Customer Service. Collaboration. Communication
It is that time of year again when we enter the budget preparation cycle for fiscal year 2023-2024. Our main goal during this budget preparation season is transparency. This year, we are introducing a new, improved and interactive budget document that can be viewed here.
If you were to ask me, as the former long-time Finance Director, what is happening to the budget in a few words, here is what I would say: non-tax revenues decreased from the prior year as the Governor’s budget saw East Hartford receive $1.4 million less in municipal aid.
Related to expenditures, like the rest of the country, inflation is causing all costs to increase. Wages by 1.4% or $652 thousand, non-medical insurances, Worker’s Compensation and Pension costs have increased by $1.9 million. The Board of Education’s costs also have increased by $2.2 million just to provide the same level of service as last year.
Bonding costs for the construction of roads and for the renovation of buildings are increasing by $600 thousand over year due to higher borrowing costs. Utilities, gasoline, and oil costs are all higher by $550 thousand. Public Works costs for refuse tipping fees and collection are all higher by over $150 thousand due to intense inflation pressure.
The result of this budget is while inflation is running at 6.4% over the last year, this budget raises taxes by 4.9% because the same pressures that exist in your household budget exist in the Town and Board budgets.
In the next month, we will have a handful of public Budget Workshops where residents are encouraged to listen in and see how and why these funds are being proposed. Please see the “Important Town Meeting” section of the newsletter for specific dates and times. Attending these workshops is a great opportunity to learn how your town operates.
I hope to see you there.
-Mayor Michael P. Walsh
All Town Hall departments are now located at the Community Cultural Center at 50 Chapman Place. They will remain there for the duration of the Town Hall construction. The Town Clerk’s Office is located in the business trailer in front of Town Hall, to enable continued access to the vault.
Public parking for the Community Cultural Center can be found in the lot behind the Town Green/Alumni Park.
East Hartford Acquires The Silver Lane Plaza
Mayor Mike Walsh is pleased to announce that the Town of East Hartford has acquired the Silver Lane Plaza property. The Certificate of Taking was filed with the Town Clerk's Office at 9 AM on Wednesday, March 1, finalizing this critical moment for the community.
The three-building plaza, appraised at $4.6 million, has been an eyesore for years, preventing the town from furthering development in that section of town.
After months of careful study, discussions and public hearings, the East Hartford Redevelopment Agency voted 4-0 to acquire the plaza via the eminent domain statute at their meeting in October of 2022.
Fast forward just four months, East Hartford officially owns it, in line with the Mayor’s vision to further development in town. In fact, redevelopment of Silver Lane Plaza has been the town’s priority for years. Now that East Hartford owns the plaza, the town will work closely with existing tenants, moving toward the demolition of the central building and exploring viable development options.
“I ask the impacted businesses to please be patient as the process unfolds, because we value them and their commitment to the community,” said Mayor Mike Walsh. “East Hartford has a lot of work to do, and silver Lane is an example of just how good East Hartford can be”
This news comes just a couple months after the Town has acquired another blighted property-Church Corers Inn at 860 Main Street with the goal to revitalize it and bring stability back to that section of town.
Moody’s Confirms the Town of East Hartford’s Aa3 GO Rating Assigns Aa3 Issuer Rating
Moody’s confirmed the town’s Aa3 general obligation unlimited tax (GOULT) rating. This action concludes a review that was initiated on November 3, 2022 in conjunction with the release of the US Cities and Counties Methodology. This rating reflects the town's financial position, which includes below average, but stable reserves and liquidity.
Operating balance will likely continue, given the town's effective management and strong financial practices. This includes conservative budgeting and mandatory application of surpluses to pay down unfunded OPEB liabilities.
2022 Tax Help Resources
The East Hartford Public Library has collaborated with United Way to offer free tax preparation services to families with household income of up to $60,000.
Volunteers will help you prepare and file your taxes. They will teach you new ways to save money and provide tips to help stretch your refund.
Additionally, the East Hartford Senior Center is excited to announce that the AARP Tax Aide Program will be available to residents beginning Feb 7, 2023 and through April 14, 2023.
To have your tax return prepared, taxpayers MUST make an appointment.
The Friendship Soup Kitchen is OPEN!
The Friendship Soup Kitchen at the New Covenant United Methodist Church, formerly known as the EHIM Friendship Center, is now open at 16 Church Street. The new location opened following the closure of the beloved EHIM Friendship Center late last year.
