News from Town Hall
Dear Woodbridge Neighbors,
 
I am pleased to announce that after many months of meetings and discussions, at this week's Board of Selectmen meeting the Board voted on an agreement between the Amity Woodbridge Historical Society and the Town of Woodbridge through 2030. This will allow the society to accept a major State grant.

Additionally, we have finalized the membership of the 2030 Task Force, and gotten agreement from those members to serve on this Committee. My goal is to ask this group of town leaders and business owners, to work on ways to grow our Grand List and make sure our Town continues into the future remaining fiscally stable.

There are a lot of good ideas – some are already in the works – that I’d like the committee to take a look at. I think we need a comprehensive, big picture plan for how to move forward. We also need to continue to seek ways to lower taxes and become more attractive to new businesses, help our current businesses grow and succeed, and diversify our housing stock. I envision this committee recommending new policies, possibly making recommendations to our zoning regulations, a marketing campaign, capital infrastructure and other ideas that they might think would help our Town.

This committee will include Chris Dickerson, local business owner and former member of the Board of Selectmen, Board of Finance member Susan Jacobs, Rob Klee, Chair of the Town Plan and Zoning Commission, Garrett Luciani, who is a vice president at People’s United Bank in Woodbridge, and Chair of the Economic Development Commission Jeremy Rosner.

I am also working to create a Committee to examine Equity and Diversity in Woodbridge. Following last month’s Black Lives Matters rally and walk, I was moved to action, to look at ways to make Woodbridge a more welcoming, equitable and diverse town. I hope to announce the membership of that group at our next meeting.

Earlier this week I participated in a regional call with the City of New Haven and the State of Connecticut DOT regarding plans for Exit 59 on Route 15. They informed us that the short-term project is nearing completion. The DOT is next looking to fix safety issues to the Route 15 on and off ramps only and not the previous plans with new signals and roundabouts attempting to mitigate congestion. The Exit 59 on and off ramps have some of the highest accident counts in the State and I hope that once these safety issues are resolved, we will also see an improvement in local traffic flow. I will keep you posted on this, as concepts are finalized and funding sources are identified. Their estimate was that the planning phase of this project would last about three years. We stressed that timing is most important to us in Woodbridge as well.

In mid-March, we went into “triage mode” in response to the pandemic, but as things have become somewhat more stable, I now think it is time to begin to complete several things that have been put aside as we dealt with other most important matters. According to Police Chief Frank Cappiello QVHD regarding Woodbridge’s numbers is 130 positive COVID-19 cases and 34 COVID-19 associated deaths. Frank reports that the “good news is there have been no new cases reported in over a week.”

Despite this very positive news, I urge you to continue to remain cautious. Please continue to stay home as much as possible, wear your mask and wash your hands frequently, especially if you are in the over 65 population and/or vulnerable for other health reasons.
 
All board and commission meetings continue to be held virtually.  The Town calendar  lists all the upcoming meetings and meeting agendas. On each agendas is an explanation as to how to participate virtually in a meeting – either via a link or by watching on WGATV channel 79 or  YouTube .
 
We have no immediate plans to open our doors to the public. I am proud that we have continued to provide excellent service to residents from a distance, keeping both residents and staff safe.
 
The Recreation Department has opened our playgrounds, playing fields and tennis courts (but canceled this year's summer concert series). The dog park is open too. Please be sure to wear a mask and stay 6 feet apart from others. Our facilities are not cleaned or sanitized so remember you are using them at your own risk .
   
As always, my door is virtually open to you. If you need to reach me please call 203-389-3401 or email me at  bheller@woodbridgect.org. 
 
 
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Community Conversation

The Ad Hoc Community council invites you to participate in a virtual Community Conversation on Tuesday July 28 at 7 pm featuring award-winning journalist Ed Gordon, author of the book “Conversations in Black: On Power, Politics, and Leadership."

This will be the first of a series of outreach initiatives dedicated to the topics of diversity, inclusion, and collaboration. The theme of the conversation will be: Activism: How to Stand Up and Enact Meaningful Change. Mr. Gordon will facilitate a panel with local residents to explore subjects that embrace critical questions in today’s charged climate, and about people of color’s continuing quest for equality.

There is no cost to participate, however book purchases are encouraged. Socially distanced book sales will take place on the Woodbridge Town Green adjacent to the Woodbridge Police Department, on Saturday, July 18 and July 25, from 9am-10am. Each book is $25 and exact cash or check (payable to Gordon Media) is appreciated.

Details on how to participate in the conversation will be forthcoming.
Alexander (A.J.) Pocwierz Earns
First Selectman’s Youth Award
Woodbridge First Selectman Beth Heller, along with Woodbridge Youth Services, announces the 2020 winner of the First Selectman’s Youth Award as Alexander (A.J.) Pocwierz.

