Fairfield COVID Data Page
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4/1/2021 - 4.1 TOWN UPDATE
Dear Fairfielders,
I am happy to report that my proposed budget passed the Board of Finance with adjustments that further reduced the mill rate down to 1.12% on Wednesday night. However, I want to address some of the recent comments made on social media regarding the mill rate, budgetary numbers, and how they relate to individual property tax bills. The mill rate and the assessed value of your home determines your property tax. It is a common practice for municipalities to cite the mill rate increase, when determining the impact of the budget on individual homeowners and businesses. I have openly provided the numbers in a clear and concise way through my newsletter, that has included a breakdown of spending increases for both the Town side and education side throughout the budget process.

Here are the links that I've included in prior newsletters regarding the budget and my budget presentation, that I delivered to the Board of Selectmen (BOS) on March 1st (Part 1 and Part 2) and the Board of Finance (BOF) on March 11th.

Please click on the following links to view FairTv's recordings from Saturday'Board of Finance Public Budget Comment ForumMonday’s Board of Finance Public Executive Sessionand Wednesday's Final Board of Finance Vote.

I believe this budget takes into account and balances the priorities of our community. Last year, the Board of Finance and Representative Town Meeting (RTM) both had bi-partisan, unanimous votes for the budget that resulted in a 0% tax increase by delaying nearly $10 million in spending obligations. Those obligations include the Town’s retiree healthcare savings account, education funding, and the Fund balance account (a rainy day fund). This is not a criticism, as I recommended and agreed with this approach. Our community was facing so much uncertainty during the pandemic and I believed our residents needed stability during a difficult time. To be clear, $10.4 of the $18 million in Town and education budgetary increases will go toward funding those accounts which were delayed last year. Funding these accounts are crucial to maintain the Town’s AAA bond rating.

I will send another update on the budget when the RTM begins their deliberations.

*Mill Rate, Budget, & Taxes*
The mill rate increase for my proposed budget, after it passed the Board of Finance, is 1.12%. The RTM is scheduled to start meeting this month for their deliberations. The mill rate will be dependent upon the final spending level in the budget and the outcome of any tax appeals that are currently being heard by the Board of Assessment Appeals (BAA). The final mill rate will be set in the coming months.

State law requires every town to conduct a five-year property revaluation. According to the Tax Assessor, during this revaluation year, about 1/3 residents saw their tax assessments remain flat, about 1/3 of our residents’  assessments went up, and about a 1/3 of our residents saw a decrease in their valuation. Property taxes will vary depending on the assessed value of your home as compared to the last revaluation.

I hope this helps answer some of your questions, but as always if you have any additional questions on the budget or any other matter you can reach out to me directly by responding to this email. If you have any questions about the revaluation, you can email our Tax Assessor assessor@fairfieldct.org
TAX DEFERMENT
The revised property tax, 90-day deadline extension (an additional 60 days beyond the normal grace period) due date is today, April 1st. 

The Tax Office was open to the public and accepting in-person payments until the close of the office today at 4:30 pm.  Payments made online are considered timely if paid on April 1st by 11:59 pm or sooner.  You may pay online at fairfieldct.org/taxpayment, a convenience fee by our service provider applies.  Any mailed payment postmarked April 1st or sooner by the Post Office is considered timely. 

Anyone who fails to pay by the new April 1 deadline would have to pay three months of interest added along with his or her existing bill. Escrow accounts are still ineligible for deferment. For more information and eligibility for commercial landlords, visit fairfieldct.org/taxcollector


Please be advised that People’s Bank is unable to accept payments at their branch location for this deferment during the 60 day extension of February 2nd to April 1st.  We apologize for any inconvenience.   

                        
 
COVID-19 VACCINE ELIGIBILITY UPDATE:
As of today, ALL adults in Connecticut over the age of 16 are eligible to schedule a vaccination appointment.

Please note, Pfizer is currently the only vaccine that is approved for individuals under the age of 18 years, and the Fairfield Health Department DOES NOT administer the Pfizer vaccine. Moderna and Johnson & Johnson are only approved for those over the age of 18 years.