The Friendship Soup Kitchen invites all to attend their ribbon cutting ceremony on Wednesday, March 1 at 3:30 PM at the New Covenant United Methodist Church, 16 Church Street.
The soup kitchen is open Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, 3:30-5:30 PM and is managed by Pam Douglas. The Soup Kitchen welcomes anyone in need of a meal to help fight food insecurity within our community.
The Soup Kitchen is made possible thanks to Connecticut Foodshare that delivers food items and produce, and a group of dedicated volunteers who help prepare and package the meals.
Ask the Mayor!
Ask Mayor Mike questions about East Hartford that you have been meaning to ask for a while! The questions are accepted weekly, Monday through Friday and answered in a video message on Wednesdays. The Mayor’s previous responses are available here.
East Hartford Invites Residents to Participate
in the FY 2024 Budget Process
The town welcomes feedback of our residents and taxpayers. To better understand how the town plans its spending every year and how residents can get involved, we have broken down the key steps to the budget planning process at the link below. This year, all budget workshops will be presented in a hybrid model. There are several ways residents can participate in the budget workshops:
Attend the workshops in person in the Community Cultural Center Auditorium at 50 Chapman Place.
Call-in options are unique to each workshop. Access details are listed on the public meeting calendar on the Town Council webpage here.
Public Hearing: Sale of Various Properties (Showcase Cinema Site)
March 7, 2023 at 7:00 PM, Community Cultural Center Auditorium, 50 Chapman Place
March 8, 2023 at 7:00 PM, Community Cultural Center Auditorium, 50 Chapman Place
March 23, 2023 at 5:00 PM
March 28, 2023 at 7:00 PM
Makerspace Program: Puppetry Skillshare
March 3, 17, & 31 from 2 – 4:30 PM
Patrons of all ages are invited to construct puppets under the tutelage of librarian/puppeteer Rolande Duprey.
Register for a reminder or just drop in!
Makerspace Program: DIY Cat Toy
Monday, March 13, 3:30 PM
Create a colorful toy for your feline friend!
Best suited for or tweens, teens, and adults.
Registration is required for this event.
Learn to Write in Cursive
March 14, 21, & 28 & April 4 from 4 – 4:30 PM
Have you ever wanted to improve your handwriting or learn how to sign your name? This cursive writing workshop is designed to teach the basics in the art of cursive scription, including forming letters and connecting them to make words. Take-home sheets will be provided to encourage the practice of this skill, including a personalized signature practice sheet. This program is offered as a series in a 4-week session: come to one, some, or all of the dates!
For adults, teens, and children in grade 3 and up. No previous experience with cursive necessary. Registration required.
Tracing Racism through Genealogy
Thursday, March 30, 6:30 – 7:30 PM
Orice Jenkins is a recording artist, performer, educator, and genealogy researcher from East Hartford, Connecticut.
He ties his passions together in his lectures and historical presentations, commenting on the relationships between racism, culture, art, and family.
In his presentation, Jenkins will look at the life of Albert Terrell, a man who was enslaved for 50 years on four different plantations in Georgia.
Through the use of DNA research, Jenkins will share how he unlocked clues that showed what Albert and his family endured in these forced labor camps.
Register for a reminder or just drop in!
SAVE THE DATE! Threads of Assumption Opening Reception & Performance
Saturday, April 1, 7:00 PM
Threads of Assumption is an interactive art exhibition by Maria Finkelmeier, Martha Rettig, Sofie Hodara, and U-Meleni Mhlaba-Adebo. It surfaces interwoven experiences shaped by gender bias. Through interpretation and interrogation of both human stories and artificial intelligence (AI), we see, hear, and feel the effects of gender harm. Join us for an after-hours performance and reception to celebrate the installation of a month-long exhibition created in collaboration with the East Hartford community. Please register.
JOIN A BOARD & COMMISSION
Are you interested in volunteering for the town? East Hartford has a variety of boards and commissions that are in need of volunteers. To learn more, view available vacancies and apply to be considered here.
East Hartford Public Library Makerspace
Did you know that we have a state-of-the-art Makerspace on the second floor of the Raymond Library? A Makerspace is a place to get the tools you need to turn your ideas into physical things. We offer programs, tours, and training! Our Makerspace has 3D printers, a Carvey desktop CNC machine, a Silhouette Cameo 3 and more! For more information about the Makerspace, visit our website. For program schedule, check out our events calendar.
East Hartford Parks Spotlight Series
Spring is on the way, which means sunny days in the parks are ahead. Did you know East Hartford has over 20 beautiful parks and active/passive recreational areas? In this series, each month we will be highlighting one of the many East Hartford’s Parks!