A.J., son of Ted and Stacey Pocwierz comes from a caring family of people who share a commitment to the Town of Woodbridge through volunteerism.
Nominations for the award came from LT Anthony Berardesca from the Fire Department and by Karen Waterman, Amity Regional High School Counselor, and in a previous year, from Fire Chief Sean Rowland.

Alexander has volunteered countless hours for the Woodbridge Volunteer Fire Department through selfless dedication as a Junior firefighter. Ms. Waterman recognized A.J. as a young man willing to be different who built an “amazing high school career”. A.J. impressed his counselor with his individuality and commitment to his community.

Nominations cited his Eagle Scout project which involved replacing several wooden footbridges in town parks. Alexander has also volunteered for the Special Olympics medical team, ensuring the safety of athletes. A.J. received a plaque from the Town of Woodbridge and a check for $200 provided by Peoples United Bank to acknowledge his many efforts in our town. A.J., a recent Amity Regional High School graduate, plans to attend West Virginia University in the fall.
Tax Season

Residents are encouraged to mail their tax checks to Office of the Tax Collector, 11 Meetinghouse Lane, Woodbridge CT 06525.

If that is not possible, the Tax Office will be available on the front porch of Town Hall at the window to the right of the main doors. That window is taffed Monday thru Friday from 9 am to 12 noon and from 1pm until 3pm.

For questions please call the Tax Office at 203-389-3425.
Free Thermometers While Supplies Last

Our regional health district, Quinnipiack Valley Health District, has provided the Town of Woodbridge with 245 free digital thermometers to distribute to Woodbridge residents on a first-come, first-served basis.


If you need a thermometer, please fill out this form and you will be contacted to schedule a curbside pick up at Town Hall during business hours.
Human Services update

The Woodbridge Center announces new exercise classes! Tune into local access TV channel 79 for Exercise with Laurie on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 10 am and 4 pm through July. Additionally, The Center is now offering Introduction to Chair Yoga with Julie Luciani which will be aired on Mondays at 11 am at 4 pm through July on channel 79.

Contributions to defray instructor costs are appreciated. Please mail checks to The Woodbridge Center, 11 Meetinghouse Ln. and indicate exercise on the memo line.

Call 203-3893430 for details.

Youth Services invites Woodbridge and Bethany families to participate in a Chalk Art Challenge! Details here.

The department is also offering community service projects.
Library Update

The Library is now offering Park & Pickup
The service is:
  • Safe: All items will have been quarantined for at least three days before being checked out
  • Contactless: Your items are in a closed bag on table outside the front of the Library
  • Convenient:  No appointments needed. (But you must come during our "open" hours.)

Book Club Sets Available!
If you're in a book club and are tired of buying books or are finding it hard to get enough copies for everyone, see what we have to offer. We have 50 sets of books—fiction and nonfiction titles. Most of our sets contain regular print, large print, and audiobooks; check out what you need or the entire set!  See the entire collection
For more information, call the Reference Desk:
203-389-3434 or email: wbrstaff@lioninc.org .


On the topics of race and injustice—digital materials to help
with current events
Even while closed, the Library remains a place for all. We strive to provide diverse materials that can educate and inform, as well as entertain. Please see below for lists of titles to read, listen, and watch that may help you to learn more about what is happening and to understand why. Of course, our librarians can help you find alternatives, should you need them. 

hoopla offers: 
Conversations about Race   (ebooks and audiobooks for adults)
Talking to Kids about Race  ( movies, ebooks, audiobooks, comics for kids)

From Kanopy Social and Systemic Injustice   (movies)


Recreation Department Update


The Recreation Department is offering online classes . New classes are added frequently so check back often.

Virtual Summer Camp : Woodbridge Rec Virtual Summer Camp began June 22nd and will run through July 31st from 10 am-12 pm. It will consist of three 40 minute periods. Classes include fitness boot camp, run with me, safety classes, photography, drawing, storyboarding, film, mother nature, virtual zoo, and much more. Registration requires a valid email address that is regularly monitored. For more details please email wrdvirtualsummercamp@outlook.com .

By popular demand another session of the Virtual Cooking Class has been added!  Food Explorers Virtual Cooking Camp begins on August 17th- August 21st from 9 am- 12 noon. Ingredients for this class are available for curb side pick up on Friday, August 14, between 9 am and 4pm, at the Woodbridge Rec Office. Menu items include homemade foccacia bread, chocolate chickpea truffles, broccoli cheddar melts, pasta from scratch, and much more. For more information please email recreation@woodbridgect.org.

