City Notes
WestFest 2019

WestFest 2019 set for Saturday, 11 a.m.-5 p.m., on Green

WEST HAVEN, Sept. 6, 2019 — WestFest 2019, a community festival aimed at bringing the West Haven and University of New Haven communities closer, will feature food, music and inflatables for the fifth year.

Read the official WestFest 2019 News Release.

Bulk trash pickup is Sept. 9-13; e-waste drop-off is Sept. 14

Bulk trash pickup is Sept. 9-13; e-waste drop-off is Sept. 14

WEST HAVEN, Sept. 6, 2019 — The final bulk trash pickup week of 2019 is Sept. 9-13.

Residents are reminded to separate metals, recyclables and regular trash from bulk trash and put them out no more than 24 hours before pickup. Violations carry a $100 fine per daily offense, Public Works Commissioner Tom McCarthy said.

Residents are also reminded to “Put a Lid on It!” and use lids on all trash cans. Rain-soaked trash costs West Haven 10 times more at the dump, said McCarthy, adding that using trash can lids will save the city money by reducing the weight of trash and cost of tipping fees.

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, tires, mattresses, propane tanks or hazardous waste are accepted.

Options for disposing of building materials include renting a dumpster or bringing the materials to a disposal facility for a fee.

Tires can be brought to Town Fair Tire, 63 Boston Post Road, Orange, for a fee of $2.75 per tire.

Mattresses can be disposed of for free in a container at the city’s highway maintenance garage, 1 Collis St. Mattresses must be dry.

Hazardous waste can be dropped off for free at HazWaste Central, 90 Sargent Drive, New Haven. HazWaste is open Saturday mornings through October.

Propane tanks can be brought to Taylor Rental, 304 Boston Post Road, Orange, for a fee of $10 per tank.

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 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 $100 fine per daily offense will be imposed, McCarthy said.

To prevent a potential fine, property owners should familiarize themselves with the city’s trash guidelines at Public Works.

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.

Bulk items must be separated and orderly. Do not place them next to a mailbox or utility pole or close to a fence, McCarthy said.

Also, do not place bulk items in front of a vacant lot or home — they will not be collected, he said.

Details at Bulk Trash Pickup.

In addition to bulk trash, the city picks up metals, including household appliances, also known as white goods, and toilets. To schedule a pickup on their curbside collection day, residents must call the Highway Department at 203-937-3644 or 203-937-3585. Appliance doors must be removed.

The city also picks up grass bags until Nov. 22 and leaf bags from Oct. 1-Dec. 31 on residents’ weekly collection days, along with brush that is cut into 3-to-6-foot lengths and tied in small bundles, no more than 70 pounds. Logs and stumps are prohibited.

Grass clippings and leaves must be in separate biodegradable paper bags and will not be accepted if they are in plastic bags.

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. The first cubic yard of compost is free with proof of residence. Additional compost costs $25 per cubic yard. Residents must bring their own buckets and shovels.

For a $50 fee, the Department of Public Works will deliver up to 2 cubic yards of compost to city homes.

For electronic items, including TVs, the next drop-off day for e-waste is Sept. 14.

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.

Anything that has refrigerant, including air conditioners and dehumidifiers, is not accepted. Those items are considered white goods, and residents are asked to schedule a pickup on their curbside collection day by calling the Highway Department.

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.

Details at E-waste Drop-off.

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Trash can poster
Board to hear appeals on vehicle assessments

Board to hear appeals on vehicle assessments Sept. 16 at City Hall

WEST HAVEN, Sept. 6, 2019 — The Board of Assessment Appeals will meet from 6-7:30 p.m. Sept. 16 in the assessor’s office on the first floor of City Hall, 355 Main St., to hear appeals of motor vehicle assessments on the 2018 grand list.

Any owner of a city-registered vehicle can appeal the assessment.

Building Department extends early opening twice a week

Building Department extends early opening twice a week

WEST HAVEN, Sept. 6, 2019 — The Building Department will continue to accept building permit applications on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 8-11:30 a.m., Mayor Nancy R. Rossi announced.

The overwhelming success of the new hours has prompted city officials to extend them through Nov. 29, said Planning and Development Commissioner Fred A. Messore, who manages the department.

In early May, the Building Department began opening an hour earlier twice a week to meet the needs of contractors and building owners, Messore said.

Rossi said she appreciates the department’s building official, Frank Gladwin, and his staff keeping their hours adjusted to better serve contractors and building owners.

