"Ask City Hall" is your place to ask city officials for information about what's going on in city government. It is for generic questions that would be of interest to all Derby residents. Specific questions addressing individual issues should be addressed to related city departments by contacting them directly through their e-mail and phone numbers listed on the web site.

Click here to send your question to city officials. They will handle the questions and have the appropriate official draw up a response. Please remember that this is not the spot for Freedom of Information requests which should be handled by the proper city department. We will print the questions and answers here.

How many people to die before you put s stop sign on derby ave therevwas avaccidentbthis morning right in front of the house my grankids had to see that before going to school cars t least 60 miles per hour on that road I witnessed it my self. My grankids live at 169 derby ave they have no driveway have to cross that highway to go home I am very scared for their safety

Thank you for your strong concerns about the traffic on Derby Avenue. After speaking with the  Deputy Chief he has told me that the Derby police dept. has been very aggressive with speed control on this street. They are constantly on patrol in the area monitoring speed and watching that drivers stop at the stop sign which is 6 houses down from your grandchildren s residence. Derby Avenue is a state road and unfortunately the city of Derby cannot install signage on that road.

Alderman Ron Sill. 

How to rent coon hollow park?

Call the mayor's office. They schedule the pavilion there.

 

Is there a place to get lot and house dimensions on line?

Currently the City of Derby does not have the Filed Cards to properties on their web page.
The only option at this time is the public access computer located in the Assessor’s Office.

Laura Wabno, City/Town Clerk
 

*I recently purchased a home in Derby. As I am becoming familiar with the town, I notice many cars parking on the wrong side of the street and at stop signs. Can these cars get ticketed? In particular, I drive in the area of Eighth and Ninth Streets.

Also, there is not a stop sign or a street sign at the end of Coppola Terrace at the corner of Coon Hollow Rd. What would it take to get these?

Finally, there has been much construction done on Coppola Terrace. Is there a plan to pave that road? It is now in terrible condition.

Answer from the Gerald D. Narowski
Chief of Police:

The police department Enforces violations as they see them they have not received any complaints from that area in Quite some time now. He will have the officers check on the their shifts through that area to make sure everything is okay. Public works will be notified of the missing sign.

Answer from the Ron Sill
Chairman of the Board of Aldermen:

As far as the repaving goes the city is going to have to find the money, it is on the list.

*We have an issue with a neighbor ..... who has a Harley motorcycle with a VERY loud exhaust and has no consideration for his neighbors when driving up and down the street in full throttle. He also brings his buddies along on some weekends and they all ride through here like they are on an open highway. It's bad enough we have to deal with the noise on 34. We tried asking him to nicely to stop but they won't quit Can you please tell me of there is any noise ordinance in effect or in the works to get these people to stop?? what can be done?
 

Answer from the Gerald D. Narowski
Chief of Police:
In response to your request it is a ticket. The simple answer is call the police. The secondary impact of them doing this is that they may initiate a neighbor dispute between them and the alleged offender. Without going into exhaustive detail. The city does have a noise ordinance but much of it is unenforceable (measuring devices and decibel levels) and the sections that apply point to state law. If the person has no muffler on the vehicle that is a violation and a $150 ticket. If the operator is causing the unnecessary noise than that is another charge. Either way we do not generally enforce M/V infractions on third party complaints – this is something the officer needs to witness to enforce. So if the person drives by and leaves it might not help to call us. If the person is driving up and down the street or revving the engine and is still on scene when we arrive we could enforce it. I will have our officers note the activity at roll call and this way our officers will be aware of the potential violations in the area.