If you fall under Phase 1a, an Educator/Staff in pre-K-12, or a Childcare Provider, you should receive information from your employer or school administrators on how to register for vaccine appointments. For those in the Phase 1b category of 16 and older, you should complete the State form below:

State Form - 16 & Older
If you are having difficulty scheduling your appointment through VAMS, here are some links that may be helpful: VAMS Navigation Instructions and How to Create your VAMS Account and Schedule Your First Appointment
    • CT Vaccine Portal for locations throughout the State
    •  Yale New Haven Health - If your Doctor is affiliated with Yale New Haven Health you can create an appointment through MyChart
    • Hartford HealthCare - Hartford HealthCare is taking vaccination appointments for their locations at Sacred Heart University and St. Vincent's Hospital in Bridgeport. For more information, you can find it here
    • Stamford Hospital - You can check your eligibility and schedule an appointment with Stamford Hospital. For more information, please click here
    • Walgreens - There are limited Walgreens Pharmacies who are offering COVID-19 vaccinations throughout CT.  For more information and a list of their locations, please see their website. 
    • CVS - There are limited CVS Pharmacies who are offering COVID-19 vaccinations throughout CT. For more information and a list of their locations, please see their website.
    FAIRFIELD SCHOOL CLOSINGS 
    I reached out to Fairfield Public Schools Superintendent Mike Cummings this week, and he provided the following update:

    There have been questions this week about the need to shift some classes and school buildings to remote learning due to a few positive COVID-19 cases.  First, let me assure you that Fairfield Public Schools (FPS) and our Town Health Department are working closely with the State Department of Public Health and the State Department of Education, to follow the most current CDC guidelines.

    While the CDC has reduced social distancing for schools from 6 feet to 3 feet, the definition of a "close contact for quarantine" has NOT changed. Close contacts are anyone within 6 feet of a positive case, for at least 15 minutes cumulative, in a 24-hour period. This may seem overly restrictive given the loosening of other State measures, but we are obligated to follow these protocols in our schools. 

    With the current uptick in cases and increasing incidence of contagious variants, our ability to contact trace is even more important. Contact tracing reduces the risk to you, your friends, and your family. Without it, we cannot determine who should stay home due to possible exposure. If students, teachers, or staff come to school and develop symptoms we have increased transmission.The contact tracing process gets more complex with each grade level.  We need to identify close contacts in the two days prior to the positive case. In elementary, this typically requires a whole class to quarantine.  At the middle schools, we trace 7 periods over two days, as well as lunch, buses, and sports, clubs, or other activities.  It is even more complex at the high schools, as these students are more mobile and may have jobs or other responsibilities/activities outside of school. When we returned to full-time in-person instruction, we shared publicly that the number of students having to quarantine would increase. You can track specific numbers of cases and quarantines on the FPS COVID-19 dashboard, which just expanded the detail it provides.

    In the past week, late notification about positive cases and a lack of cooperation with contact tracers, made the job more difficult and necessitated a switch to remote learning until we were able to determine who needed to quarantineSwitching to remote learning for a day, while disruptive to families, students and staff, is necessary to keep our schools open for full-time in-person instruction.

    With many teachers becoming fully vaccinated in the next few weeks and vaccine eligibility expanding to all residents over the age of 16 today, the future looks brighter. Students over the age of 16 may get the Pfizer vaccine (with parental consent), anywhere it is available.The State will allow us to set up high school clinics later in May.

    Now, however, is not the time to become complacent. In order for our schools to stay fully open, we all need to continue to follow the proper safety protocols. Wear year mask, practice social distancing, stay home if sick or awaiting test results, and get tested if symptomatic. Equally important, if you are called by a contact tracer from the Fairfield Health Department or FPS, please take the call and provide the requested information. We all have a role to play in keeping our schools open safely. Thank you for your continued support and assistance!

    GOULD MANOR PARK
    I wanted to address the concerns I've heard circulating on social media regarding Gould Manor Park. 

    In 2019, the areas along the sidewalk bordering Gould Manor Park were identified to contain contaminated soil from the fill pile. The Town hired Tighe & Bond a licensed environment professional to test and oversee the removal of the contaminated soil. All the sidewalk project related contaminated soils were removed during that remediation.

    Per the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) protocols, Tighe & Bond had to then continue testing into the broader areas of the park. While the company was completing this final clearance testing, areas outside of the sidewalk revealed arsenic levels throughout the park that were historic in nature and not associated with the fill pile contamination.

    While arsenic is a naturally occurring contaminant, the results of the testing show an elevation above residential standards. Those results prompted the Town to fence off the park with orange, temporary fencing until all the testing was complete. Unfortunately, the temporary fencing was repeatedly damaged by visitors trying to enter the park and also by snow plowing. The Town repaired the fence several times over the last year, and I recently asked our Town's new DPW director to install a more sturdy, semi-permanent fence around the park.

    The Town is now preparing remediation plans for review by the State Department of Public Health. After review and approval of our remediation plan, the Town will go before Town bodies to request the necessary funding required to remediate Gould Manor Park, to ensure it is completely safe for our residents.

