News from Town Hall
This past week, the Board of Finance met to adopt the July 1, 2020 - June 30, 2021 budget in lieu of convening the Annual Town Meeting. The Town budget process was altered this year in order to comply with  Executive Order #7I and Executive Order #7B. No in-person meetings are permitted.

At my direction, the Board of Finance worked closely with our Finance Director to find ways to help our taxpayers. I know that m any residents have been financially impacted by the pandemic. Taxes will BE REDUCED by 1.02% this year after more than $1.2 million in reductions were made to the proposed budget (which was initially developed prior to the pandemic). In order to lower the tax rate, we identified areas that could be reduced related to the pandemic, without impacting basic services.

As you may be aware, approximately two thirds of our budget is spent on education -- one third to the Amity Regional School District and one third to the Woodbridge Board of Education. Under normal circumstances residents would have been invited to vote at referendum on the proposed Amity budget, but Executive Orders 7B and 7I allowed the Amity board to vote directly on the budget this year. In these difficult times, I would have hoped for a lower increase or even no increase in the Amity budget for FY 2021. At the same time, I do know how important the Amity Regional school system and education is to our Town. Since the three towns (Bethany, Orange, and Woodbridge) have no direct ability to set the Amity budget, it is something the taxpayers must accept. 

Please keep in mind that due to revaluation many properties in Town lost value. When values decrease, the mill rate must increase in order to keep the Town's revenues from taxes stable. Our mill rate will increase slightly to 41.53.
 
The Board of Selectmen also held a special meeting this week to discuss the draft agreement between the Town and the Amity Woodbridge Historical Society. The Board agreed to to make further changes to some of the language and continue to review the agreement. 
 
Our email service was down all week. I apologize if you reached out to any staff and did not receive an answer. I am hopeful that our computer systems will be fully back online soon. In the interim, please be patient!

As a reminder, please, please, please stay home, and only venture out when necessary.  You MUST wear a mask when you are in public at all times. By doing so you are saving lives. Town residents in need of a cloth mask may call the Human Services Department at 203-389-3430 or 203-389-3429 to request masks for members of their household. Masks are in stock now.
 
Police Chief Cappiello reported to me that we currently have 109 COVID-19 positive cases and sadly, 29 deaths in town. Almost three quarters of the positive cases are from our nursing homes/assisted living facilities, and all but one death are also from these facilities.

My door is virtually open to you. If you have questions or comments please do not hesitate to reach out. You can email me at bheller@woodbridgect.org


Local Food Drive

To help families through the COVID-19 pandemic, a Food Drive will take place on Sat., May 23 between 10 am - 1 pm at Our Lady of Assumption Church, Center Road parking lot (rain or shine).

Donations of non-perishable items or gift cards to purchase perishable items will be greatly appreciated. Please ensure non-perishable donations have valid expiration dates. 80% of donations will benefit the CT Food Bank and 20% will benefit the Town of Woodbridge Food and Fuel Fund.

For social distancing safety, volunteers will remove food donations from car trunks or back seats, passenger side.

#ShopLocal

Whether or not your favorite local businesses is open you can still support them!

Many are offering gift cards and other creative ways to stay afloat during these difficult times. Our restaurants are offering to-go meals and our wellness practitioners are trying to help keep you healthy and happy (or at least less stressed!).

Now more than ever it is important to Dine Woodbridge, Shop Woodbridge, Try Woodbridge.

If you'd like your Woodbridge-based business added to any of these lists send us an email with your listing details.

Rid Litter Weekend

Rid Litter Day is normally held in late April near Earth Day and this year it would have been held on Sustainable Day which was slated for May 2.

Instead, please help clean up the Town's streets while you're out on a walk during this long weekend. You can bring the bag to the Transfer Station or leave a bag of litter on a street corner to be picked up by the Public Works crew the following week. If you prefer to leave it on the road,  please let us know where it is !


Tax Deferment Program

Last month, per Governor Lamont’s Executive Order 7S, the Board of Selectmen for the Town of Woodbridge adopted a Tax Deferment Program, for eligible taxpayers impacted by COVID 19, with application for taxes due July 1, 2020.

The deferment does not apply to taxes due prior to July 1, 2020. Escrow agents are still expected to remit tax payments per regular timetable that is by August 3, 2020 as the last day to pay. The tax deferment applications are online. The application and all supporting documentation must be received at the Woodbridge Tax Office no later than July 1, 2020.

The effect of this program is the equivalent of an extended grace period. The deadline to pay taxes for eligible taxpayers is deferred to October 1, 2020 without interest. Interest will be charged on any payments made by eligible taxpayers after October 1, 2020.

For questions or to receive a paper application please call the Tax Office at 203-389-3425.