CGS Sec. 14-80. Mechanical equipment.
(a) Each motor vehicle and the devices on such vehicle shall be operated,
equipped, constructed and adjusted to prevent unnecessary or unusual noise.
(b) Each motor vehicle operated by an internal combustion engine shall be
equipped, except as hereinafter provided, with a muffler or mufflers designed to
prevent excessive, unusual or unnecessary exhaust noise. The muffler or mufflers
shall be maintained by the owner in good working order and shall be in use
whenever the motor vehicle is operated. No person, including a motor vehicle
dealer or repairer or a motorcycle dealer, shall install, and no person shall
use, on a motor vehicle, a muffler or mufflers lacking interior baffle plates or
other effective muffling devices, a gutted muffler, a muffler cutout or a
straight exhaust except when the motor vehicle is operated in a race, contest or
demonstration of speed or skill as a public exhibition pursuant to subsection
(a) of section 14-164a, or any mechanical device which will amplify the noise
emitted by the vehicle. No person, including a motor vehicle dealer or repairer
or a motorcycle dealer, shall remove all or part of any muffler on a motor
vehicle except to repair or replace the muffler or part for the more effective
prevention of noise. No person shall use on the exhaust system or tail pipe of a
motor vehicle any extension or device which will cause excessive or unusual
noise.
(c) The engine of every motor vehicle shall be equipped and adjusted to prevent
excessive fumes or exhaust smoke.
(d) All pipes carrying exhaust gases from the motor shall be constructed of,
and maintained with, leak-proof metal. Exhaust pipes shall be directed from the
muffler or mufflers toward the rear of the vehicle and shall be approximately
parallel with the longitudinal axis of the vehicle and approximately parallel to
the surface of the roadway, or shall be directed from the muffler upward to a
location above the cab or body of the vehicle so that fumes, gases and smoke are
directed away from the occupants of the vehicle. Exhaust pipes on a passenger
vehicle shall extend to the extreme rear end of the vehicle's body, not
including the bumper and its attachments to the body, or shall be attached to
the vehicle in such a way that the exhaust pipes direct the exhaust gases to
either side of the vehicle, behind the rear axle, ensuring that fresh ambient
air is located under the vehicle at all times. The commissioner of motor
vehicles may adopt regulations in accordance with the provisions of chapter 54
to establish safety standards for passenger vehicles equipped with exhaust pipes
located in front of the rear axle.
(e) Every motor vehicle shall, when operated on a highway, be equipped with a
horn in good working order and capable of emitting sound audible under normal
conditions from a distance of not less than two hundred feet, but no horn or
other warning device shall emit an unreasonably loud or harsh sound or a
whistle.
(f) No vehicle shall be equipped with, nor shall any person use on a vehicle,
any siren, whistle or bell as a warning signal device, except as otherwise
permitted by this section. Any motor vehicle may be equipped with a theft alarm
signal device which is so arranged that it cannot be used by the driver as an
ordinary warning signal. Any authorized emergency vehicle may be equipped with a
siren, whistle or bell, capable of emitting sound audible under normal
conditions from a distance of not less than five hundred feet and of a type
approved by the motor vehicle department. Such signal shall not be used unless
the vehicle is operated in response to an emergency call or in the immediate
pursuit of an actual or suspected violator of the law, in which event the driver
of the vehicle shall sound the signal when reasonably necessary to warn
pedestrians and other drivers of the approach of the vehicle.
(g) Any person who violates any provision of this section shall be fined one
hundred fifty dollars for each offense.
 

Posted September 19, 2012

 

*Can you raise chickens in the city of Derby? What are the restrictions, if any..Thanks

Answer from the Ken Hughes:
Chapter 56-2 of the City Charter, "Keeping swine, goats or fowl": No person shall keep any fowl in any place or manner which, in the opinion of the Health Officer, may become a menace or nuisance to any other person.
.

Posted June 27, 2011

 

*Could someone please advise approximately how much the cost would be to rent Coon Hollow Park in Derby for a picnic ?

Answer from the Mayor's office:
The fee on Coon Hollow park is:
Derby residents is $400.00 and $100.00 of that is refundable
Non-Derby Residents is $500.00 $100.00 of that is refundable.
.

Posted March 22, 2011

*Would like to know the timing of the closing of exit#17 rt 8. Thanks

Answer by Sheila OMalley, Office of Economic Development
The closing of Exit 17 is tied into Phase III of the Rte 8 project. It is the interchange at Exit 16 which will be the central focus of Phase III. This is a $102 million project. Connecticut Department of Tranaportation will not begin a project until or unless there is full funding in place. Once the funding is in place (and the VCOG is not sure when that will occur) there needs to be final design, public hearings, etc.

Posted November 23, 2009

*The City is required to produce a line item schdule to prepare thier budget. Why is it acceptable for the BOE to ask for over 17.9 million dollars of taxpayers dollars and not pruduce a line item schedule?" Is this fair to the taxpayers?

Answer by Sheila M. Parizo, Chairwoman, Derby Board of Education

We did present the Board of Apportionment and Taxation a VERY detailed budget request - in a booklet form - which was approximately 110 pages long! Those copies are available at the Board of Education Central Office, 35 Fifth Street, Derby. I hope this answers the question. Feel free to contact me if you need further information.