    I will provide another update as soon as I have more information to share.
    COMMUNITY NEWS

    Ribbon Cutting: After much anticipation, I officially cut the ribbon for our newly renovated  H. Smith Richardson’s clubhouse at the H. Smith Richardson golf course on 2425 Morehouse Hwy. Kudos to the building committee and everyone who dedicated their time and talent to deliver this new facility for our community.
    Grand Opening: I was excited to welcome Boca Grille and Raw Bar, a new restaurant to Town located in the brand new Smith Richardson Golf Course club house. I had the pleasure of scheduling a lunch meeting right after the ribbon cutting at Boca. I was impressed with the menu, delicious food, attentive service and beautiful space. It’s particularly exciting to have a another new dining option in the northern part of town. I hope you’ll join me in supporting Fairfielder Yanni Taxiltaridis and Peter Prizio as they become a part of our Fairfield Restaurant community
    (From Left to Right) Peter Prizio Sr., Co-Owner Peter Prizio Jr., First Selectwoman Brenda Kupchick, Co-Owner Yanni Taxiltaridis, and Parks and Recreation Director Anthony Calabrese
    Please scroll below for more updates on the Town's COVID-19/Vaccine/State Sector Rules and other helpful information and resources. 

    I want to wish our residents a Happy Passover and Happy Easter! I hope you have a safe and enjoyable weekend.



    Brenda L. Kupchick
    Fairfield First Selectwoman
    COVID-19 UPDATE:

    For the most up-to-date information from the State of Connecticut on COVID-19, residents can visit ct.gov/coronavirus. You can also subscribe to text message alerts from the state by texting the keyword COVIDCT to 888-777.
    CDC's Guidance for Fully Vaccinated Individuals:


    Individuals are considered fully vaccinated for COVID-19 = 2 weeks after they have received the second dose in a 2-dose series (Pfizer or Moderna), or = 2 weeks after they have received a single-dose vaccine (Johnson & Johnson).

    Fully vaccinated people can:
    - Visit with other fully vaccinated people indoors without wearing a mask or physical distancing.
    - Visit with unvaccinated people from a single household who are at low risk for severe COVID-19 disease indoors without wearing a mask or physical distancing.
    - Refrain from quarantine and testing following a known exposure if asymptomatic.

    For full guidance, please visit:
     https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/fully-vaccinated-guidance.html
    Updated Sector Rules:
    Thursday, March 4th, Governor Lamont announced changes to the State's Sector Rules, regarding COVID-19. Due to this announcement, The Town of Fairfield is allowing for the continued expanded outdoor dining accommodations for restaurants and food service establishments effective immediately. If you would like to read more information click below:


    Town Of Fairfield Continues Expanded Outdoor Dining Amid Pandemic

    Beginning Friday, April 2, 2021:


    For a comprehensive list of sector rules, click 
    here 
      Vaccine Information:
      I am so encouraged that our Fairfield Health Department as of today, has 
      administered 16,952 vaccines to those eligible and the department has an additional 3,000+ appointments scheduled over the next 3 weeks. We are proud to say that not one vaccine has been wasted or unused since the Health Department's clinics opened in January.

      The Fairfield Health Department's vaccine clinic continues to fill up their appointments. The department can only schedule as many appointments as vaccines are provided by the State. Please keep in mind Fairfield residents are able to book appointments at clinics throughout the State. 

      If you are having difficulty scheduling your appointment through VAMS, here are some links that may be helpful: VAMS Navigation Instructions and How to Create your VAMS Account and Schedule Your First Appointment
        • CT Vaccine Portal for locations throughout the State
        •  Yale New Haven Health - If your Doctor is affiliated with Yale New Haven Health you can create an appointment through MyChart
        • Hartford HealthCare - Hartford HealthCare is taking vaccination appointments for their locations at Sacred Heart University and St. Vincent's Hospital in Bridgeport. For more information, you can find it here
        • Stamford Hospital - You can check your eligibility and schedule an appointment with Stamford Hospital. For more information, please click here
        • Walgreens - There are limited Walgreens Pharmacies who are offering COVID-19 vaccinations throughout CT.  For more information and a list of their locations, please see their website. 
        • CVS - There are limited CVS Pharmacies who are offering COVID-19 vaccinations throughout CT. For more information and a list of their locations, please see their website.
        Please be aware of two COVID-19 vaccine scams circulating. One scam is a phone call, email, or letter from a vaccine manufacturer (Pfizer, Johnson & Johnson, or Moderna) asking for:

        1. Social Security Number to help you get a vaccine appointment.
        You should NEVER give out your Social Security number for the vaccine.

             2. Offering cash rewards or gift cards in exchange for completing a survey. The survey asks for personal information, such as your date of birth and insurance information.
        The vaccine manufacturers will never contact you directly to gather information.