Bike and Pedestrian Safety

While so many more people are out walking and biking, please be sure to follow the rules of the road.

View this  brochure from Bike Walk Connecticut  which includes safety rules for walking, biking and driving.

Pedestrians should walk against traffic, be alert and be visible; cyclists should ride with traffic, stay to the right, be visible and wear helmets; and vehicles should give cyclists three feet of space, follow the rules of the road and be aware of pedestrians and vehicles in the road.

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.



Infrared Thermometers

The State of Connecticut will be distributing 50,000 infrared thermometers it has secured for small businesses, nonprofits, and places of worship to support safe reopening activities amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Small businesses and nonprofits may use this link:

Houses of workshop may use this link:

For more information read the State's press release.

Lock Your Cars!!!

The Woodbridge Police Department is reporting an uptick in stolen cars and thefts from cars and the vast majority include cars that are unlocked and, sometimes, cars with keys or garage door openers in them.

Please protect yourself and your belongings by keeping your car locked.

Summer Camp Canceled; Virtual Camp Offered

The Woodbridge Recreation Department is announcing its new virtual summer camp for 2020. Our goal is to provide our children with a safe environment and still receive a fun filled program of events every week. Our virtual summer camp will run 10 am to 12 pm, five days a week, for six weeks, starting on June 22 thru July 31, 2020. We know how much summer camp means to so many, but the challenges of running a safe on-site program are overwhelming in light of COVID-19.

Details will be shared when they are available.
Transfer Station Open!

If you're visiting the Transfer Station please wear a mask.

The Transfer and Recycling Station is a permit-required facility, open to all Woodbridge residents for household waste disposal and recycling, Tuesday-Saturday from 8:30 a.m.-3:00 p.m. at 85 Acorn Hill Road Extension.  All vehicles entering the Transfer Station must have a valid permit. Permits may be obtained by calling the Public Works Department at 203-389-3420.

PPE for Health Care Providers

Our regional health district, Quinnipiack Valley Health District, receives Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) from the State's regional supply on a weekly basis, typically every Tuesday. QVHD is responsible for distributing PPE strictly to the following local healthcare providers:
1.       Urgent Care Centers
2.       Primary Care Physicians
3.       Dialysis Centers
4.       Hospice
5.       Home Health Agencies
Requests are filled on a first come, first serve basis and are provided to the above healthcare providers in our district (Bethany, Hamden, North Haven and Woodbridge) that request PPE through us directly. To make a request, please call QVHD at 203-248-4528 or email  info@qvhd.org.
Intergenerational Letter Writing

The Woodbridge Center, in conjunction with Woodbridge Youth Services, is hosting letter writing between local residents ages 5-18 and the senior population 70+ years old. This intergenerational writing campaign will help stave off boredom and isolation during the COVID 19 pandemic quarantine.

(Pictured are Abigail and Emma Ressler. )

Letters may contain drawings, poems, observations and general communications and should be placed in an un-sealed envelope. The Woodbridge Center will address and seal all envelopes and mail them to appropriate community members. Older students may receive community service for participating. Letters may be dropped off to the Human Services department by no-contact appointments. All drop-offs will be at the bench outside The Woodbridge Center and arranged by phone or email. Call 203-389-3429, 203-389-3430 or email  jglicksman@woodbridgect.org  or  npfund@woodbridgect.org  for more information.

Help 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 is looking for volunteer mask-makers. We’ve provided over 350 masks to Woodbridge residents and are so grateful to all who have stepped up to this task.

We have many 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.

Virtual Town Programs

Take a v irtual visit to the Library Woodbridge residents can apply for a library card online or ask for their barcode if they have lost their physical card. Library card holders have access to ebooks, movies, music, and more--all for free. All currently checked out materials are due June 1. The Library is also offering virtual events.

The Recreation Department is offering online classes. New classes are added frequently so check back often. Offerings include T’ai Chi, Yoga Ninjas for Kids, Piano, Voice lessons, Hip Hop and more.


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.
Share Your Story


Capture and share your stories, journal entries, photos, calendars, notes, even the jokes that are lifting your spirits—anything that is special to this time. The story of Woodbridge and its residents during the pandemic is History.
                  
Some things you can write about include:
 
How are you spending your days? Are you self-isolating, working from home, on the frontlines as a healthcare worker, or an essential employee? Tell us how your life has changed and what your daily routine is like. Are you cooking, hiking, exercising, binge-watching Netflix, helping your children with schoolwork, reading? Who is with you? What are you eating? How do you feel? What do you think about? What are you grateful for? 
Girl Scout Book Drive

The Amity New Haven Girl Scouts held a book drive for New Haven Reads earlier this month and collected gently used books for New Haven Reads.

