Notice of Public Hearings

Town of West Hartford Fiscal Year 2020-2021 Town Budget

Due to the unprecedented impact the Covid-19 pandemic is having on residents and business owners and the desire of the Town to mitigate the impact of this crisis, the Town Manager and Superintendent of Schools have amended their initial budget requests to eliminate a tax increase for next fiscal year. This has been accomplished through a number of expenditure reductions and revenue enhancements totaling $9,867,907, resulting in a new Proposed FY 2020/21 Budget of $299,871,758 representing an increase of 1.1% over the current year. The proposed mill rate necessary to support the revised Proposed FY 2020/21 Budget is 41.74 mills, representing a tax decrease of .14% from the current year. Click here to view the proposed 2020-21 Town Budget (summary).

The revised Proposed Budget, if approved by the Town Council, will result in the reduction of services in some areas. However, this amended budget proposal will preserve the Town’s award winning school district and its most essential municipal services.

The Town of West Hartford will hold the second of two public hearings tomorrow, April 30, at 6PM, on the Fiscal Year 2020-2021 Town Budget. Due to social distancing restrictions caused by the pandemic, this public hearing will be held in a virtual mode.

PHONE IN

Any West Hartford resident or taxpayer who wants to publicly make a comment may do by calling 1 (415) 655-0001, using the access code 191 626 254(Do not call this number if you only wish to listen.) Participants will be called on in the order in which their call was received. When prompted by the Moderator, participants will have three minutes to speak, except that persons representing a group’s duly authorized position may speak for up to five minutes. Participants using caller ID blocking will not be permitted to participate.

LISTENING

Everyone is invited to listen to the public hearing by tuning in to West Hartford Community Interactive (Comcast channel 5 or Frontier channel 6098), WHCI’s YouTube channel, or live streaming from www.whctv.org.

WEST HARTFORD, CT (April 21, 2020) – The Town of West Hartford, along with PhysicianOne Urgent Care announced today that a drive-through COVID-19 testing site will be set up at PhysicianOne Urgent Care’s West Hartford location, 21 North Main Street, on Sunday, April 26, 2020, from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Licensed PhysicianOne Urgent Care health care providers will test patients who have completed a medical evaluation prior to the event via a Virtual Visit.

Patients with symptoms of fever, cough, shortness of breath, loss of taste/smell, and general malaise are encouraged to schedule a medical evaluation Virtual Visit with a provider. In addition, PhysicianOne Urgent Care is offering COVID-19 testing to all essential workers, even those without symptoms. Please visit www.p1uc.com for details.

Patients do not need to be current patients of PhysicianOne Urgent Care but must complete a medical evaluation pre-screen by PhysicianOne Urgent Care staff in advance by going to www.P1UC.com and following the prompts for the drive-through testing pre-screen. If assistance is required to set up the virtual visit medical evaluation, the PhysicianOne Urgent Care team is available by calling 855-349-2828.

“This drive-through testing will provide real, local relief for West Hartford residents seeking care during this difficult period, especially our brave first responders and essential workers.” said West Harford Mayor Shari Cantor. “I’m so appreciative of our town residents who have banded together to do everything we can to flatten the curve. The Town will continue to do its part on their behalf, seeking out solutions and finding ways to get more help to those in need. I urge anyone who may be experiencing symptoms to schedule their evaluation and come get tested on Sunday.”

“PhysicianOne Urgent Care provides convenient access to high-quality, cost effective care. We pride ourselves in partnering with local municipalities to focus on improving health outcomes for residents,” said Dr. Jeannie Kenkare, DO, PhysicianOne Urgent Care Co-founder and Chief Medical Officer. “We recognize the need for increased access to testing resources right now. We are proud to partner with the Town of West Hartford to provide this service to local communities on Sunday, April 26, 2020. PhysicianOne Urgent Care also provides screening and testing every day to residents of the town.”

We are finding that many people are not seeking advice for symptoms and feeling isolated and unsure. Now that testing is available, people can safely be medically evaluated through a virtual visit to determine whether they need to come in for testing.” Said Dr. Kenkare. PhysicianOne Urgent Care does have COVID-19 testing available every day at all 23 locations across Connecticut, Massachusetts and New York.

Residents are encouraged to visit www.P1UC.com or call 855-349-2828 with questions about COVID-19 testing, symptoms or exposure.

About PhysicianOne Urgent Care PhysicianOne Urgent Care provides quality, easily accessible, walk-in and virtual medical care for non-life-threatening illnesses and injuries. All 23 locations throughout Massachusetts, Connecticut, and New York provide services 365 days per year; 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m., weekdays, and 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., weekends and holidays.