             For accurate and regularly updated information about the COVID Vaccine, please visit the Fairfield Health Department Vaccine update page: 
        https://www.fairfieldct.org/news/?FeedID=4155.
         

         
        Eligible residents for the COVID-19 vaccinations include:
        - Healthcare personnel 
        - Medical first responders
        - Long-term care facility residents
        - Residents and staff of select congregate settings
        - Individuals 16 and older
        - Educators/Staff in pre-K-12 and Childcare Providers

        Individuals in these groups are the only ones who should be scheduling appointments at this time.

        Phase 1a individuals include:
        * Healthcare Personnel: all paid and unpaid persons serving in healthcare settings who have potential for direct or indirect exposure to patients or infectious materials.
        * Long Term Care Facility Residents: adults who reside in facilities that provide a range of services, including medical and personal care, to persons who are unable to live independently.
        * First Responders at risk of exposure to COVID-19 through their responses to medical emergencies such as Emergency Medical Technicians, Police, and Fire.

        * Residents and Staff of select congregate settings: Staff and residents of halfway homes, inpatient mental health facilities, correction facilities, homeless shelters, domestic violence shelters, substance use and residential treatment facilities along with others.

        Educators and Childcare Providers:
        *Those who are Pre-K-12 Teachers, paraprofessionals, custodial staff, food service providers, school bus drivers, childcare providers, as well as in-school administrative staff. Does not include individuals who are not required to work on-site in a school.


        Phase 1b individuals:
        *Those who are 16 and older.  Proof of age will be required at the clinic.
        *Residents and staff of select congregate settings.


        Please note, Pfizer is currently the only vaccine that is approved for individuals under the age of 18 years, and the Fairfield Health Department DOES NOT administer the Pfizer vaccine. Moderna and Johnson & Johnson are only approved for those over the age of 18 years.

        If you fall under Phase 1a, an Educator/Staff in pre-K-12, or a Childcare Provider, you should receive information from your employer or school administrators on how to register for vaccine appointments. For those in the Phase 1b category of 16 and older, you should complete the State form below:

        State Form - 16 & Older
        Fairfield's COVID-19 Vaccine Call Center at 203-256-3082. 
        If you are a Fairfield resident who is currently eligible but does not have the ability to schedule an appointment via the computer, you can call our COVID-19 Vaccination Call Center where a CERT volunteer will assist you in obtaining an appointment. The phone line is targeted to provide support and guidance for eligible vaccine recipients. The call center is open Monday through Friday from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. and voicemails will be returned when calls come in outside the operating hours.
         
        **Fairfield's COVID-19 vaccine call center will be closed on Friday, April 2, because all Town offices will be closed in observation of Good Friday. They will resume operations on Monday, April 5. Please call the State Vaccine Appointment Line below, should you need immediate help, as they are open seven days a week (including the holiday weekend) 8am – 8pm.
         
        The State Appointment Assistance Hotline is 1-877-918-2224 is available for assistance. Click here for the State Fact Sheet about the vaccine.

        We will continue to post the latest information on the Town website, and the social media pages for the Health Department, the Town of Fairfield and my office. For a full listing of those social media pages, click here
        Fairfield County COVID-19 Vaccine Survey: Fairfield County leaders are inviting community members to share their opinions about COVID-19 vaccines. By taking the COVID-19 Vaccine Survey, you’ll help us better understand the needs of our community during the pandemic and beyond. Please take a few minutes to complete the COVID-19 Vaccine Survey by clicking here.
        Town Data: The Town of Fairfield has had 4,650 cases to date, and 200 of Fairfield residents have sadly lost their lives. Charts and data on Fairfield cases, including daily & weekly changes, age, gender, nursing home statistics, testing results, different trends, and university statistics, can be found at www.fairfieldct.org/covid19data. The Health Department updates this page regularly.

        The Health Department also updates the COVID-19 School Data page, which details the school-related metrics and is updated each week as the State releases the data. The Fairfield Board of Education also has a dashboard on their homepage at https://www.fairfieldschools.org.
        Drive-Through Testing Location: Thanks to a partnership with Yale New Haven Health, Fairfield's drive-through COVID-19 testing location at 140 Mill Plain Road opened Monday, March 1.  The location is open for testing seven days a week from 8:30 AM - 4:00 PM to all Connecticut residents and populations, including pre-procedure, asymptomatic, symptomatic, and healthcare workers. We are so excited what this testing site means for our Town in beating this virus!

        You can view a compilation of COVID-19 testing locations, including 140 Mill Plain Road, by clicking the "Testing Locations" button below.
        Testing Locations
        FEELING IN CRISIS?
        When you or a family member may be feeling overwhelmed, know that there are free options to help you talk through your crisis--and to send help when necessary. Fairfield Social Services is here to help. Call 203-256-3170 for more information.
         