DePietro Park is a passive recreational area on the corner of Forbes Street and Silver Lane. The property is divided into two sections by a stream that flows from southeast to northwest. The bigger section of open space is the frontage of properties along Forbes Street and Silver Lane. The small section of open space is located in the back to the northeast corner of property. There is currently a bridge/culvert over the stream on the northwest section of the park. There is landscape and trees on the corner of Forbes Street and Silver Lane (southwest corner) and a maintenance entrance on Silver Lane right before the intersection.
Location: The Park is located on the corner of Silver Lane and Forbes Street. There is no parking but sidewalk access from both streets.
Address: 396 Forbes Street
History: In 1920s, Richard DePietro built a house and two greenhouses on the corner of Forbes Street and Silver Lane and opened the DePietro Florist Shop. The florist shop was in business to approximate 70 years. Overtime, Richard was unable to run the shop and his wife Emma who continued after he could not passed away 1981, the shop was operated by family members and relatives. Finally, in March of 1998, the shop closed. Richard and Emma’s son Richard is the youngest of their five boys and is the last one still alive in 1998. He decides to donate the property to the Town of East Hartford open space in memory of the parents. The town also inherited the house and two greenhouse house which were eventually torn down.
Sign Up For Town Alerts
Register today to receive non-emergent, timely notifications from the Town of East Hartford via a text message, email or phone call! To receive non-emergency messages, please select "Town Services" during registration in the drop down menu. All subscribers will receive emergent life safety notifications as well.
Help us fight the blight. Report any issues of concern through “My East Hartford” – the town’s customer relationship management platform for a prompt and timely resolution.
IMPORTANT NOTE: Requests are NOT monitored 24/7 and are addressed during business hours only. If you have an emergency, please call 9-1-1.
Curbside Waste Pickup is FREE!
Global Recycling Day: Do not put recyclables in PLASTIC bags
Global Recycling Day was created in 2018 to help recognize, and celebrate, the importance recycling plays in preserving our precious primary resources and securing the future of our planet. It is a day for the world to come together and put the planet first.
The 5th Global Recycling Day will be celebrated on March 18, 2023. It is a good opportunity to show how residents are thoughtful about WHAT’S IN and WHAT’S OUT of your recycling blue cart.
Plastic bags are the WORST contaminant for any recycling facility, especially single-stream systems. The bags get wet and dirty and clog and jam up sorting machines, and when they are mixed in with other recyclables like newspapers, magazines, or office paper, they build up which can stop the machine from working altogether.
Removing plastic bags and plastic wraps from your blue carts is also the way to keep the recycling facility employees safe: these materials get wound around the moving parts of the sorting facility, making the machinery gunk up. The only way to remove that plastic is to shut down the machines and have employees climb up and hand-cut the plastic bags off the pulleys and spinning parts- this is dangerous work!
RECYCLING CLEAN means the loose placement of items, and no bagging of recyclables in your recycling blue carts. Please be thoughtful about what you place in the blue cart: when in doubt, throw it out in your green trash cart.
Do not bag your recyclables; put them loose in a cart.
NO plastic bags (garbage bags, shopping bags, zip-lock bags, bread bags, etc.)
NO plastic film (plastic wrappers of paper towels, toilet paper, bottles of water, shrink wrap, packing pillows, bubble wrap, flexible plastic food packaging, etc.)
These items do not go in the blue cart. They go in the refuse cart.
Remember, East Hartford Recycles Clean!
IMPORTANT NEWS FROM THE TAX CORNER
The Tax Office has moved to the Community Cultural Center at 50 Chapman Place.
IN-PERSON SERVICES ARE NOT AVAILABLE. ALL SERVICES ARE AVAILABLE REMOTELY.
Tidbits from the Tax Collector’s Corner:
Any unpaid motor vehicle bills are reported to the Department of Motor Vehicles, this will prevent people from registering their vehicles
Did you move? Update your new address with the Tax Department and DMV on all registrations
Payments for all taxes can be made by, mailing, using the drop-box outside of the Community Cultural Center at 50 Chapman Pl or online at: www.easthartfordct.gov/tax-collector.
IMPORTANT NEWS FROM THE ASSESSOR’S CORNER
The Assessor’s Office has moved to the Community Cultural Center.
IN-PERSON SERVICES ARE NOT AVAILABLE. ALL SERVICES ARE AVAILABLE REMOTELY.