Experienced providers are available at all times for on-site care and telehealth virtual visits. X-ray and lab services are available on-site. Insurance is accepted; self-pay options are also available. Parking is available at all locations. Founded in 2008, PhysicianOne Urgent Care was the first in the market to be accredited and certified by the Urgent Care Association.

In Connecticut and New York, PhysicianOne Urgent Care is proud to be an Affiliate of Yale New Haven Health and a Tufts Medical Center partner in Massachusetts. For more information, including a list of services, locations, insurances accepted, career opportunities, to check in online, and more, please visit www.P1UC.com

This is a severe weather alert.
 
Heavy rains with wind gusts up to 70 mph are possible this afternoon which has the potential to cause power outages and downed trees. Residents are asked to bring in or secure any items, like patio chairs, tables or umbrellas. Residents should charge cellphones and make sure they have flashlights that are in working order.
 
Remember to avoid any downed power lines and please watch the news or listen to the radio for other alerts.
 
When the power goes out, always report it to Eversource by visiting their website, Eversource.com, or by calling 1-800-286-2000. Eversource customers can also report a power outage and get updates on that outage through text messaging. 
 
Customers who want to take advantage of this convenient two-way texting option must first register their mobile device either online at Eversource.com, or directly from their mobile phone by texting “REG” to 23129. Once registered, Eversource recommends customers add the outage text number to their contacts for quick access. Then, when a power outage occurs, text “OUT” to 23129 and “STAT” for updates.
 
Finally, as a reminder, generators must operate outdoors, away from the house, in a well ventilated area.

Dear West Hartford Families,

By now, you have received communication from your school’s principal regarding the resumption of school (be it in another form) on this coming Monday, March 23, 2020. I do not know when our physical buildings will reopen to welcome our staff and students again; that decision is with the governor, for now. We will be in session, in some form or another, until mid-June, and the official last day of school will be announced in the coming days. Our “virtual” schools that open Monday will have the same wonderful educators who, I can tell you from numerous google conversations this week, are thrilled to be able to reconnect with you and your children so soon. I believe that the dedication, planning and positive spirit of so many will make the best out of an immensely difficult situation.

I know that this has been a long week for all of us. We are all worried about the health and safety of loved ones, nervous for our friends and family members that have lost their jobs, and fearful of what might be in front of us. To get through this time, I have adopted a today’s problem vs. items to think about tomorrow strategy so that we could focus on what is essential, right now, and get to work. I want to share with you how much has been done in just five days this week because you should know just how many people have worked tirelessly in support of our community. .

We have delivered over 5,000 meals to our children, and the numbers have risen at each of our Grab and Go sites as the week has gone on. We have loaned out over 1300 chrome books over the past two days to families so that they have the essential tools for this new style of learning. Finally, yesterday and today over 1000 staff members have gone through intensive professional development on distance learning, and are ready to go on Monday morning to do all that we can to meet the needs of your children.

I am more proud tonight to be the superintendent of West Hartford Public Schools than I ever have been. There are simply too many people to thank who have gone above and beyond over the past ten days, but I would be remiss if I did not share a few, for they are often unsung heroes. Thank you to our custodial staff for cleaning, disinfecting and scrubbing our buildings thoroughly. Thank you to our IT staff, who broke town computer carts, and prepared thousands of devices to go out to our kids. Thanks to our nutrition services staff, and many volunteers, who ensured our children would be fed. Thanks to our nurses, who took care of so many as they always do, and tracked down question after question to ensure our health. Now, I hope that we can help you to return to just a bit of normalcy, or at least our new normal.

My executive team, our principals and administrators, and our teachers and staff are ready. We know that as we get things up and running, they will not always go perfectly. With that said, our platform, and our plan, will be followed by districts across our state and our country as they hear about it.  In a time of despair, I hope that the West Hartford Public Schools can provide some hope to our community, as an example of what can happen when we pull together. Thank you for your trust, your patience, and your continued partnership. We are all in this together.

Be Well,

Tom

West Hartford Mayor Shari Cantor announced that the Town received notice today from the West Hartford-Bloomfield Health District (the “Health District”) of the first confirmed case of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (”COVID-19”) in West Hartford.
 
“We knew it was only a matter of time before there was a confirmed case in West Hartford, given that community spread has already been established in our region,” said Mayor Cantor. “West Hartford is well prepared to deal with the influx of new cases, which is inevitable. We must assume that there are other cases already in our community at this time, and that the number will go up significantly. I am calling on all West Hartford residents to heed instructions by public health officials to ‘flatten the curve’ and slow the spread of the disease.”
 
