Greetings Greenwich friends and neighbors.
I was proud to stand in solidarity with 200 of our residents who are of Ukrainian heritage or have ties to Ukraine this week. The rally event was organized by Town residents Olga Litvinenko and Dr. Inna Lazar, who are Ukraine natives.
It is my fervent hope that this brutal war is a short one and that the world sanctions imposed upon Russia will help facilitate an end to this unprovoked invasion. We continue to pray for the heroic Ukrainian people who have taken up arms to defend their country as well as for the hundreds of thousands who have fled their homeland in search of peace and a brighter future.
With the continued diminution of COVID cases, this week marked the last of the bi-weekly press updates that we reinstituted when the omicron variant exploded the number of cases.
We will continue to provide the weekly statistics that we have been providing for nearly 2 years, but in a more abbreviated format. We will review the press update and weekly statistic practices on an as needed basis.
This week marked the end of mask mandates in our schools. Our Senior Center – 299 on The Ave – had a limited reopening of in-person activities. More information on what’s available and planned for coming weeks can be found here.
This truly illustrates that the hard work of our health care workers and first responders, and the responsible response by our residents have paid off.
As of today, Greenwich Hospital is treating 1 COVID-19, an increase of one from a week ago, and our public schools have 13 active cases - 12 students and 1 teacher.
As of March 1, the total number of resident COVID cases among Town residents (since the pandemic began in March 2020) increased to 11,387. The Greenwich Health Department is monitoring 39 active cases – a drop of 19 from last week. The death toll remains at 118.
Here are the latest full vaccination rates as reported by the department, as of March 2:
Age 5 – 11: 51.24 % of 6,470 residents
Age 12 – 17: 95.56 % of 5,449 residents
Age 18 – 24: 96.63 % of 4,037 residents
Age 25 – 44: 76.72 % of 13,580 residents
Age 45 – 64: 85.75 % of 18,950 residents
Age 65 +: 96.26 % of 10,466 residents
Log onto the Yale New Haven Health website to find a booster vaccine site.
Family Centers is offering weekday vaccine and testing clinics at 111 Wilbur Peck Court. Details can be found here.
The Connecticut Department of Public Health is offering mobile vaccine clinics. Information on locations can be found here.
A Greenwich food challenge
The Town of Greenwich, in partnership with Waste Free Greenwich and the Center for EcoTechnology (CET), challenges local businesses to reduce food waste through prevention, rescue and recycling by participating in the Greenwich Food Matters Challenge.
Applications for the Challenge will be accepted now through March 31st, and the program is open to all food service providers in Greenwich, such as restaurants, hospitality providers, grocers and health care facilities. Selected businesses will evaluate their needs and priorities and select a minimum of three food-saving practices to implement. Participants will receive no-cost technical assistance by CET, a national leader in waste reduction, and they will be recognized by the organizers and town leadership.
Benefits to the community include increased donations to food insecure neighbors, reducing the amount of organic waste sent to incineration and raising local awareness about wasted food, which makes up over 22% of Connecticut's waste stream.
To apply for the Greenwich Food Matters Challenge and for full details, visit https://www.wastefreegreenwich.org/greenwich-food-matters-challenge."
Senior Property Tax Relief
Greenwich residents who are age 65 or older and meet eligibility guidelines may qualify to receive Local or State tax credits, dependent upon annual gross income. Owners of condominiums and cooperative apartments are also eligible. Individuals are required to file every two years. If there is a significant change in qualifying income, individuals can reapply between filing periods. Applications are available and accepted between February 1 and May 16, 2022.
Local Senior Property Tax Relief Form
Senior Property Tax Relief Brochure
State Senior Property Tax Relief Form
Speaking of taxes, Tax Collector Heather Smeriglio announced this week that her department’s outside vendor, QDS, has mailed payment notices for 659 delinquent real estate bills.
The Town’s new collection agency, TAXSERV LLC, also is mailing delinquent personal property and motor vehicle bills for the tax years of 2006 to 2019. The total of delinquent taxes is $4.8 million. To date, the tax collection rate is 99.06%.
Come sail away at Tod’s
The historic Chimes Building at Tod’s Point in Old Greenwich has been a storied home to community sailing programs for generations of Greenwich residents. In earlier times it has operated under the stewardship of The Young Mariners, Old Greenwich Yacht Club, the Parks and Recreation Department, and now, the nonprofit organization Tod’s Point Sailing School.
TPSS is a public access program whose mission is to make Long Island Sound accessible to the public. Its priorities are safety, fun, and learning, while offering instruction and hourly boat rentals every day all summer long to the local community.
Tod’s Point Sailing School welcomes all town residents. There is no membership requirement and no need to own a boat. There is a variety of small vessels, both sail and paddle, available to the public. Patrons pay as they go, without any ongoing obligation or long-term commitment.
Old Greenwich Yacht Club commodores ex officio, Bill King and John Kantor, were among the original founders of most recent community sailing program that was founded in 1998. It soon won national recognition from US Sailing as the Best New Program. It thrived until this past fall, when the former operator withdrew.
Responding to a Town request, Bill and John came out of “retirement” to restore the program under new non-profit stewardship with a new name.
I hope you’ll join me in wishing them a successful first season. For more information, please log on to TodsPointSailingSchool.org.
Scouting for food
A quick reminder that the Greenwich Council of Boy Scouts of America is holding its annual food drive for Neighbor to Neighbor. It’s a drive-thru to be held in front of the Greenwich Public Safety Complex, 11 Bruce Place, from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. tomorrow, Saturday, March 5.
Red Cross month
Next Thursday, (March 10) my fellow Board of Selectmen members will be joining me in front of Town Hall for the annual flag-raising and proclamation presentation for Red Cross Month. The brief ceremony will begin at 11 a.m.
Did you know?
Today is National Employee Appreciation Day. I take this opportunity to commend all of our Town employees who are committed to providing the best possible service to our residents. They have weathered unprecedented work circumstances over the past two years – as we all have - and have demonstrated that their dedication to public service is exemplary.
Stay safe and wishing you the best,