 

* I understand all the work that has been going into the old "Spooner
House" and there was suppose to be an opening date of May. Please
update on the progress and opening date of the Spooner House as the
Valley Art Center.

Answer by Richard DiCarlo
Valley Arts Council President
Chairman Derby Cultural Commission

Extensive work is still going on at the Valley Center of the Arts. Unfortunately, we have been declined for a $40,000.00 grant which would have went towards contractors. We have also been delayed due to insufficient funds from some of our sponsors...In return some alternate methods have been sought and are being applied For Example: United Illuminating usually donates a predetermined amount of money but due to the economy they had to make cutbacks which effected us. We met with UI and found out that they have received some stimulus funding which can be applied through an energy audit which will help us obtain our color correct lighting and fixtures. The audit was performed in May and we are still waiting for the results (Lighting). Otherwise, the massive subflooring has been installed and is awaiting the placement of the new tile flooring. Lowes of Derby gave us a great break on the materials. All the Doors have been cut down to proper size. walls have been patched, the ceilings have also been repaired. Sherwin Williams of Norwalk and a company in Seymour donated over 75 gallons of paint for the ceilings and walls. Scholar Painting of Ansonia has donated their services to paint the 2000+ sq ft of ceiling (This will be done in the next week or so...according to their schedule) We have received word on May 20th, that we have won the grant for the exterior signage from the Community Foundation. The signage is being designed on the computer as we speak by myself and will be submitted to Signs Unlimited of Derby for fabrication and installation. We still have a few water leaks that must be fixed. There are two left...One in the bathroom, one in the basement. Our administration office is 90% complete...We await the installation of the new phone system in the upcoming days which means that we will be able to occupy that important office and show studio spaces to potential renters in the next few days. We have many artists interested in renting the 2nd floor studio spaces. The funds from those rentals will be applied to children's art supplies and pay other operational costs. Most of the work thus far, has been performed by Five volunteers operating on their own spare time. I myself, many times have been in the building until 3am replacing the ceiling and spackling the walls. This is done in between Family life, countless meetings, planning and setting up the Derby Day event. Others like Leslie Adams and Jeff Grant have been cleaning, painting, installing carpet etc...while in the midsts of selling their house and moving. Rich Kowalski has been the hardest worker by far. He is the backbone of the renovations and is proceeding at a great pace. Dani Soto has been working with us on the other issues such as the on going plumbing crisis. His work time
is being split between his family, coaching little league and volunteer Fireman for Derby and he is also involved with the Cultural Commission and the planning of Derby Day. We are not complaining nor are we making excuses...I just want to put the point across that It takes time and we are volunteers devoting all the spare time we have into the project. The place is developing nicely and we are moving forth. I hate to give a set date but we are looking at opening the doors in the next few weeks.
Thank You
 

Posted May 27, 2009

 

* Can you please tell me what laws (city or state) or regulations there are for cat owners or keepers ? Is there a limit on how many cats and what shots they are required to have?

Answer by Salvatore F. Frosceno - Lieutenant - Administrative Division Commander - Derby Police Department
The City currently does not have charter language pertaining to cats or the number of cats one could have. The State does require cats three months old to have a rabies shot.

Posted May 19, 2009

 

* Can you tell me the CT law for calibration and inspection of parking meters?

Answer by Leo Moscato, Executive Director, Derby Municipal Parking Authority.
There are no state statutes that govern the calibration of parking meters. However, the Derby Municipal Parking Authority has made the investment to purchase the most technologically advanced meter "brain"
on the market. Each meter is fitted with a Quartz Crystal ensuring near exact accuracy and self tests every 59 seconds. All Quartz Crystals vibrate at the same rate. We will test any meter that one claims to give false times. There were no faulty meters due to time failure to date.
 

Posted March 24,2009

* Can you please explain the referendum to us lay persons? If a contractor uses Derby’s credit rating to secure funding for a project, then bails out half way through the project, how does this effect Derby’s credit rating? Is Derby on the hook to repay the loan or is it the entire responsibility of the contractor? Why would a contractor with a worse credit rating than that of the city, be considered if they have problems paying their own bills?

Answer by Ken Hughes, President, Board of Aldermen.
Thank you for contacting Ask City Hall. Rather than having an attorney or bond counsel answer, here is a lay persons explanation, as I have sat through 3 very thorough presentation meetings on the topic.