The Girl Scouts are still collecting books. If you can donate books, email GSCTAmitySU@gmail.com to arrange drop off. The books will be distributed to New Haven Public School students at the schools' free-meal distribution sites.
 

Sign up for Emergency Alerts

To sign up for emergency alerts, or change the way you receive them, visit CTAlert.gov

You can also text the keyword COVIDCT to 888-777.

When we use this service you will receive a call or text from 860-920-3337 and caller ID will say its "potential spam."
Explore the Trails
This section will highlight lesser known trails to help you avoid crowds at the Town's more popular trails. While you're using the trails, please help maintain them! ( See all the trail maps here .) Check out the new Woodbridge Trails Handbook to learn how you can help.

The Town-owned and Woodbridge Land Trust-managed Race Brook Estate Blue Trail system is a short hike that provides an important connection. The trail starts on Beecher Road, across from Fitzgerald Tract, and wends through an open space set aside. It ends on Pease Road where hikers can continue onto the Historic Indian Trail which ends in the business district.
Do You Need Help?

Help with Business
Visit the State Department of Economic and Community Development website for many business programs designed to help during the pandemic.

Not sure which program is best for your business?   The Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development (DECD) has created a COVID-19 Business Emergency Response Unit dedicated to assisting businesses navigate resources and develop new resources. A dedicated phone line is available at 860-500-2333 to provide assistance to Connecticut's small businesses for this purpose.

Help with Family Stress
Parents and caretakers in need of help with the stress and increased needs resulting from caring for their children during the COVID-19 crisis are invited to call the state’s new “Talk It Out” hotline to receive assistance. The hotline provides support from trained professionals who will listen and speak with those in need about their concerns and, if additional help is needed, refer them to responsive services. Call 1-833-258-5011 or visit  www.talkitoutct.com .

Help with Finances


Governor Lamont announced that many banks are offering 90 day mortgage relief. Check to see if your bank is one of them.

Help with Food
Contact the Town's Food and Fuel Fund for food assistance at 203-389-3430.

You can also contact Our Lady of the Assumption Church at 203-387-7119 to arrange for food assistance . It is not necessary to be a church member to take advantage of this service to the community.

Help with Pets
The Woodbridge District Animal Control has dog and cat food for anyone in need. Call 203-389-5991 with at least a one-day notice to arrange a curbside pick-up.
How You Can Help

Donate Blood
-The Red Cross is experiencing a shortage of blood donations after thousands of blood drives were canceled around the country to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. A number of appointment-only blood drives are being organized throughout Connecticut. To make an appointment in your area, visit   www.redcrossblood.org

Donate Food
The Woodbridge Food and Fuel Fund is accepting donations. Details here.

District Animal Control is accepting pet food donations. Call 203-389-5991 to coordinate drop-off.

You can donate to Meals4Healers, an initiative to show gratitude to HCPs and support local restaurants, we are piloting a food delivery initiative with house staff who are home in isolation as well as those who are displaced due to COVID-19. One donation of $20 will cover one (1) fixed nutritious meal to these residents. This donation will cover the cost of a fixed meal, delivery, and tip.

Donate Money
-The United Way and the Community Foundation of Greater New Haven have created a Greater New Haven COVID 19 fund taking donations. The United Way is also organizing volunteers, donations and other resources.

The Connecticut COVID-19 Charity Connection (4-CT) was launched as a non-profit that unites donors with state-wide programs that will help make an immediate impact.

The Griffin Hospital COVID 19 Relief fund will help the hospital react to the pandemic.

Yale New Haven Hospital has a COVID-19 Support Fund that will provide critical support to the hospital during the pandemic.

Woodbridge Rotary has established a COVID-19 Relief Fund. Donate here.

Jewish Federation of Greater New Haven has established a COVID-19 Response / Maimonides Fund to meet urgent COVID-19 related needs. Donate here.

Donate Personal Protective Equipment
Griffin Hospital is accepting donations of PPE. Details here.

Yale New Haven Hospital is accepting donations of PPE. Details here.

Donate Time and Skill
Quinnipiack Valley Health Department’s Medical Reserve Corps (MRC) Unit is made up of medical and non-medical volunteers that work to help our community prepare, respond, and recover from public health emergencies. Medical volunteers have been deployed to staff the Isolation Center in New Haven, COVID-19 testing sites and local nursing homes experiencing staffing shortages. If you are interested in joining the MRC, you can fill out an application found at  www.qvhd.org/qvhd-mrc . We will soon be launching our contact tracing and will be seeking medical professionals and/or medical students to assist with that as well.  

The Governor is urging residents to volunteer to help respond to the COVID-19 crisis. While the state already began a campaign seeking out volunteers who have health care experience, the state is also seeking volunteers from the general public who are needed for other services at many different types of providers, such as food banks, deliveries to the elderly, shelters, and more. Sign up here .
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