The mayor said the schedule change has allowed people to obtain permits earlier on Tuesday and Thursday mornings while also providing a more business-friendly approach to helping contractors and promoting economic development across the city.

The Building Department also accepts building permit applications on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 9-11:30 a.m.

Department officials will continue to conduct all inspections and administrative duties until 5 p.m. Mondays through Fridays, Messore said.

Late summer

Senior center sets late summer bash

WEST HAVEN, Sept. 6, 2019 — The Department of Elderly Services will hold its annual End of Summer Bash at 12:30 p.m. Sept. 13 at the Allingtown/West Haven Senior Center, 201 Noble St.

The event will feature entertainment by Bob Giannotti and root beer floats provided by Bill Garry of WG Insurance Group.

To attend, call the senior center at 203-937-3507 by Tuesday.


West Haven observing 9/11 with flag-raising, candlelight vigil

WEST HAVEN, Sept. 3, 2019 — West Haven will observe the 18th anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks on 9/11 with a flag-raising ceremony at 6:30 p.m. at the Bradley Point Park flagpole, followed by a candlelight vigil at the city’s 9/11 memorial.

The service will begin with a presentation of the colors by the West Haven Police Color Guard and the flag-raising by the West Haven Fire Department Honor Guard and the New Haven County Firefighters Emerald Society Pipes & Drums.

The flag-raising will honor the memory of the nearly 3,000 people who died in the attacks. Remarks from dignitaries, including Mayor Nancy R. Rossi, will follow.

At 7 p.m., the candlelight vigil will take place at the Richard S. Gabrielle Sept. 11 Memorial on the beach walk next to the Savin Rock Conference Center, 6 Rock St.

Members of the West Haven Rotary Club will distribute candles and programs at the granite monument, which was paid for by the service club in 2002.

Gabrielle, 50, of West Haven, was killed during the attack on the twin towers in New York’s World Trade Center complex. An insurance broker at Aon Corp., he was last seen on the south tower’s 78th floor.

Declared Patriot Day by Congress in 2002, the city will fly flags at half-staff in recognition of the national day of remembrance.

The vigil will feature taps played by retired West Shore Fire Department Lt. Kevin McKeon and a Celtic folk performance by Irish singer-songwriter Liz McNicholl, including the song “The Bravest,” a tribute to the heroes of 9/11.

Boy Scout Troop 899 of the First Baptist Church of West Haven will lead the Pledge of Allegiance. Nora E. Mullins will sing the national anthem, and Grace Kelly Nowak will sing “God Bless America.”

Fig fest

International Food & Fig Festival set for Sept. 14

WEST HAVEN, Sept. 3, 2019 — The second annual International Food & Fig Festival will celebrate the city’s diverse heritage of figs.

On Sept. 14, organizers will once again feature the popular fruit on the lawn in front of Savin Rock, off Captain Thomas Boulevard.

A fig is an Asian species of flowering plant in the mulberry family that is widely grown worldwide, both for its fruit and as an ornamental plant.

The festival is set for 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and will showcase vendors buying, selling and trading figs or fig trees.

Free parking is available in the parking lot of the nearby Savin Rock Conference Center, 6 Rock St.

According to organizers, one participating vendor grows 350 varieties of fig trees; another grows 200 varieties.

The multicultural event will even include a fig demonstration, fig farmers market and fig tasting, organizers said.

“It is exciting to welcome back a unique festival that celebrates West Haven culture, food and, of course, figs,” Mayor Nancy R. Rossi said.

For the second year, Dr. Charles R. Vossbrinck, an associate agricultural scientist at the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station and a self-proclaimed fig enthusiast, will speak at 11 a.m., 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. about propagating and overwintering figs in the state.

“I look forward to once again connecting with the fig hobbyists at the festival,” said Vossbrinck, a molecular biologist who is running trials of five varieties of figs in a greenhouse at the station’s 75-acre research farm, Lockwood Farm, in Hamden.

Vossbrinck is growing the fig varieties in 25-gallon self-watering pots both outdoors and in high tunnels. The pots are stored indoors during the winter.

The station, based in New Haven and operated by the state, engages in scientific research and public outreach in agriculture and related fields. Founded in 1875, it is the oldest state experiment station in the U.S.

Vossbrinck and his team are also trying to grow figs outdoors, a difficult task because of Connecticut’s cold winters and the need to extend the growing season, he said.

Rossi said the festival is taking place at no cost to the city, thanks to private donations and sponsors.