There is zero financial liability to the City in terms of the City and Town Development Act. If a contractor defaults on a project, the responsibility lies with the private bond holders, or those who financed the project. Derby is not on the hook for any repayment, and there is no effect on the City's bond rating, mill rate, or future ability to borrow money. Credit ratings are different between contractors versus those of a municipality. This Act is not for developers who cannot afford a project, but rather for helping developers who will create a project which would fulfill a need outlined in the Act. No government money is used to finance projects under the Act.

The Act states that certain conditions exist in the City (inadequate housing, blight, etc) and in order for a developer to qualify under the Act, his/her project must address some/all of these conditions.
Part of the approval process under this Act, is thorough research and studies completed by the contractor which makes these types of projects more of a "sure thing" in the eyes of those financing the project.

This Act actually gives the City more input on proposed projects, as before, a project would only need Planning/Zoning and Wetlands approval. If a developer wishes to use the Act, he/she would need the above approvals, plus that of the BOA, through a public hearing process.

Posted March 19, 2009

* When will the Valley Art Center *really* be moving in to the Spooner House on Caroline St and actually opening their doors? After many months of passing by, the only progress I have seen is a taped up broken window and a brown paper sign saying "Valley Art Center" coming soon. It would be uplifting to the area to have its doors open up soon.


Answer by Richard DiCarlo, President of the Valley Arts Council

You definitely cannot judge a book by its cover. Unfortunately, we are not magicians and these things take time. The rehabilitation of this building is actually proceding at a far rapid pace than any other in the area. After negotiating with Yankee Gas to start up gas service to the facility at a reasonable rate that was not based on the past usage as 24hr living quarters which required an outrageous security deposit.

 The Spooner House is in the process of undergoing extensive internal repairwork due to years of neglect.  Over 15 lbs of debris was professionally vacuumed from the clogged heating ducts. The Two main heating units were in dire need of maintenance and repair which were remedied by Derby's Giordano Heating.

The building now has sufficient heat, It was an unusually cold winter and it was not suitable for people to be working in a 35 degree unheated, damp building.  A cracked water meter has been repaired by the Regional Water Co. There are broken pipes on the lower floor that are due to be repaired within the next couple of days. Every plumbing fixture is in need of some type of work. We are currently doing extensive repairs to the walls. We are patching hundreds of holes and have removed countless protruding screws and nails. We have removed Rotted floor registers and bug infested vents, removed rotten, soiled carpets and several heavy steel doors which were hanging off their frames with dangerous razor sharp protruding edges. The Upper floors have been scrubbed clean of Rust stains (from the Beds)  Deteriorated, mold infested window film has been removed from all the windows as well as removal of makeshift room dividers and broken window trim.  Several  electrical switches need replacing and we need to replace 96 of the 108 flourescent bulbs and repair the lenses. As you can see there is still alot of work to be done. The Valley Arts Council has currently invested several thousands of dollars and hundreds of man hours thus far into the Art Center and we will not open its doors until it is completely safe for usage. We have recieved 60 gallons of paint that has been donated and internal painting will commense in the weeks to come,followed by the installation of a new tile floor and sub floor on the main level. We have several grants in place and several bids out for new signage. External cosmetic work, including that one broken window that if I may add, has been in that condition for nearly six years (Its frame screws are stripped and need to be drilled out) This, along with the other items will occur when the weather permits. We look forwards to being an active part of this wonderful community. I'm  sure that the people of Derby will be pleased with the final results. The Valley Center of The Arts will open its doors this May.

Thank You

Posted March 13, 2009

 

*Why are the referendum questions that were not able to be placed on the ballot in the General Election of 11/08 not placed with the referendum questions in the upcoming referendum on 4/21?

Answer by Carolyn Duhaime, Chair, Board of Apportionment & Taxation and Ken Hughes, President, Board of Aldermen.
According to statutes, the charter revision commission would have to be reformed, hold their public hearings, present a draft to the BOA, revisit any recommendations, then present the final draft to the BOA for adoption. There is not enough time to have this done by the end of April, but the possibility exists the process could be completed in time for the November election.

Posted March 3, 2009

 

*Did Alderman Hughes give the tax Board a "secret" report suggesting to close one of the City's elementary schools?

Answer by Carolyn Duhaime, Chair, Board of Apportionment & Taxation.
Neither the President nor any other member of the Board of Aldermen has come before the Board of Apportionment and Taxation to speak on any matter regarding the Board of Education either in public or private.