        Being a parent or caregiver during COVID can be extremely stressful. It is perfectly normal to be experiencing varying emotions and feel overwhelmed. No matter what you're feeling, we're here to listen.  Parents and caregivers can call the toll-free Talk It Out line to discuss their feelings in a judgement-free environment. Call: 1-833-258-5011 or Visit:
         www.talkitoutct.com 
         
        Resources for Mental Health:
        If you or a loved one is struggling:
        CT Information Hotline 211 or go to www.211ct.org for mobile crisis support for individuals and/or children.
        The Hub CT is Southwest Connecticut’s Regional Behavioral Health Action Organization. Check their website for useful resources for mental health, prevention and wellness.  https://www.thehubct.org/
        Mental Health Crisis Text Line - Text “SHARE” to 741741
        National Suicide Prevention Lifeline:  800-273-TALK (8255)
        Kids in Crisis also has a 24-hour hotline for assistance 203-661-1911. 
        NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Health):If you need to talk to someone, text NAMI to 741741 or call the NAMI Helpline at 1-800-950-NAMI (6264).
        Alcoholics Anonymous - Please contact your site to see if meetings are continuing in your neighborhood. 

        Bridgeport Hospital’s REACH Program is an intensive outpatient program (IOP) for children, adolescents, adults and seniors.  REACH is accessible to anyone, and covered by Medicare, Medicaid, and most commercial insurance programs.  Please 
        click this link to learn more about the extensive range of treatment options available
        Dogs on Leashes: 
        After careful consideration with the Town's Director of Health, I have decided to lift restrictions requiring all dogs remain on leashes at our open spaces effective immediately. The Rules and Regulations for Open Space Properties will be restored to their pre-pandemic limits. Specifically dogs will be allowed off-leash pursuant to Section 14 (e),  which requires all dogs to be kept under voice command or leash control at all times on open space areas and 14(f) All dogs shall be kept on leash if the animals are within 100 ft. of parking lots or picnic areas. Note: Effective April 1 dogs are not allowed on public beaches. Click here for a list of open spaces on page 11.
         
        Note: Pets that cannot be controlled by voice commands must be kept on leash.
         
        The decision to return to pre-pandemic rules and regulations is consistent with the State of CT Sector Rules and CDC guidance. State guidance allows low and moderate risk activities.
         
        CDC Guidance (excerpted)
        • Based on the limited information available to date, the risk of animals spreading COVID-19 to people is considered to be low.
        • Treat pets as you would other human family members – do not let pets interact with people outside the household.
        To read the rules and regulation in their entirety click here.
        CONTINUED TOWN GOVERNMENT

        Assessment Appeals –  February 19th was the last day for appeals to be filed at the Tax Assessor's office. Any resident who filed an appeal by the deadline was granted a hearing by the Board of Assessment Appeals . Hearings began Tuesday, March 2, and concluded on March 29, 2021. Due to the volume of appeals, the BAA has been granted an extension to May 15 to complete its work. 

        The Board is now focusing on deliberating and making decisions on all the appeals before it. 

        Meeting agendas will be posted at 
        www.fairfieldct.org/baa/agendas. Information on what groups of appeals are likely to be discussed and any delays in start times/meeting cancellations will be posted to the Board’s home page (www.fairfieldct.org/baa ), shortly before the start of each meeting. Please be aware that meeting discussions can change depending on how many appeals are decided at previous meetings and what board members are in attendance on a particular night. Recordings and minutes can be accessed through the Board’s home page within seven days of a meeting.
         

        For more detailed information on the next steps in the Appeals process, click the "Assessment Appeals Information" button below.

        Check back for updates and information posted at fairfieldct.org/taxassessor
        Assessment Appeals Information
        Fairfield Public Library 
        Library Express Service offers opportunities for quick browsing and checkout at both our libraries. The Fairfield Public Main Library building is open Monday-Saturday afternoons 2pm - 4pm and Tuesday and Thursday evenings 5pm – 7pm. Woods Branch building is open 10am - 12pm Monday-Friday. Learn more about Library Express service.

        Be on the lookout for our survey! Fairfield Public Library is updating its Strategic Plan. Help us focus our services on what the community really needs and wants. Your opinion matters! 

        Complete the survey and you may be eligible to win a Fairfield Community Gift Card!
        Please visit 
        fairfieldpubliclibrary.org for full details regarding Curbside Pickup at the Main Library and Woods Branch Library. Fairfield Public Library continues to offer 24/7 access to their digital collection of books, music, magazines, movies and databases.  Visit the Library Event Calendar to find a wide and varied assortment of Virtual Programs.
        Pequot Library: We're Here, We Care – Pequot Library offers curbside pickup by appointment and limited browsing hours from 3-6pm on Mondays & Wednesdays; 10am-6pm on Fridays; and 2-4pm on Saturdays. During browsing hours visit us to check out a book or view our display John James Audubon's Birds of America: A Return to Pequot Library, on view from February 4 - May 2.