For information, contact Ruth G. Torres in the mayor’s office at


Driver safety course offered Oct. 16

WEST HAVEN, Sept. 3, 2019 — The Allingtown/West Haven Senior Center will offer an AARP Driver Safety Program from noon-4 p.m. Oct. 16 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.

West Haven agency sets open house, resource fair

West Haven agency holding open house, resource fair on Sept. 18

WEST HAVEN, Sept. 3, 2019 — The West Haven Interagency Network for Children will hold its second annual Open House & Resource Fair from 5-7:30 p.m. Sept. 18 at the West Haven Community House, 227 Elm St.

The event will give families of children with special needs an opportunity to learn about new resources and services while meeting other families.

The fair will include representatives from the following agencies and programs: West Haven Youth and Family Services Family Therapy, WHINC Parent Support Groups, Read to Grow, Wheeler Clinic, Banker’s Life Special Needs Funds, Milestones Behavioral Health and Family Services, ASD Fitness Center, Benhaven Children’s Behavioral Services, Clifford Beers Marne Street Clinic Behavioral Services and Assessment, Family Centered Services, Favor Inc., Shoreline Center for Autism & Developmental Disorders, West Haven Family Resource Center, CTFSN CT Families with Special Needs, ACES Adult Career & Community Empowerment Support Services, Yale Child Study, Planning Across the Spectrum, Kidsense, and West Haven Head Start.

Roundabout upgrade slated for Jones Hill Rd., Ocean Ave.

An aerial rendering from the state Department of Transportation showing the soon-to-be upgraded Oyster River roundabout at Jones Hill Road and Ocean Avenue in the city’s Baybrook section. (CTDOT)

Roundabout upgrade slated for Jones Hill Rd., Ocean Ave.

WEST HAVEN, Aug. 23, 2019 — The state Department of Transportation’s Office of Engineering is developing plans to improve the Oyster River roundabout at routes 162 and 705 in the city’s Baybrook section.

The $325,000 project aims to upgrade the existing roundabout, or traffic circle, at Jones Hill Road and Ocean Avenue to current design standards for accommodating larger trucks, said the project manager, Scott Bushee, a principal engineer with the DOT’s Division of Highway Design.

Bushee explained that during the roundabout’s original design, a midsize tractor-trailer was the standard design vehicle for state arterial roads. But shortly after the roundabout’s construction more than a decade ago, national changes in the trucking industry prompted the DOT to change its regulations and increase the size of the standard design vehicle on state arterial roads because of technical advances in the industry and gradual acceptance of larger trucks by many states, he said.

“The larger trucks with longer trailers need more room to turn, resulting in off-tracking in the center island of the roundabout and damage to the outside curbing where drivers are trying to maximize available room to make their turn,” Bushee said.

According to the DOT, preliminary plans for the upgraded roundabout call for “expanding the truck apron 8.5 feet to the interior, replacing the outer concrete curbing with granite, constructing a hardscape concrete surface with a brick paver appearance within the former planter areas between the outer curb and the sidewalk, and repaving the roundabout.”

“The roundabout has required constant maintenance in recent years and will be upgraded with more durable materials,” said Bushee, adding that no private properties are affected in the plans.

Mayor Nancy R. Rossi, who recently met with state and city officials about the roundabout, thanked state Rep. Charles J. Ferraro, R-West Haven, for helping to fast-track the state-funded project.

The DOT anticipates completing the design phase in December and starting the construction phase in summer 2020, which Bushee said should take about six to eight weeks.

No detours are planned during the work, said Bushee, who will give a PowerPoint presentation on the project at 6:30 p.m. Sept. 23 at City Hall, 355 Main St. The public is invited.

Before the roundabout, the busy intersection was stop-controlled on Jones Hill Road with free flow on Ocean Avenue. Vehicles turning left onto Jones Hill Road caused traffic to back up on Ocean Avenue while waiting for a safe gap in oncoming traffic to execute their turn, according to information provided by the DOT.

“The resulting traffic congestion contributed to rear-end crashes on Ocean Avenue and angle crashes within the intersection,” the DOT said.

To improve safety and relieve traffic congestion, the first modern roundabout built on a state road was constructed there in 2007, reducing the total crash rate by 45% and injury-related crashes by 60%, according to statistics provided by the DOT.

Anyone interested in receiving information about “State Project No. 156-182” can contact Matthew Vail, transportation principal engineer with the DOT’s Bureau of Engineering and Construction, at or 860-594-3274.

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