Posted February 18, 2009

 

*Who is paying to knock down the porch and patio building?

Answer by Ken Hughes, President, Board of Aldermen.
The developer is paying to demolish that building. Over a year ago, the Board of Aldermen placed that building on the blight list where it is currently incurring a $100 per day fine. The developer appealed that designation, lost the appeal to a third party mediator, and is now appealing the appeal.

Posted February 16, 2009

*Do the fees charged to the residents at the Transfer Station cover the costs to have the items removed?

Answer by Ken Hughes, President, Board of Aldermen.
No. The fees charged to residents for demolition and bulk items at the Transfer Station only cover a portion of the cost to remove them from the site. For example, the fees charged to dump a tire, only cover a fraction of the cost for the City to remove the tire from the Transfer Station. These fees charged to residents have been the same for over 20 years, and as you can imagine, haulers have not kept their fees the same during this time period. The difference is covered by the City. Derbys fees are the lowest when compared to the surrounding communities.

Posted January 29, 2009

 

*What are the city rules for metered parking on the city streets?

Answer by Leo Mosacto, Director, Derby Parking Authority.
For ease of use Derby Municipal Parking Authority has posted on each meter the hours of operation and the type of coin the meters require.

Posted as follows:

1.Hours of Enforcement are: Monday - Friday 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.

2. 25 cents - U.S. QUARTERS ONLY

Posted January 28, 2009

 

*I have seen the transfer station fees posted on the Derby web site and am confused. Are we being told that city residents will now be charged fees to use our own tax dollar funded facility?

Answer by Ken Hughes, President, Board of Aldermen.
The fee structure at the Derby Transfer Station is the same fee structure which has been in place for over 20 years. City of Derby residents are not charged for household trash, but are charged, as you state, for big ticket "specialty" items, such as tires, refrigerators, etc. Demolition material and the like is charged to residents and contractors by the ton, although it is half price for residents. Nothing has changed regarding the fee schedule since 1988.

Posted January 24, 2009

 

*How is the City of Derby making more money now with the new private company at the dump if they are splitting the fees?

Answer by Ken Hughes, President, Board of Aldermen.
Prior to the hiring of Annex Associates, the City of Derby never received any income from plastics, glass, wood, etc. Annex is now sorting and recycling these products and giving a percentage of these proceeds to the City. This is a revenue stream never before realized for the taxpayers, so any percentage given to the City is money which was never before received. Take into account the salary and benefits of the
2 employees no longer at the transfer Station and the savings amount to well over $100,000.
 

Posted November 22, 2008

*I was told that Board of Aldermen president Ken Hughes gave his parents jobs in the City. Isn't this unethical?

Answer by Joe Bomba, 3rd Ward Alderman
The Housing Authority, Police Commission and Board of Aldermen are all unpaid, volunteer positions in the City of Derby.

Posted November 21, 2008

*How many hours did the Derby Supernumerary Officers actually work before the Board of Aldermen discontinued the program?

Answer by Gene Mascolo, Chief of Police
Click here for the Board of Aldermen minutes related to this information

Last workedTime to OCT08Next PriorTime between shifts2 shifts worked
16 APR 08 - 1 shift6 Mths21 FEB 08 4 hrs.2 Mths8 Mnths.
23 MAR 08 - 1 shift7 Mths31 DEC 07 - 1 shift3 Mths10 Mnths.
19 JUL 08 - 1 shift3 Mths11 JAN 08 - 1 shift6 Mths9 Mnths.
22 MAR 08 - 1 shift7 Mths16 MAR 08 - 1 shift6 Days7 Mnths.
7 SEP 08 - 1 shift1 Mth6 MAR 08 - 1 shift6 Mths7 Mnths.
16 JUN 07 - 1 shift16 Mths10 JUN 07 - 1 shift6 Days16 Mnths.
24 JUL 05 - 1 shift39 Mths23 JUL 05 - 1 shift1 Day39 Mnths.
07 SEP 08 4 hrs.1 Mth27 MAY 07 - 1 shift16 Mths17 Mnths.

*Someone told me that the City is giving free gas to the company running the dump. What's up?

Answer by Ken Hughes, President, Board of Aldermen and Carolyn Duhaime, Chair, Charter Revision commission.
The City owns several pieces of large equipment exclusive to the Transfer Station, mainly a large loader and tub grinder for the brush. These items are still being used to operate the transfer station and are still being filled with gas from the City, the same as before. Annex Associates has a few pieces of their own equipment and vehicles onsite which are not filled by the City. A DPW employee fills the City owned machines.