        Outside of browsing hours, enjoy digital programs like story times, author talks, book clubs, and more! Get details on our website and social media:  FacebookInstagramTwitter, and YouTube. Sign up for Pequot Library's Digital Digest eNewsletter or contact our Chief Librarian for personalized book recommendations.
        Police Department – Today, the Connecticut Department of Transportation Highway Safety Office launched U Drive. U Text. U Pay., a national high-visibility enforcement campaign for National Distracted Driving Awareness Month in April. The Fairfield Police Department will be participating in this campaign and will step up enforcement efforts to enforce distracted-driving laws between April 1 to April 30, 2021.

        Put your phone down when you get behind the wheel. If you need to text, pull over and park your vehicle in a safe place first.
         
        For more information, visit 
        http://www.distraction.gov
                               
        Bigelow Center and Human Services  Fairfield Social Services is pleased to announce that the Town has received a Neighbors in Need grant from United Way to assist families impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. If you are a Fairfield resident struggling, keeping up, or catching up with heating or utility bills, please contact Social Services to see if you qualify. In addition to United Way, Social Services has received an award from the Community Development Block Grant.

        The hardest part to getting help is reaching out to make the call to the Social Services office. We are here to help. Please call us at 203-256-3170 Monday through Friday between 9:00 AM - 4:00 PM for more information about financial assistance programs
        .

        Help Available for Utilities: 
        • Energy Application Assistance- Applications are still available for the Connecticut Energy Assistance Program, which helps with winter heating costs. Fairfield Social Services works with Alliance for Community Empowerment, the local community action agency, for processing of applications. May 3, 2021 is the last day a household can apply to establish eligibility, and May 31 is the last day to submit fuel bills
        • Operation Fuel- There’s still time to apply for Operation Fuel, which can help with primary heat sources (oil, wood, pellets, gas, electric utility) as well as for its program to assist with Aquarion Water bills. Programs ends May 28, 2021.
        Call Social Services for more information on how to apply for either program – 203.256.3170.
         
        Rental Assistance: 
        • Emergency Rental Assistance for Connecticut's Economy – UniteCT. Acting through the Department of Housing (DOH), the State of Connecticut is operating the UniteCT program. This $235 million program will provide rental and utility payment assistance to qualified Connecticut households financially impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. For program details and application information go the DOH website or call 1-844-UniteCT (1-844-864-8328). 
        Mortgage Assistance: The Connecticut Housing Finance Authority, with financial support from the State of Connecticut, has launched a homeowner assistance program for low and moderate income households in Connecticut who are struggling to pay their mortgages due to the impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic. It is called the State of Connecticut Temporary Mortgage Assistance Program or T-MAP.
         
        Emergency loan funds will be available to help homeowners pay their housing costs, allowing them to remain in their homes as they work to regain financial stability. Eligible Households with incomes at or below 120% of the area median income will be eligible to apply for up to $25,000 in the form of a second mortgage loan. Call 1-860-785-3111 to speak to a Representative to determine if you qualify for T-MAP assistance. For additional information about the program, please visit https://www.chfa.org.

        LOVE LOCAL E-GIFT CARD PROGRAM 
        I hope you'll continue to support our local businesses through the Town of Fairfield and the Chamber of Commerce's buy local initiative with the Fairfield Community e-Gift Card program, which is exclusive to Fairfield businesses only. This is a great gift for Fairfield  residents for both holidays and special occasions. More information can be found here.             

        ELDERLY AND DISABLED HOMEOWNERS PROGRAM UPDATE:
        The Governor recently issued Executive Order 
        10, which includes a provision to eliminate the refiling requirement for those applicants due to refile this year. 

        If you are due to refile this year, you will not need to reapply and your benefits will continue at the same level. The Tax Assessor's office should have sent you a postcard to confirm this the week of February 8th.

        If you are seeking the benefit for the first time, you will need to apply, please contact the 
        Tax Assessor's office at 203-256-3110 and the office will work with you on the process. 

        The Executive Order did not extend the final date to apply by May 14, 2021. If you cannot apply by this date you will need to request an extension from the Office of Policy and Management by August 13, 2021.The Tax Assessor's office will be able to provide residents the instructions on how to request an extension.

