City Notes
City honored with Sustainable CT’s Bronze certification

City honored with Sustainable CT’s Bronze certification

WEST HAVEN, Nov. 1, 2019 — West Haven was among the Connecticut municipalities recognized at the New Britain Museum of American Art on Wednesday for achieving certification as a Sustainable CT community.

The city met high standards in a broad range of sustainability accomplishments to qualify for the prestigious Bronze certification, said Lynn Stoddard, executive director of the Institute for Sustainable Energy at Eastern Connecticut State University, which administers the Sustainable CT program.

Sustainable CT, a statewide initiative that inspires and supports communities in becoming more efficient, resilient and inclusive, announced its 2019 certified communities this week.

“This is really exciting news for the city,” Mayor Nancy R. Rossi said. “I would like to thank the volunteers and city employees who invested their time and hard work as part of the West Haven Sustainability Team.  They were key to the success of this effort and on achieving the Bronze certification.”

In its application for Sustainable CT certification, West Haven amassed 390 points in 23 of 56 possible action categories, far exceeding the required 200 points for Bronze certification. Additionally, the city was nominated as a CT Success Story for the in-depth and thorough work done on assessing and addressing climate vulnerability.

“West Haven’s achievement of Bronze certification in only the second year of the Sustainable CT initiative is a credit to the diligence and forward-thinking of many city employees and commission members during financially challenging times,” said Robin Parsons, who leads the West Haven Sustainability Team. “This certification not only grants recognition to those efforts, it provides a foundation for West Haven to become a leader in municipal sustainability in the years to come.”

Certification lasts for three years, with Connecticut’s first cohort of municipalities certified in 2018. Collectively, 47 municipalities — more than 27% of the state’s communities — have earned Sustainable CT certification. Certified communities span every county and include some of Connecticut’s largest cities and smallest towns.

“Congratulations to our 2019 certified Sustainable CT communities,” Stoddard said. “We are inspired by your leadership and eager to share your accomplishments in building efficient, thriving and resilient communities.”

The Sustainable CT program empowers municipalities to create high collective impact for current and future residents and is managed under the leadership of Eastern’s Institute for Sustainable Energy in Willimantic.

Sustainable CT is philanthropically funded, with strong support from its three founding funders: the Emily Hall Tremaine Foundation, the Common Sense Fund and the Smart Seed Fund.

On Dec. 3, the Connecticut Conference of Municipalities will recognize West Haven and the 22 other communities with Bronze certification, as well as the nine communities with Silver certification, at the Sustainable CT 2019 Certified Towns Award Ceremony. The event will take place during CCM’s Annual Convention at Foxwoods Resort Casino in Ledyard.

Collins sworn in to police commission for 3rd term

Collins sworn in to police commission for 3rd term

WEST HAVEN, Nov. 1, 2019 — Mayor Nancy R. Rossi swears in Chairman Raymond V. Collins III to the Board of Police Commissioners for a third five-year term on Thursday at City Hall.

Collins, a former Republican Board of Education member who lives on Apple Tree Terrace in West Shore, first took the oath of office on Sept. 29, 2010, succeeding the late Alex Botte, who served on the police commission from 1966 to 2009. Collins was elected chairman in 2012.

(City Photo/Michael P. Walsh)


West Haven poet laureate holding Fall Poetry Extravaganza on Nov. 2-3

WEST HAVEN, Nov. 1, 2019 — The Fall Poetry Extravaganza presented by West Haven’s poet laureate, Tony Fusco, will take place from 1-5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday at Yale University’s West Campus, Building 410, 100 West Campus Drive, Orange.

The program is open to the public with free parking.

Fusco, a lifelong resident who in April was appointed to the honorary position of poet laureate by Mayor Nancy R. Rossi, will read poems from his newest book, “Don’t Make Me Laugh,” at 1 p.m. Sunday.

Read the official News Release.

See the Schedule.

As the city’s first official poet, Fusco will appear at readings and conduct workshops as an advocate for the reading and writing of poetry.

A graduate of West Haven High School, he has a master’s degree in creative writing from Southern Connecticut State University and is co-president of the Connecticut Poetry Society.