Posted November 18, 2008

*Does the city have wild animal control?

Answer by Salvatore F. Frosceno, Lieutenant - Administrative Commander, Derby Police Department
In response to this animal nuisance complaint. Our Animal Control Officer, Joe Klapcik is not a licensed trapper due to that licensing being a conflict of his employment here with the City of Derby. That meaning, Klapcik can not trap or remove the animal from the property in question. In circumstances like this, Klapcik referrers residents to contact Greg Gramolina @ 736-9444. He is a local, licensed wildlife trapper who has the statutory authority to trap, remove and more importantly relocate nuisance wildlife. I’m told, there is a fee associated with this service and that would have to be worked out between the homeowner and Gramolina.

Posted November 17, 2008

*What happened to the Charter questions. I didn't see them on the
ballot?

Answer by Ken Hughes, President, Board of Aldermen and Carolyn Duhaime, Chair, Charter Revision commission.
The Board of Aldermen, and the Charter Revision Commission were working on the deadline as outlined in Section 9-369a (see below.) The aldermen held a special meeting on September 15th, and the questions were prepared for submission on September 16th, still within the 45 days as outlined below. When we were ready to file the questions on the 16th., we were told by the Secretary of the States office it should have been 60 days, not the 45. Both volunteer boards adhered to the below information which is found on the Secretary of the States website.
We didn't wish to spend taxpayers money on an elections attorney to further investigate the issue.

Below is the information on the States website, along with the actual Statute.

NOVEMBER 4, 2008 STATE ELECTION CALENDAR

The following is a chronological summary of certain requirements for the
2008 Election Year, applicable in the absence of a Special Act to the contrary. Section references are to the General Statutes of Connecticut. ALL ENTRIES AND REFERENCES ARE SUBJECT TO LEGISLATIVE REVISION.
Please see:

SEPTEMBER 19, 2008 (Friday) TOWN CLERK QUESTIONS ON BALLOT: Last day for town clerk to file with Secretary of the State a statement setting forth the designation of each question to be voted on as it will appear on the voting machine, the date upon which the submitting action was taken, and a reference to the law under which such action was taken. (Sec. 9-369a)

If questions are submitted within the period of forty-five days before election under specific authority of general statutes, such statement must be filed forthwith upon taking of such action. (Sec. 9-369a)

Sec. 9-369a. Submission of local questions at election

b) When the clerk of the municipality determines that the necessary action has been taken for submission of the question, _he shall, at least forty-five days prior to the election_, file in the office of the Secretary of the State a statement setting forth the designation of the question as it is to appear on the voting machine ballot labels at the election, the date upon which the submitting action was taken and the reference to the law under which the action was taken.
 

The three questions approved by the Charter Commission and BOA are still valid and will be used in the future. No money was wasted in this process.

 

Posted November 9, 2008

 

*When did the aldermen raise the mayors salary from 45k to 50k?

Answer by Ken Hughes, President, Board of Aldermen.
The sliding pay scale for the Mayors position was set by the previous administration with incremental increases after each consecutive term served.

Posted November 1, 2008

 

*Has the city decided to go back to letting residents pay their property taxes on a quarterly basis vs 2 times a year if they sign an affidavit and if so, would it be interest free as in the past?

Answer by Phil Robertson, Administrative Assistant City of Derby.
State Statutes allow for either a one time payment of taxes system, a two time payment of taxes, or a four time payment of taxes. In 1992 the City of Derby went from a two time system to a four time system. In their evaluation of the system, in 1994 they changed back to a two payment system.
The City of Derby is presently creating an additional system which will be allowed by state statute. The program will allow citizens below a certain income to pay their taxes 4 times a year as opposed to the two time payment.
 

Posted October 28, 2008

*What are the future plans for the Derby Dump?

Answer by Ken Hughes, President, Board of Aldermen.
The Derby Board of Aldermen at the last monthly meeting unanimously voted to extend the Citys contract with Annex Associates for one year to run the transfer station. The decision was made based on 2 reports received, one from Annex Associates, and the other from Action Consulting/Murphy Road Recycling, which is a consulting firm specializing in recycling station operations, as well as State Permitting/Safety and Compliance issues. Both reports outlined basically the same issues. The long term goal is to have a properly run transfer station which will be profitable to the taxpayers of Derby, and to become compliant with all state and federal regulations.

