All posts by Scott

State Grant for Whitneyville Cultural Commons

An update from Rep. Mike D’Agostino:

Last week, the town was awarded a $30,000 grant (Community Investment Act) to conduct a full assessment and preservation plan for the Whitneyville Church/Cultural Commons.  The town should have by now received a hard copy and email copy of the contract that needs to be filled out and returned to the Department of Economic and  Community Development.  The town needs to return a signed contract to DECD in order to get the funds, along with a certification confirming that the Mayor is authorized to enter into the contract. 

I want to stress how imperative it is to get the contract executed and certification back to DECD as soon as possible.  The funds are there now but there is a real possibility the state will freeze more DECD grant funds as part of its deficit mitigation actions — this has happened to other grants.  In short, we have to get the $$ before it is gone. 

May meeting minutes, 5/12/16

Maureen Armstrong, Hamden Public Library

  • Daisy scouts are planting around the sign
  • Additional minor work is being done
  • Materials budget was cut by mayor and council, attending council meetings is a good way to support library
  • Programming for adults, including one-on-one computer classes, meditation, cooking & nutrition
  • Miller has Tuesday movie matinee, museum passes can now be booked online
  • Get newsletter online or at the library for more details
  • Summer Reading Program is starting soon
  • Many resources can be accessed from home via the library’s home page http://hamdenlibrary.org
  • Question: Saturday and evening hours? Staffing shortage was the problem, they might resume in the fall as positions are refilled

Update on letter to and meeting with Mayor about the physical state of the Whitneyville Branch. Several ideas were discussed, should WCA have a library committee? Contact Dave if interested, vice-president@whitneyville.org.

Gardening club work dates:
Liz has the schedule of Sunday mornings. Broader participation would enable more projects. May 22, June 19, July 24, August 1, September 18 – meet at the Pocket Park.

Spring litter pick-up this weekend. Supplies will be distributed Saturday and Sunday mornings from 9:00 – 10:00 am in the Ralston/Whitney parking lot. Bring filled bags back by 3:00 pm Sunday for the town to pick up.

Hamden Land Conservation Trust is having a photo contest with a deadline of 5/23/16 (see link under Town of Hamden resources above).

Update on letters (see Letters section above).

Elections:
Vice-President 2017-2018, Dave Bechtel
Secretary 2017-2018, Diedre Dolan
Traffic issues discussion:
People who were working on traffic need to step back and we need more people. Moira, Mark, Julie Dowd, and Liz volunteered.

Some work has been done on traffic calming, including Mather / Waite improvements this spring.

Trish and Leah have worked on Mather St. traffic since 2008, worked with Scott Jackson to get the traffic study (linked above) done and the five-points intersection at King/Belmont/Mather improved.

Truck traffic from Mather St. construction has some options, but work early on is important (is there a construction traffic management plan filed?).

Important to comment on the new Plan of Conservation & Development still under development.

Other announcements:
Community investment fund grants (two $30,000 grants pending) need to be approved by the town to ensure the funds are secured.

Two cars stolen in the past month, some of this is seasonal. See prior notes from Sgt. Testa and Chief Wydra for crime prevention tips. Keeping cars, doors, and windows locked is key, as is reporting anything suspicious.

It’s pothole season! Report them to the town helpdesk or see-click-fix. The more reports the more likely they will be filled promptly.

Update from Laine on Whitneyville Cultural Commons. The 501(c)(3) application is pending with IRS – could hear any time now. The zoning changes have gone through, and the variances to merge the two parcels has also gone through. This means that discussions of parking on the Putnam end of the property are revived.

It’s New Haven Bike Month, and there are free breakfasts on Fridays – at Yale Art Gallery tomorrow, Pitkin Plaza next week.

State budget update from Rep. Mike D’Agostino: budget is passed in the special session. There are changes to how the car tax works which will result in slightly more revenue to the town and slightly lower car taxes. Hamden is coming out of the hard budget year with a positive.