Please see the Assessor’s Office webpage at www.easthartfordct.gov/assessor for any and all changes to the services that will affect the public.
Tax Exemption Programs:
All forms, exemptions, reports and declarations are already available online at this link.
We will be at the Senior Center at 15 Milbrook Drive every Wednesday from 9am to 3:30 pm to accommodate walk-ins and appointments for the Senior, Totally Disabled and Veteran Program exemptions.
We will need proof of income to include a filed 2022 tax return, if required to file, and the 1099 form from Social Security.
If you are not required to file a tax return we will need all proof of incomes, bank statements, social security forms pensions form etc. Please call the Assessor Office with any questions on proof of income at 860-291-7260 or email us at Assessor@easthartfordct.gov.
Board of Assessment Appeals:
The Board of Assessment appeals for the 2022 Grand list will accept appeal forms until February 21, 2023. Meetings will be held in March of 2023. Forms and information on the meetings can be found on the Board of Assessment Appeals webpage under the Boards and Commissions section of the Town Website at www.easthartfordct.gov.
Annual vehicle exemption forms for the 2022 Grand List will be accepted through December 31, 2023.
For any veterans that do not have their DD214 forms on file for their exemption need to file before September 30, 2023 to have their exemption applied to the 2023 Grand List. If you have a VA Disabilty rating and have not got us your letter with your percentage, please get that in to us by mail or email to Assessor@easthartfordct.gov.
If you have moved or got rid of any of your vehicles, please contact our office. We require two forms of proof, a plate cancelation receipt and a bill of sale, the title being signed over, junk receipt, registration in new owner’s name or a letter from your insurance company stating all vehicle information, when and WHY the vehicle was removed from the policy.
If you moved to a new town prior to October 1, 2022, we would need a copy of a utility bill, lease, property record card from your new town or a deed to move your vehicle to the correct town. If you moved out of state, please provide a copy of your new registration in your new state.
IMPORTANT NEWS FROM THE HEALTH CORNER
March 19 – 25 is National Poison Prevention Week (NPPW). NPPW is a week dedicated to raising awareness of poison prevention and safety, as well as the Poison Help line (1-800-222-1222).
One of the focuses of NPPW 2023 is safe medicine disposal. Prevention is more than dispensing less, it's about removing the abundant supply of prescriptions from circulation to prevent abuse, misuse, and accidental ingestion.
Residents can help by destroying unused medications at home with Deterra Drug Deactivation and Disposal Pouches.
Deterra Pouches are a convenient, environmentally safe option for proper drug disposal and are available to East Hartford residents at no cost.
For more information about how to receive and use a Deterra pouch, please visit the East Hartford Health Department website or contact us at 860-291-7324.
March is National Nutrition Month! National Nutrition Month® is an annual campaign created by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. During the month of March, everyone is invited to learn about making informed food choices and developing healthful eating and physical activity habits.
This year's theme, "Fuel for the Future," highlights the importance of fueling our bodies at every age and eating with the environment in mind. Sustainable eating is about choosing foods that are healthful to the environment and your body. Individuals can participate this month by:
Experimenting with plant-based meals.
Making an effort to reduce food waste.
Purchasing foods with minimal packaging.
Finding creative ways to use leftovers rather than tossing them.
For more information, please view the National Nutrition Month resources.
March is National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month. Colorectal (colon) cancer, or CRC, is the second deadliest cancer in the United States. Every March, National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month spotlights this disease and inspires more people to get checked starting at age 45.
Almost all colorectal cancers begin as precancerous polyps (abnormal growths) in the colon or rectum. Such polyps can be present in the colon for years before invasive cancer develops. They may not cause any symptoms, especially early on. Colorectal cancer screening can find precancerous polyps so they can be removed before they turn into cancer. Two reasons why getting checked matters:
Screening can find the warning signs of colon and rectal cancer, letting doctors take action to prevent the disease.
Screening can also find colorectal cancer early, when treatment is most effective.
For additional resources and frequently asked questions regarding screening and prevention, visit the Colorectal Cancer Alliance website.
Griffin Hospital will be at the East Hartford Public Library (840 Main Street) throughout the month of March administering COVID-19 vaccines to all eligible CT residents. These events are for all ages 6 months and up. Moderna, Pfizer, and J&J will be available. No insurance, ID, or appointment required.
Additionally, Griffin is now offering free health screenings including A1C (diabetes) and blood pressure checks at all clinics.