Posted October 25, 2008

 

*I would like to know if it is to late to register, and if not how would I go about doing so?

Answer by Laura Wabno, City/Town Clerk
All mail in voter registration applications must be postmarked no later than October 21, 2008.
The deadline to register in person at your town hall is October 28, 2008 by 8:00 PM.

This information is taken directly from vote-ez-ct from the Secretary of the State web page.

Posted October 24, 2008

*Recently I read an article in the New Haven Register pertaining to the Katherine Matthies Foundation. The article went on to say that $8000,000 in grants were distributed to nonprofit organizations throughout the lower Naugatuck Valley. I was searching the article for grants given to Derby organizations and to my surprise there were not any granted, at least ones that are directly connected to City of Derby organizations. Did Sheila O'Malley, Director of Community Development /
Grant Writer apply for any grants from this foundation? The one grant that caught my eye was the grant awarded to the Shelton Economic Development Corporation ($15,000).


Answer by Sheila O'Malley, Director of Economic Development
I have attached the eligibility criteria and grant focus for the Katherine Matthies Foundation. The first line of the grant instructions tells you that you must be a 501(c)3 to apply. That means you must be a non-profit organization. No cities or towns are eligible to apply. What I did do and will continue to do is apply on behalf of a non-profit that is affiliated with the City of Derby, asks for my help and serves the needs of the citizens of Derby. This past round, I was approached by the Derby Cultural Commission who is working in collaboration with the Valley Arts Council on the Derby Day Festival. I helped write the application and it was successful. The Shelton Economic Development Corporation is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization. We do not have an economic development entity in Derby that is a 501(c)3. I am a government agency and ineligible to apply.

I am happy to share the application with anyone who wishes. Please don't hesitate to contact me.

Posted September 28, 2008

 

 

*What are the future plans for the Spooner House


Answer by Ken Hughes, President, Board of Aldermen.
The Board of Aldermen, at their September 25 meeting, approved a lease to the Valley Arts Council. They will be using the building as a gallery and teaching center. They will also be responsible for all insurances, utilities, and maintenance on the building.

Posted September 27, 2008

 

*Tell me who's job is it to do the grounds @ the Witek Park "soccer fields"? IS it the city's responsibility or a private landscaping company?


Answer by Ken Hughes, President, Board of Aldermen.
The fields are maintained, (mowing and fertilization) by a private company, who, during the soccer seasons (spring for Youth Soccer, and fall for the schools), mow the fields twice a week. The fields are lined by the Derby Department of Public Works, every Thursday.

Posted September 20, 2008

 

*Are we participating with Ansonia for the yearly Hazardous material collection? I see it is set for September 13th. If so, are the rules the same as last year?

Answer by Ron Culmo, Director of Public Works.
Yes, the rules are the same as the last several years for the Hazardous Materials collection. Ansonia, Derby, and I think Seymour participate in the collection. Signs have been posted around Derby to inform the residents of the collection site. There will be people stationed there checking registrations of the vehicles going in there. We will pay for the vehicles that are from Derby only. Any further questions please write back or call the garage. Thanks!

Posted September 8, 2008

 

*Where exactly is the Middle school being built? My understanding was it was being built in place of the student parking lot. And please explain why there are .3 miles off trees being taken down.

Answer by Keith McLiverty, Chairman of the School Building Committee.
The new Middle School will be constructed on the land between Nutmeg Avenue and Chatfield Street, directly across from the High School front entrance. Their will be a new field and play area on the current parking lot, which is on the right side as you enter the property.

The final site plans call for replacing the trees that were removed, in different locations.

Posted September 1, 2008

*How is the response for the new developer search and when does it end?

Answer by Sheila O'Malley, Director of Community Development
We are encouraged by the strong interest on the part of potential developers in the downtown piece. I am not suprised at the number of packages that have been picked up because this is a great location with high visibility and easy accesibility. Request for Qualifications are due back to the Derby Office of Economic and Community Development on November 12, 2008.

Posted August 26, 2008

 

*What is the expected opening date of the new Loweʼs and are they still building a structure for a restaurant on the property?

Answer by Sheila O'Malley, Director of Community Development
The expected opening for Lowes is sometime in December of 2008. They are building pads for a Dollar Tree store and one other store. They have  been speaking with interested restaurants, but will only build a pad when they have an agreement in place. They will keep us updated throughout the coming months. 