Whitneyville Parking Lot

Curt Leng, Mayor
Chief Wydra, Traffic Commission

The Whitneyville Civic Association (WCA) proposes the following clarifying rules and practices to govern the user of the “Whitneyville Municipal Parking Lot” at the corner of Whitney and Ralston Avenues:
  •  Establish a few commuter parking spaces for those who park and use the adjacent bus stops
  •  Remove the existing 2 hour limit signs
  •  Designate all of the lot (except for the designated commuter spots) as 2 hour parking from 8:00AM to 6:00PM
(We understand that any existing overnight parking regulations or restrictions currently in place should continue.)
Approved by a majority of the executive board of the WCA. We look forward to hearing from you by May, 24th.
Jan Kazienko, President
Whitneyville Civic Association

Trees on Whitney

Craig Cesare, Public Works
Tom Parlapiano, Tree Commission
Craig and Tom,
The Whitneyville Civic Association executive board is writing to request Hamden Public Works remove the 3 dead/dying cherry trees , including stumps and  roots on Whitney Ave , directly in front of the Playwright and Framed. They are becoming a hazard and an eyesore. The remaining cherry trees at that location are in very poor health .
The WCA requests the Tree Commission involve the WCA and the adjacent business owners in the new vegetation/tree plan and installation.
We are very interested in working together to improve Whitneyville center.
Best regards,
Liz Helwig
WCA Business Liaison
Janet Kazienko
Whitneyville Civic Association, President

Tree Removal in Di Nicola Park

Curt Leng, Mayor

Dear Mayor Leng:

Once again, it seems that citizen sentiment and advocacy has been trounced by the Town’s Public Works Department, tree division. The department’s recent tree trimming and clean-up in De Nicola Park has resulted in the loss of at least four mature shade trees, immediately adjacent to the playground they so well served on hot summer days.

According to Kath Schomaker the outcome of her initial inquiries was that: (M)ajor tree limbs came down in a recent storm and those limbs were cleared. Some additional trimming under the direction of the tree warden. No mention of arborist involvement.

The WCA is saddened by the careless removal of these mature trees. Even more, we are disheartened by the lack of honest ‘government to community’ dialogue in the process. At its worst, the lack of dialogue serves to usurp the place of the tax-paying community in making unilateral decisions that serves other than our own interests.

We have faith that you understand the critical relationship between Town and Community. Unfortunately, the recent tree cutting drives a wedge (no pun intended) between them that may well extend beyond trees.

We urge you to suspend the cutting of town trees, except in public safety emergencies, until a clear and approved process is implemented and staff can assume their responsibilities in the interest of the community.

Many thanks,
Whitneyville Civic Association

Jan Kazienko, President
Scott Matheson, Secretary

Plan for Whitneyville Branch Library

Dear Mayor Leng,

 

On behalf of the Whitneyville Civic Association, we are writing to request information on your plans for addressing the physical repairs at the Whitneyville Branch of Hamden Public Library.  As you know, the library building has not been well maintained over many years and now requires a number of repairs.  These include new carpeting, ceiling tiles, repairs in the bathroom, stairs and basement, new paint / siding and removal of the exterior oil tank (among others).

 

  • What are your priorities for repairs and/or capital improvements to the Whitneyville Branch?

 

  • What are the timelines for completing different repairs?

 

The Whitneyville Library is an essential community center in our neighborhood.  The library is filled with patrons using the computers, checking out books and videos, reading to their children, receiving tutoring or help with schoolwork, and meeting their neighbors.  It is a hub for family programs and activities.  Even with limited weekday hours, the library is an important gathering place for people of all ages.

 

The Whitneyville Civic Association is discussing ways to publicize the Library’s Saturday hours, so people who work during the week can also enjoy the library.  The Saturday schedule has been inconsistent and not widely publicized, so many of our neighbors are not aware of the Saturday schedule.  The Civic Association discussed different ways to promote and support the library, including through our email distribution list and Facebook page, and at local events including the Fall Festival and summer Music Slams.

 

Thank you for your consideration, and we look forward to working with you to address needed building repairs and to expand the use of the Whitneyville Library beyond the weekdays.

 

Sincerely,

 

Janet Kazienko

Whitneyville Civic Association President