For questions regarding pediatric COVID-19 vaccines or booster dose eligibility, contact the East Hartford Health Department at 860-291-7324. If transportation is needed to get to and from a clinic site, please contact the Health Department for assistance.
Harriott Home Health Services is holding a free health clinic at the First Congregational Church of East Hartford (837 Main Street) on Thursday March 2, 2023 from 10 AM - 2 PM. Services include: A1C checks, blood pressure screenings, COVID-19, flu, and MPOX vaccinations, and more!
This event is for all CT residents 6 months of age and up. No insurance, ID, or appointment required.
For questions regarding this clinic, contact Harriott Home Health at 860-904-9045. If transportation is needed to get to and from the clinic site, please contact the East Hartford Health Department at 860-291-7324 for assistance.
Have you visited the
Raymond Library Children’s Room lately?
The children’s room at the Raymond Library is a great place to stop by and stay awhile! We have puzzles, games, coloring pages, computers, a train table, and more. Browse our diverse and attractive collections, and stick around in our comfortable seating area to share a story with your child. Each month, we offer a scavenger hunt that can be completed anytime during library open hours. Need direction? Our friendly and helpful children’s department staff will help you find what you’re looking for.
Volunteer With Us!
East Hartford is looking to create a network of volunteers to assist with a variety of volunteer tasks.
The Town of East Hartford is an Equal Opportunity, Affirmative Action Employer.
ARE YOU A BUSINESS IN EAST HARTFORD?
Become a member of the Connecticut River Valley Chamber of Commerce!
Brand new networking for our East Hartford Community!
Join us the second Thursday of the month from 9:00 am to 10:15am. All are welcome! This networking group will be facilitated by Mike Keiser of E Circle Marketing.
Goodwin College Community Room
1 Riverside Drive
**Parking is available in front of the Main Entrance
**Enter the lobby, and the Community Room is the first door on the right.
FREE, registration required
Learn more: CLICK HERE
To register for the Thursday networking group or any other networking events please visit the CT River Valley Chamber events calendar: Chamber Calendar of Events
Address: 9 Main Street, East Hartford, CT 06118
Phone: (860) 568-1583
Tuesday-Thursday: 11:30 AM - 9:30 PM
Friday-Saturday: 11:30 AM - 10:00 PM
Sunday: 12:30 PM - 8:30 PM
Where do you go when you crave Asian food? Have you tried GingerRoot? If not, here is your sign to do so!
Ginger Root was originally called United China. Yong Shi and his wife Kim Shi are the owners of Ginger Root restaurant and have been at their Main Street location for 22 years. Yong’s parents were the original owners of United China Restaurant for 11 years until their children took over and changed the name to GingerRoot.
Over the years, the owners have added Japanese items to their menu, plus the buffet. The owners’ parents are now in their 70s but they still help out in the kitchen, and their daughters Jasmine, Livian, and Delilah help out in the front of the house.
Due to COVID, GingerRoot had to stop serving buffet because of the majority of their customers worked remotely.
“Our business had never been the same since,” the owners say. “We are truly blessed and grateful for all of our value customers for many years. Without them we won’t be able to make through this tough times. Our kids grew up here in this restaurant and when they were little when someone asked them “where is your house or home?” They would always respond “ here”. And I would always have to explain to our customer that this restaurant is our home and our house is just a place go to sleep like a hotel! Jokes aside… this is how we really feel about our restaurant. It is more than just a restaurant. This is our home and we are proud to be part of this place.”
— Ginger Root
Message from the Fire Chief
Spring is right around the corner! As we start spring cleaning the garage and the basement, it is always a good time to check your smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors. Even though carbon monoxide is more prevalent during the heating season, any type of gasoline-powered equipment produces large amounts of carbon monoxide.
DO NOT operate gasoline-powered devices inside a closed garage or shed. Move the equipment outside while starting and testing and make certain to allow it to cool completely before storing again.
As always, our offices are prepared to answer any questions you may have about fire safety. And don’t forget, our Fire Marshal’s Office (FMO) is always available for free smoke alarm installation. The FMO can be reached at 860-291-7405.
-Chief Kevin Munson
East Hartford’s got the moves!
East Hartford High hosted the Central Connecticut Cheer Competition in February.
Go East Hartford!
Thank you for your interest in the Town’s newsletter. The newsletter will be issued monthly, on the first day of each month. In the meantime, please do not hesitate to reach out to my office at 860-291-7200 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. My door is always open and my staff is equipped and ready to assist you.
-Mayor Michael P. Walsh