WHHS solar array will save city $1M in electrical costs

Mayor Nancy R. Rossi on Monday announces a rooftop solar array for the underway reconstruction of West Haven High School that will generate power for the school once it is installed and save the city more than $1 million in electrical costs over 25 years. Joining Rossi for the City Hall news conference are West Haven High School Building Committee Chairman Kenneth Carney, center, and city energy consultant Adam Teff, general manager of Titan Energy of Rocky Hill. (City Photo/Michael P. Walsh)

WHHS solar array will save city $1M in electrical costs

WEST HAVEN, Oct. 30, 2019 — The underway reconstruction of West Haven High School will now include a rooftop solar array that will generate power for the school once it is installed and save the city more than $1 million in electrical costs over 25 years, Mayor Nancy R. Rossi announced during a news conference at City Hall on Monday.

Rossi heralded the news by touting the benefits of solar energy and its positive impact on the environment, saying the roof-mounted array is designed to cut greenhouse gases and will save taxpayers money.

“Solar power is cutting-edge and is attractive to eco-minded students, teachers and those invested in sustainability,” said Rossi, who opened the news conference to “share some positive news.”

“Our attractive new school will be even more attractive to our community with solar-powered mechanicals,” Rossi said. “Environmentally conscious practices and renewable power create an eco-friendly facility that stands out from other high schools.

“I am pleased to say that West Haven High School is gaining a reputation for innovativeness and creativity.”

Rossi was joined at the afternoon announcement by her executive assistant, Lou Esposito; state Reps. Charles J. Ferraro, R-West Haven, and Michael A. DiMassa, D-West Haven; Board of Education Chairwoman Rosemary Russo and member Rosa Richardson; Superintendent of Schools Neil C. Cavallaro; Kenneth Carney, chairman of the West Haven High School Building Committee; and city energy consultant Adam Teff, general manager of Titan Energy of Rocky Hill.

Carney said the solar photovoltaic system will net the city an actual savings of $1.02 million, or just over $40,000 per year, in electrical costs over the 25 years.

Photovoltaic is the conversion of light into electricity using semiconducting materials.

The installer and owner of the array is Greenskies Renewable Energy LLC of Middletown, which will erect the system in March 2020 and maintain it at no cost to the city or Board of Education, Carney said.

Under an agreement with Greenskies negotiated by Titan Energy, West Haven will off-take the energy generated by the array and purchase the electricity it produces at the negotiated per-kilowatt-hour fixed rate of 5.9 cents over 25 years, well below the city’s current rate of 11 cents, Carney said.

West Haven High’s $130 million reconstruction includes the newly completed addition that Rossi toured on Aug. 27 after greeting students, teachers, faculty and staff on the first day of school.

In addition to the future array, Rossi said the school is being constructed with high-efficiency boilers, LED lighting, an insulated envelope, energy-efficient windows, water-saving fixtures, and high-efficiency heating, ventilating and air conditioning equipment.

“All of these energy-efficient components will result in a dramatic reduction in utility costs to operate the new high school,” Rossi said.

Designed by Antinozzi Associates of Bridgeport to accommodate 1,598 students, plans for the reconstructed high school also include renovating the existing building. The total finished project has an area of 265,959 square feet, according to Carney.

Carney said the completed school will offer a cutting-edge media center and advanced STEM classrooms and laboratories for science, technology, engineering and math, as well as upgraded public areas for the school and community. The fully air-conditioned building will have lower maintenance and operating costs and offer enhanced access and security, he said.

Carney said the project’s construction phase, also known as Phase III, is composed of three major “subphases” to allow the school to offer a full academic curriculum throughout the project.

Gilbane Building Co. of Glastonbury is the project’s construction manager, with Amar Shamas serving as the project executive. The Capitol Region Education Council of Hartford, or CREC, is overseeing the construction financing.

Carney said the construction phase, which began in April 2018, is expected to take about three years to complete, with a projected occupancy of new spaces in fall 2019 through 2021. Site restoration work is expected to continue until spring 2022, he said.

Carney confirmed the project is on schedule and $2 million under budget.

The first subphase, completed this fall, included constructing the food services, building services, tech-ed shops, media center, auditorium, music and arts classrooms, and administrative offices.

The second subphase, now underway, calls for renovating the existing eastern three-story building after demolishing the existing cafeteria and media center.

The third subphase includes demolishing the existing auditorium and music spaces, renovating the northern wing of academic spaces, and demolishing the existing gym and southern academic building.


Driver safety course offered Dec. 11

WEST HAVEN, Oct. 25, 2019 — The Allingtown/West Haven Senior Center will offer an AARP Driver Safety Program from noon-4 p.m. Dec. 11 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.

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