Aimee Krauss, Acting Director of the Health District, said that the resident is between the ages of 20 and 30 years old. The Health District cannot disclose the identity or location of the resident due to privacy rules.
 
The resident will remain in isolation and the Health District will regularly monitor her health and perform contact tracing, in compliance with guidelines issued by the state Department of Public Health. Anyone who has had close contact with the resident will be told to self-quarantine.
 
“If you have any symptoms of illness, including fever, cough or shortness of breath, you should not leave home except to receive medical care,” said Krauss. “Stay in touch with your healthcare provider. Call before you get medical care. Be sure to get care if you feel worse or you think it is an emergency.”
 
There is currently no vaccine or treatment for COVID-19, and so the best way for individuals to protect themselves is to avoid being exposed. This means washing hands frequently, avoiding close contact with other people (within about 6 feet), and not leaving home unless absolutely necessary.
 
Town officials have been coordinating for months with the State of Connecticut and the Health District to ensure that a structure is in place to limit the spread of COVID-19. 
 
Residents can also get more information at the Town’s website, www.westhartfordct.gov/covid19. 

The following message was sent tonight via the Emergency Notification System by Mayor Shari Cantor:

Good evening, this is Mayor Shari Cantor.

I am calling you tonight to announce that pursuant to my recent emergency declaration regarding the global pandemic of Covid-19, the Town Manager has issued an executive order prohibiting social and recreational gatherings of more than ten people. The order will take effect tomorrow, Friday, March 20, 2020 and will be enforced by the West Hartford Police Department.  We join several other Connecticut towns in taking this important action.

This is a serious and difficult step but our number one priority is to protect the health and safety of all West Hartford residents and it will save lives. This executive order follows the most current CDC directive and addresses social and recreational activities, that include but are not limited to: community, civic, and sporting events; plays or live performances; and religious, spiritual, or worship gatherings. The emergency order runs through April 30, 2020, but may be modified at any time.

 We must do everything in our power to slow the community spread of Covid-19. This means that we must minimize direct contact with others. As social beings this is so incredibly challenging but it is essential at this difficult time.  We need to stop congregating in groups of more than ten and practice social distancing.

Earlier today, Town officials sent a letter urging parents and caregivers to make sure that all school-age youths are home each evening by 8:00PM. While it seems that children, adolescents and young adults are less likely to get sick from COVID-19, they can be carriers, infecting those who are most vulnerable.

We need your help enforcing the 8PM rule at this critical stage of the virus. Children should not be allowed to participate in playdates, sleep-overs, team sports, house parties and other group activities that would greatly expand their risk of spreading this virus.

The number of confirmed cases in Connecticut is rising exponentially. We have to take every precaution available to us to slow the spread and prevent the health system from becoming overwhelmed. I call on the members of the West Hartford community to do everything we can to assist us in this effort.

This is serious and real. Social distancing saves lives.

West Hartford is strongly positioned to weather this historic crisis, but we cannot do it without the assistance of all or our residents. Each and every one of us has been forced to make incredible sacrifices and, from the bottom of my heart, I thank you for your cooperation.

Remember, we are all in this together. Thank you for listening. Stay healthy. Be well.

March 19, 2020

Dear West Hartford residents,

Your town leaders have been working tirelessly to protect each and every one you, both young and old alike.

Like many other communities worldwide, we have changed the way we are doing business and have put into place new guidelines aimed at preventing the rapid spread of the COVID-19 virus.

As a way of encouraging social distancing, West Hartford officials are urging all parents and caregivers to make sure that all school-age youths are home each evening by 8:00PM. While it seems that children, adolescents and young adults are less likely to get sick from COVID-19, they can be carriers, infecting those who are most vulnerable.

We need your help enforcing the 8PM rule at this critical stage of the virus.

Everyone should avoid groups that draw 10 or more people and to avoid places that attract a lot of people. And children should not be allowed to participate in playdates, sleep-overs, team sports, house parties and other group activities that would greatly expand their risk of spreading this virus.  

Instead, enjoy the springtime weather by playing outdoor games with your kids in your yard, hiking the region’s outdoor trails, or staying inside to play a game or watch a movie. And, please always remember to wash your hands frequently.

Tell your kids: #ThinkBeyondYourself and join us as we #FlattenTheCurve and keep this virus from spiking and overwhelming our community and health care system. We have children of our own, and recognize how difficult this is. But together we can make a difference that will save lives.

Sincerely,

                                                                                                                                        

Shari Cantor             Matt Hart                       Tom Moore              Vernon Riddick, Jr.
Mayor                     Town Manager                Superintendent                Chief of Police

                 Greg Priest, Fire Chief &                                   Aimee Krauss
        Emergency Management Director              Acting Director, Health District