        For more information, visit here
        fairfieldct.org/taxrelief
        2021 BEACH STICKERS
        The 2020 Beach/ Transfer Station Sticker expired 12/31/20. Don't wait to buy your 2021 Sticker.  RENEW your sticker online for 2021. You can also renew by fax, mail or in person at Parks & Recreation.
        STRATFIELD VILLAGE ASSOCIATION BRICK CAMPAIGN
        The Stratfield Village Association (SVA) is a certified 501 c3 non-profit organization, which aims to preserve, protect and improve the character of the Stratfield Village neighborhood in Fairfield. On January 13th they announced the launch of a brick fundraising campaign to supplement funding to the Four Corners renovation project. Individuals and businesses will be able to purchase a brick with a customized engraving to be included in the new brick sidewalks that are part of the project. There are a limited number of bricks available because of space constraints.
         
        The SVA’s personalized sales page is at 
        bricksrus.com/donorsite/stratfieldvillageassociation. Bricks can be purchased in two sizes – 4”x 8” for $100 with up to three lines of text, or 8”x 8” for $200 with up to 6 lines of text. Lastly, a corporate sponsor may purchase an 8”x 8” brick with 3 lines of text and include a company logo.
         
        The SVA has raised $910,925 of its $1 million goal for the project to date.

        BUSINESSES

        COVID-19 Relief Program Updates:


        SBA Extends Deferment Period for all COVID-19 EIDL and Other Disaster Loans until 2022:
        The U.S. Small Business Administration announced extended deferment periods for all disaster loans, including the COVID-19 Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) program, until 2022.

        • All SBA disaster loans made in calendar year 2020, including COVID-19 EIDL, will have a first payment due date extended from 12-months to 24-months from the date of the note.
        • All SBA disaster loans made in calendar year 2021, including COVID-19 EIDL, will have a first payment due date extended from 12-months to 18-months from the date of the note.

        Existing SBA disaster loans approved prior to 2020 in regular servicing status as of March 1, 2020, received an automatic deferment of principal and interest payments through December 31, 2020. This initial deferment period was subsequently extended through March 31, 2021. An additional 12-month deferment of principal and interest payments will be automatically granted to these borrowers. Borrowers will resume their regular payment schedule with the payment immediately preceding March 31, 2022, unless the borrower voluntarily continues to make payments while on deferment. It is important to note that the interest will continue to accrue on the outstanding balance of the loan throughout the duration of the deferment.

        Questions on SBA COVID-19 EIDL and disaster loan payments can be answered by email at DisasterCustomerService@sba.gov or by calling SBA’s Customer Service Center at 1-800-659-2955 (TTY: 1-800-877-8339).

        Paycheck Protection Program (PPP):
        On Monday, February 22, the White House announced targeted changes to the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) that will provide minority-owned businesses, “mom-and-pop” businesses, and very small nonprofits with access to the support they need.

        Click here to read the announcement and learn more about the steps that are being taken to promote equitable access to this important program. The SBA website also includes tools to help you get matched with a lender or find lenders in your area.
         

        Unless the federal government extends the deadline, the PPP will expire on May 31, 2021.

        The Fairfield Chamber of Commerce office is also open. You can reach them at 203.255.1011 or by emailing beverly@fairfieldctchamber.com.

        BLACK ROCK CHURCH HOT MEAL DRIVE-THRU
        Black Rock Church will resume its Hot Meal Drive-thru beginning Tuesday, January 12. Each Tuesday through March, between 5:00 - 5:30 PM, individuals and families can receive up to six hot meals for their families, along with a bag of groceries for the rest of the week. Reservations are not required, and the dinners and groceries are free. Black Rock Church is located at 3685 Black Rock Turnpike in Fairfield. For more information please call the church at 203-255-3401.
        GET INVOLVED! TOWN BOARD AND COMMISSION VACANCIES
        Interested in giving back to our community?  Want to have a voice in shaping Fairfield?  The Town relies on the hard work of citizen volunteers who are appointed to provide guidance and governance on various Boards and Commissions.  The list of vacancies for Boards and Commissions are on the Town Website.  Be sure to check back often as the list is updated as positions become available.  https://fairfieldct.org/vacancies

        You can also visit our Boards and Commissions page to learn more about roles and responsibilities:  https://fairfieldct.org/boards

        To learn about the application process click here: https://fairfieldct.org/appointmentprocess
        EMERGENCY ALERTS | WHEN IT MATTERS MOST 
        Get alerted about emergencies and other important community news from the Town of Fairfield, CT by signing up for the Fairfield Alert system. This system enables us to quickly provide you with critical information in a variety of situations, such as severe weather, unexpected road closures, missing persons, evacuations of buildings or neighborhoods and other emergency situations.

