Buckle factory coming down
Mayor Edward M. O’Brien, above, and other city officials took turns wielding a sledgehammer Tuesday morning, July 22, to mark the abatement and demolition of the old West Haven Buckle Co. factory at 742 Washington Ave.
On hand for the ceremonial thumping of the brick building were AAIS Corp. General Manager James Reilly, whose company specializes in environmental remediation, along with mayoral Executive Assistant John W. Lewis, Risk Manager Robert Sandella and Finance Department secretary Darlene Petersen.
AAIS, based at 802 Boston Post Road, has been contracted to do the work, which begins Wednesday, July 23, and includes removing asbestos and dismantling the 15,084-square-foot structure and its smokestack.
The concrete slab will remain untouched, however, because of ground contamination, city officials said.
As part of a special request by the West Haven Historical Society, the city will preserve the property’s wrought-iron fence and granite retaining wall on Washington Avenue, which predate the Civil War.
Petersen said several state and city permits have been secured for the two-week project, which is being financed with a $90,000 federal grant from the Department of Housing and Urban Development.
Built in 1853, the plant manufactured “surgical buckles and fastenings for artificial limbs, orthopedic appliances, garters, overalls and other clothing,” according to “History of West Haven, Connecticut, 1648-1940,” a book compiled by the workers of the Writers Program of the Work Projects Administration in Connecticut and published in 1940.
The building, which abuts a Metro-North railway and trestle near Wood Street, had been an industrial landmark for 150 years but had fallen into disrepair after the privately owned company shuttered production in 1993.
The city condemned the dilapidated structure three years later.
“We are preparing to remove a blighted, unsafe and vacant building that was condemned by the city in 1996 and transform it into something good for the people of West Haven,” O’Brien said.
Once the cleanup and demolition are done, O’Brien said the city plans to market the 0.25-acre site for a mixed-use development.
(City Photo/Michael P. Walsh)
Farmers market open
The Tony Inzero Farmers Market has opened its 15th season on the West Haven Green.
Through Thursday, Oct. 30, state farmers are selling homegrown fruits and vegetables on the Campbell Avenue side of the Green from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Thursdays and 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturdays.
The Saturday markets include craft and food vendors and live music.
City beach stickers mailed
The city’s 2014-16 beach parking permits were mailed to residents who are current on their motor vehicle taxes.
Delinquent taxpayers are not eligible to receive the new beach stickers, which expire April 30, 2016, until their motor vehicle taxes are paid.
To obtain a beach sticker, residents who have a new or leased vehicle or are military exempt must provide a registration for each vehicle and a driver’s license — a paid current tax receipt for each vehicle may be used in lieu of the registration — to the Department of Human Resources on the second floor of City Hall, 355 Main St., between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. weekdays.
Beach stickers are a privilege for residents whose motor vehicles are registered in West Haven. Commercial vehicles are excluded.
Beach stickers for nonresidents are offered for an annual fee of $75 and are available for purchase between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. weekdays in the human resources office. Otherwise, the daily parking fee for nonresidents is $10 between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. and $5 after 5 p.m. in the Sandy Point, Morse Park and Bradley Point lots.
Tax bills payable in 2 installs
City tax bills are payable in two installments: July and January.
Each tax bill, which is sent out once a year, has three parts: a payment coupon for July, payment coupon for January and payment coupon for taxpayers’ records.
Although taxes were due Tuesday, July 1, a grace period is allowed, meaning payments received or postmarked Friday, Aug. 1, are still accepted on time. Payments after Friday, Aug. 1, however, are considered delinquent and are subject to interest.
Taxpayers can pay online and view their tax bills and payment history by clicking on Tax Collector Department Info at the top of this page.