COPY OF FIRST SELECTMAN FRED CAMILLO MARCH 27, 2020 WEEKLY COMMUNITY CONNECTIONS NEWSLETTER.
Topics include: Reporting Non-Emergency COVID-19 Activity Concerns, supporting local businesses who continue to operate, parking enforcement status, revised BET Budget Schedule, Update on Metro-North services, participating in 2020 US Census, and more resources for those impacted by COVID-19.
Greetings Greenwich friends and neighbors,
As each day passes, we are finding ourselves facing new challenges brought forth by the COVID-19 pandemic that continues to intensify.
As your First Selectman, I continue to meet with key department heads and administration as we adjust our daily operations to meet the needs of both our residents and employees. Town Hall remains closed to the public and most employees. We have created a virtual Town Hall so that residents and businesses can continue with daily operations as best we can. We encourage you to use the website and email to conduct business.
We also have created a dedicated webpage to provide information on the coronavirus disease 2019 (abbreviated “COVID-19”) and how it is impacting our community. Conditions and information regarding COVID-19 are constantly evolving and we will update this page as often as possible - so please check back frequently or sign-up to receive COVID-19 related updates. There is a lot of misinformation being spread about COVID-19, so please consider the sources of information.
All Town libraries, parks, beaches, marinas and ‘The Griff’ golf course remain closed. Gov. Ned Lamont has reduced the number of people allowed to gather in groups. It is now six (6) people maximum while maintaining six feet of social distancing.
We appreciate all everyone is doing to maintain safe health practices including frequent hand-washing, using protective gloves and sanitizers while shopping. Please be courteous and mindful to dispose of those gloves and sanitizing cloths properly. We are experiencing an uptick in litter as shoppers are not throwing them into the trash.
The Health Department is continuing operation of dedicated phone lines to receive residents’ calls and answer concerns. Each day, half of the department staff reports to Town Hall as they are providing health services to the elderly, homebound and monitor those who have tested positive for COVID-19. The health line phone numbers are: 203-622 -7865, 203-622-7703, 203-622-7614, 203-622-7842 and 203-622-7836. For more information on limited services during this time please visit the Department of Health’s webpage.
Reporting Non-Emergency COVID-19 Activity Concerns
If you are concerned about an activity or an organization not following guidelines issued through COVID-19 related Executive Orders and emergency declarations, please call the Greenwich Police Department’s non-emergency phone number at 203-622-8004.
If you are experiencing mild symptoms of illness and are not in a high risk group that you contact your personal physician rather than call 911. If you have mild symptoms, do not go to the emergency room before contacting your doctor for direction. If you have any serious symptoms, please do not hesitate to call 911. Please save 911 for real emergencies.
Please help support local businesses who continue to operate.
Businesses in Town - from gift shops to garden centers - are changing their traditional business models to combat a COVID-19-induced plunge in sales. Please support our local independent businesses and shop local by visiting www.welcometogreenwichct.com for a list of shops and their services during this challenging time!
And, the Greenwich Chamber of Commerce has compiled a listing of food-related businesses that are offering take-out and delivery services. The list can be found here.
The Connecticut Recovery Bridge Loan Program will make $25 million available to Connecticut businesses and nonprofits that have 100 or fewer employees to assist with cash flow. Loan amounts are up to the lesser of either three months operating expenses and/or $75,000.
The U.S. Small Business Administration is offering designated states and territories, of which Connecticut is included, low-interest federal disaster loans for working capital to small businesses suffering substantial economic injury as a result of the Coronavirus (COVID-19). Please visit their website for more information on eligibility and how to apply: https://www.sba.gov/disaster-assistance/coronavirus-covid-19
Governor Ned Lamont has provided a list defining essential businesses that are allowed to continue to operate during this time. Information can be found here. Also, there is a process to will allow business owners to file for an exemption from the order. That information can be found here
A reminder for food establishments
Given the unfortunate shutdown of many food preparation establishments across the state given, the Town is reminding operators of food facilities that it is important to unplug or otherwise de-energize indoor active grease recovery units (AGRUs) to prevent equipment damage caused by long periods with no drain water inflows. Failure to unplug or de-energize AGRUs during facility closures can create a potential fire hazard.
If an establishment shuts down, it must unplug or de-energize all electric grease traps. More information can be found here on the Department of Public Works webpage.
Residents are reminded that the Town has suspended enforcement of parking meters, daily parking fees at commuter lots, two-hour timed, and 24-hour parking restrictions. We will continue to enforce all posted No Parking zones and remind drivers to be sure to keep crosswalks and fire hydrants clear.
BET Postpones Budget Vote
The following Board of Estimate and Taxation meetings regarding the Fiscal Year 2020-2021 Budget have been cancelled and are rescheduled as follows:
MEETING ORIGINAL DATE NEW DATE AND TIME
BET Public Hearing Monday, March 30, 2020 Tuesday, April 21 at 7:00 PM
BET Budget Workshop Tuesday, March 31, 2020 Thursday, April 23 at 9:00 AM
BET Decision Day Thursday, April 2, 2020 Monday, April 27 at 9:00 AM
Please note that these meetings will be held virtually and may be subject to change. Information on how to participate in the Public Hearing and how to view all the meetings will be published in advance of the meeting.
Train station building closure
At the request of Metro-North Railroad and with the concurrence of the Connecticut Department of Transportation, the Greenwich Train Station building is closed to the public. Stations in Cos Cob, Riverside and Old Greenwich remain closed to the public. The building closures do not impact train schedules.
Stay at Home and Be Counted
With so many residents home these days, please take a few moments to complete the Census as field operations are still suspended until April 1st because of Coronavirus. Greenwich’s current self-response rate is 29.1%. The state self-response rate is 29%, so we’re on par on the state level. Citizens still can – and should – use the current self-quarantine opportunity to respond to the Census. Residents should have received a mailer by now with a code specific to their address. They can fill out the Census at https://my2020census.gov/.
Other resources for residents and businesses:
The Catherine Violet Hubbard Animal Sanctuary is offering pet food support (cats and dogs) for Greenwich homebound seniors. For more information, email: firstname.lastname@example.org or call 866-620-8640.
I thank you each, and every Town resident, for your cooperation, civility and courage as we endure this pandemic together. And I thank each of our dedicated Town employees who are either on the front lines or working from home to ensure that all of you continue to receive the essential services necessary during these extraordinary times.
Stay safe, stay healthy.