        You will receive time-sensitive messages wherever you specify, such as your home, mobile or business phones, email address, text messages and more. You pick where, you pick how!

        If you were previously registered with us on the CodeRed system, you must sign-up again by following the instructions belowin order to continue receiving Emergency and Community alerts from the Town of Fairfield.

        How to sign up? Click here.

        Help for Domestic Violence Victims
        The Center for Family Justice has hotline numbers to those who are in crisis and need our free and confidential services. 

        The hotline numbers are:
        Domestic Violence: 203-384-9559
        Sexual Violence: 203-333-2233

        NEW INTERNET PROVIDER
        GoNetspeed has announced their intention to expand to Fairfield in the first half of 2021. This is welcome news for residents who have struggled with internet interruptions. You can read more informatiohere. 
        FAIRFIELD PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT

        What’s your story? What’s your reason?  
        DO YOUR PART...Wear a mask!

        APPLY FOR ENERGY ASSISTANCE 
        The Connecticut Energy Assistance Program is for families in need of energy assistance, Fairfield Social Services coordinates with Alliance For Community Empowerment to help to obtain necessary energy services for Fairfield residents in need. To make an appointment to see if you’re eligible, or if you have questions, please call Social Services 203-256-3170.
        FAIRFIELD BICYCLE & PEDESTRIAN COMMITTEE: 
        The Town of Fairfield Bicycle and Pedestrian Committee has been working to encourage walking and biking for transportation, recreation, exercise and quality of life.

        Working with multiple town departments we have established
         bicycle routesinstalled bicycle repair stationsworked to improve pedestrian infrastructure, and authored the Town of Fairfield Complete Streets Policy (approved by the Board of Selectman in 2018).

        With more and more of our citizens using our roads, we would like to provide you with some important safety reminders for pedestrians, cyclists and drivers. View the document here.
        TOWN GOVERNMENT OPERATIONS
        Sullivan Independence Hall and Old Town Hall are open to the public by appointment only for the safety of employees and residents. Please visit this summary page for an overview and follow links to specific departments for more information. 
        Fairfield's Operations During COVID-19
        Help is available to Fairfield small businesses that are struggling due to the pandemic.  The Fairfield COVID-19 Small Business Assistance Program was established to provide limited, one time direct financial assistance to eligible Fairfield small businesses that have no more than five full-time employees and that have been adversely affected by the public health emergency. Applications are still being accepted by the Office of Community & Economic Development. To learn more or to apply, please visit the website: www.fairfieldct.org/covidsbr.
        Eligibility & Application
        The Fairfield COVID-19 Relief Fund was established to provide limited, one-time assistance to Fairfield residents who have been adversely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Use of the funds must be directly related to the effects of the virus. Donate to the fund or apply for relief by clicking below.
        Donate or Apply to the Fairfield COVID-19 Relief Fund
        COVID CONTACT TRACING
        One of the key tools we have to contain the spread of COVID-19 is Contact Tracing. For this initiative to be successful, the Health Department needs the cooperation of residents who test positive for COVID-19. Both Universities were trained and assisted by our Health Department to manage their own contact tracing for their respective campuses.

        The primary purpose of contact tracing is to identify and notify direct contacts of confirmed cases as quickly as possible and to ensure those exposed are self-quarantining. The information provided in the interviews with confirmed cases helps reduce the potential spread of the virus in our community.


        Any Fairfield resident who tests positive for COVID-19 and has not received a phone call from the Fairfield Health Department or the Connecticut COVID Tracing system within 24 hours of receiving their result is urged to contact the Fairfield Health Department at 203-256-3022. Calls received after hours or on weekends, will be returned by the next business day.
        When to Isolate & Quarantine
        OPERATION HOPE FOOD PANTRY 
        Operation Hope wants to make sure residents of Fairfield are aware that the food pantry remains open and is ready to help by providing food and other basic needs to community residents, as they have for nearly 35 years. 

        Hours of Operation: Monday, Wednesday, Friday from 10:00-12:00; Thursday from 4:00 -6:00. Visit 
        operationhopect.org.

        Important COVID-19 Links:

        Fairfield Health Department coronavirus website:  fairfieldct.org/covid19

        For the latest numbers of cases, deaths and those recovered click here

        For additional data and graphs of activity click here

        For guidance and updates on Connecticut’s coronavirus preparedness efforts, visit: ct.gov/coronavirus

        Contact Information:

        For general questions you can call 211

        Hartford HealthCare’s COVID-19 Clinical Command Center hotline, staffed by healthcare professionals, is now available to the community. To reach the 24-hour hotline, call 860.972.8100 or (toll-free) 833.621.0600.

        YNHH has a call center number it’s 1-833-ASK YNHH that’s open from 7am - 7pm.
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