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    Office Of The Mayor
    Mayor's Monday Message

    Dear Friends:

    I was proud to join the Housing Authority and West Rock residents today yesterday at the long-awaited ribbon cutting for Belden Brook and Brookside Estates. Vera Williams, the first homeowner of the new development cut the ribbon, a wonderful representation of the collaboration that has occurred throughout this project between West Rock residents, the Housing Authority, and many other community stakeholders. I look forward to seeing all 101 rental units and six homeownership units occupied, and to the revitalization of a safe and healthy community there.

    The West Rock Revitalization Project replaced aging public housing in West Rock with beautiful new homes both for rent and purchase. The multi-million dollar effort received funding from numerous sources, including the City, the Housing Authority, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, the Richman Group, Prestige Affordable Housing Partners, the Federal Home Loan Bank, TD Bank, United Illuminating, the state Department of Community and Economic Development and Michaels Development Company.

    We cannot succeed as a community until every family has access to safe and affordable housing. The success of the West Rock Revitalization Project is a testament to the vibrant, safe and healthy communities that we can build when residents and government commit to that shared vision.

    Building a College-Going Culture

    By now I'm sure most of you are familiar with our New Haven Promise scholarships, but you may be less familiar with our work throughout the district and community to build a college-going culture. New Haven Promise has partnered with College Summit, a nationally-recognized nonprofit that implements college readiness programs in high schools.

    The College Summit curriculum includes a credit bearing class about the college experience and college applications. In addition, the program relies on "peer leader" high school seniors who use positive peer pressure to influence classmates to complete their FAFSA forms and submit college applications. College Summit worked in Cooperative Arts & Humanities High School, Metropolitan Business Academy and James Hillhouse High School this year. Next year the program will expand to Haven Academy, Hill Regional Career and Hyde School of Health Sciences and Sports Medicine. The program will eventually be introduced at all New Haven high schools.

    Last week I attended an awards luncheon honoring 68 peer leaders who have been an integral part of College Summit's success this year. Thanks in part to the work of these peer leaders, 78 percent of high school seniors at the three College Summit sites completed their FAFSA forms, exceeding the target goal of 70 percent. Great job!

    Thank You to Our Newest Community Emergency Response Team Members

    I want to extend my gratitude to the newest members of our volunteer Community Emergency Response Team. Twenty New Haven residents, including several City of New Haven employees recently completed a rigorous ten-week training course to enable them to assist in disaster and emergency response. CERT members have been invaluable resources in the past, including helping to operate emergency cooling centers during heat waves and helping to staff our emergency shelters during Hurricane Irene. In addition, the training these volunteers have received will make them invaluable assets to their families, neighbors and coworkers as well, as they are now trained and prepared to assist when professional responders are not immediately available. Thank you all for your hard work and dedication!

    Don't Spread Lead

    The New Haven Health Department's Bureau of Environmental Health and the Yale Lead and Healthy Homes Program will host the 12th Annual Lead Awareness Picnic in the Lighthouse Park Carousel Building on Sunday, June 10. This interactive community event aims to educate local families about childhood lead poisoning prevention through discussion, educational giveaways and entertainment. Paul Kowalski, New Haven Health Department's Environmental Health Director, will join representatives from the Health Department, the Yale Lead and Healthy Homes Program, other service agencies and local entertainers in providing lead poisoning prevention information designed to teach parents and children how to reduce the risks of this serious and preventable illness.

    Childhood lead poisoning is a serious issue - an estimated 890,000 children between the ages of one and five are living with elevated blood lead levels in the United States. Locally, health care providers reported that 166 children still tested positive for elevated blood lead levels in New Haven in 2011, 53 of whom had moderate to high levels (greater than or equal to 15 micrograms per deciliter of blood). Elevated levels of lead in developing children can lead to an impaired ability to learn, increased hyperactivity, a lack of concentration, neuropsychological deficits and major organ failure. New Haven's numerous efforts have resulted in a dramatic decrease in the number of childhood lead cases over the years. However, much more remains to be accomplished. The event at Lighthouse Park is just one of the city's many local efforts to bring down the number of cases even further.

    Seven Out of Ten Homeowners to See Taxes Decrease, Payment Plans Available

    Seven out of ten homeowners will notice a decrease in their tax bills this year. At the same time, the City recognizes that property taxes are a hardship for some residents. Please contact the Office of the Tax Collector at 203-946-8054 to discuss a payment plan if you feel you cannot pay your real estate tax bill on time.

    Contact Name: Elizabeth Benton

    Contact Email: ebenton@newhavenct.net

    Contact Phone: 203-946-8200


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