6 Rock St. on July 19.

The work, which will include a new crosswalk of stamped concrete that resembles red brick pavers, is being financed with a state Local Capital Improvement Program grant and supervised by city sidewalk inspector Ernie Chiarelli.

McCarthy said the high-traffic area had been in disrepair and was a public safety liability, requiring the new sidewalks. The area is a major gateway to the beach and walkway for pedestrians, he said.

Rossi said she is committed to renovating the Savin Rock Conference Center, saying that due to years of deferred maintenance, the building needs a new roof and other upgrades. She is working with the city’s General Assembly delegation to secure a $2.1 million state grant for the improvements.

The mayor’s vision for the waterfront center includes removing the interior walls to make one large banquet facility and adding a kitchen to make the facility more marketable.

“The Savin Rock Conference Center can bring people and business to West Haven if it is renovated and managed properly,” Rossi said. “It 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.”

(City Photo/Michael P. Walsh)

Farmers market

Farmers market open Thursdays, Saturdays on West Haven Green

WEST HAVEN, July 11, 2019 — The Tony Inzero Farmers Market is open for its 20th season on the Green.

Through Oct. 26, the market at Main Street and Campbell Avenue features state farmers selling homegrown fruits and vegetables from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Thursdays and 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturdays.

It also includes crafters selling their wares.

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