In-person Multi Sports Mini Camp designed for campers entering grades 2-8. 
Each week campers will participate in fitness, sport specific skill drills, and fun games and activities. Students will be grouped by grade level and skill level in a fun and exciting environment. Camp Director Nick Dottori will offer Basketball Camp July 13-17, Soccer Camp July 20-24, Flag Football Camp July 27-31, and Multi-Sports Camp August 3 - 7. Grades 2-4 8 am to 9:30 am, Grades 5-6 9:45 am to 11:15 am, Grades 7-8 11:30 am to 1:00 pm. For questions and information, email Nick Dottori.

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Welcome, New Residents!


You may have new neighbors -- homes are selling quickly in Woodbridge.

Please share this email with your new neighbors and let them know there is a   Welcome to Woodbridge Packet   on the Town's website that has lots of useful information for new (and not so new!) residents.
Absentee Ballots Available July 21


Beginning July 21, absentee ballots will be available for the Presidential Preference Primary as well as the Primary for State, Local or Municipal. To receive an absentee ballot, an application must be submitted to the Town Clerk's Office. ( This link will be bring you to the application.)

Applications may be returned via: fax, 203-389-3473; email to townclerk@woodbridgect.org; or mail to the Town Clerk's Office at Woodbridge Town Hall. Please call the Town Clerk's Office with any questions. Feel free to leave a voice message, as all calls will be returned.

Regional Water Authority News

News for households who use city water:

Drought:
Despite the recent rain, Connecticut is in an unusually dry period. As a result of the prolonged hot and dry weather, and more people at home due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the RWA recently experienced an unprecedented 60 percent increase in water use. For this reason, we have asked our customers to reduce their water use by 10 percent.
While the RWA's water supply levels remain plentiful, this high demand can strain our distribution and treatment systems, which may cause temporarily discolored water . Discolored water is caused by the natural mineral content in the water, not by something new entering the water supply.
 
Many of our customers have heeded our request to reduce their water consumption. We thank all of our customers who have taken steps to reduce their water use in recent days. With moderate drought and abnormally dry conditions around Connecticut, we ask that you continue conserving by eliminating non-essential water use. You can reduce water consumption by shutting off irrigation systems and allowing grass to grow longer, not topping off your pool, turning off the water while shaving or brushing teeth, and checking your home for leaks in plumbing and fixtures. For more water wise ways, visit our website .
 

Grants:
The COVID-19 pandemic placed an unexpected financial strain on many families and businesses. In recognition of the unique challenges facing many people as a result of the public health crisis, the RWA is temporarily expanding our Residential Water Assistance Program – which offers grants for use in paying water bills – to more of our customers.

RWA residential customers living at or below 250 percent of the Federal Poverty Income Guidelines are eligible to receive a grant of up to $175. Residential customers interested in applying for the Residential Water Assistance Program should contact Dollar Energy, the RWA’s partner on this initiative, toll-free at 1-888-282-6816.

We are also temporarily making assistance available to small commercial and industrial customers. Small businesses can apply for assistance using an online form and submitting a copy of their most recent RWA bill.

Businesses can qualify for $200 grants through the program if they were impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. This includes businesses such as restaurants, gyms and hair salons that temporarily closed. It also includes those businesses that remained open but can provide details on how they were financially impacted.

It is the RWA's hope that this additional financial assistance will help the residents and businesses of our region recover from the current crisis. We must all do our part to promote a successful recovery.

How Are You Feeling?

Using the How We Feel app is an easy way for everyone – whether you're sick or healthy – to safely and anonymously provide valuable info to leading health professionals so they can track the spread of this virus and quickly determine where a new outbreak may be occurring.

Get Tested

Did you know it is free and easy to get tested for COVID-19?

Check out CT’s 211 Testing Locator and enter your town, zip code or street address to find locations closest to you.

Do You Need a Mask? Can you Make Masks?

Gov. Lamont's Executive Order 7BB requires everyone to wear a mask while in public. There are exceptions:

Nothing in this order shall require the use of a mask or cloth face covering by anyone for whom doing so would be contrary to his or her health or safety because of a medical condition, anyone under the age of 2 years, or by an older child if the parent, guardian or person responsible for the child is unable to place the mask safely on the child’s face.

Woodbridge Human Services has masks to give out now! Please call 203-389-3430 to make a request for masks or arrange a donation of masks, clean cotton fabric or elastic.

We are still looking for volunteer mask-makers. We’ve provided over 500 masks to Woodbridge residents and are so grateful to all who have stepped up to this task.


Virtual Events

Visit the Town's online calenda r for a listing of upcoming virtual events.

Organizations may submit Woodbridge-based events open to the public by visiting the calendar and clicking on "submit an event" near the top of the page. Please include an email address so we can contact you if there are questions.
Visit the Town website: woodbridgect.org


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