Posted August 22, 2008

 

*What is the status of the City owned blighted buildings in the HALO district?

Answer by Sheila O'Malley, Director of Community Development
The City anticipates putting the RFP for demolition specifications out this week. We just received the environmental abatement package from Enviromed. The next step will be to put the entire package out to bid.

Posted August 18, 2008

 

*I thought the dump was going to be open longer?

Answer by Ken Hughes, Chairman of the Board of Aldermen.
The City received a grievance filed by the Department of Public Works Union, led by President Ron Luneau. They are claiming they should be paid overtime for the extra hours the dump was open, even though the Public Works employees were no longer working there. The City conceded to revert back to the original hours of operation in order to complete the 90 trial period in order for Annex Associates to do a full evaluation of the landfill operations. The hours of operation will be adressed at the end of the 90 day period.
.

Posted August 13, 2008

 

*I have noticed that the grass at Ryan Field is looking better than ever. What are you doing different?"

Answer by Ken Hughes, Chairman of the Board of Aldermen.
The opening of Witek Park for soccer has alleviated some of the playing pressure off of Ryan field. We are trying to regulate the use on all City fields in order to keep the surfaces playable and in good
condition. This is not always an easy chore as we try to keep all playing groups happy. The biggest contributing factor to the deterioration of a natural grass playing surface is compaction.
.

Posted August 6, 2008

*How much over time per week has the Derby Police Dept. used since July
2007 when the so-called obsolete system of using part-time officers was put into effect?

Answer by Gene Mascolo, Chief of Police
I have to give a little background before I answer this question.

The Derby Police Department’s full time patrol division used to work Monday through Friday. As you all know, police patrol is a 24/7 requirement. We need cops on the weekends and we need to replace full time cops when they take time off! So, under the old system, we had two major staffing challenges. Staffing weekends, and finding replacements for cops between Monday and Friday when they took time off.

Many years ago, weekends and replacements came entirely from our supernumerary or part-time police force. When a cop took time off during the week, a super replaced the cop. On the weekends, part-time cops provided all patrol coverage in the city. For many reasons, the super program deteriorated from about 35 supers at a high down to about the current staff of 8. This required more and more full-time cops to staff weekends and to act as replacements. In the last years of the old staffing system , the super program was not a viable source of manpower.

Each X below represents a full time patrolman scheduled to work patrol.

MON TUES WED THURS FRI SAT SUN
X X X X X Super Super
X X X X X Super Super
X X X X X Super Super
X X X X X Super Super
X X X X X Super Super

The standard public safety schedule is to stagger days off so there is consistent coverage 7 days per week. This spreads the time off challenge over 7 days. Weekends are now automatically covered by the staggered schedule. Under this system, our staffing challenge is reduced to finding replacements. These replacements are now covered by paying full-time cops overtime.

There are many ways to stagger days off, we in Derby have a 4 days on 2 off schedule.

MON TUES WED THURS FRI SAT SUN
X X X X OFF OFF X
OFF OFF X X X X OFF
X X OFF OFF X X X
X X X X OFF OFF X
OFF OFF X X X X OFF
X X OFF OFF X X X

Not only was the old system broken, it was expensive. Under the old system, we had to provide salary for full time cops, money for supernumeraries, money for full time cops to work weekends, and money for overtime for full time cops to act as replacements. The total amount for these accounts in today’s dollars would be $1,802,000.

Currently, we have two budget line items that accomplish the same requirement, 24/7 patrol coverage. Salary for full time cops, and the overtime account. The total amount required for these two line items is $1,561,000, about $241,000 cheaper than the old way of doing business.

Now that you have that background, I can put the weekly overtime figure in perspective. There are many components to our weekly overtime liability but the majority of it is for replacements. For comparison sake, my analysis below includes all overtime paid.

Last year, our transition year from the old system to the new system, we paid out an average of $8,700 overtime per week. Remember, for a good amount of time during the transition year, the Derby Police Department was about 9 short. So, last year’s numbers were artificially high.

This year, we anticipate the overtime figure for patrol staffing to be around $7,500 per week. That looks like a big number, but when you consider overtime is now doing the work of three separate budget items, it’s a pretty good deal!
 

Posted August 4, 2008

*As a fairly new homeowner to the city of Derby, I am not totally familiar with our city ordinances. Is there a city ordinance that mandates dog owners pick up after their pets? If so, what recourse do property owners have when dog owners routinely, without regard to others, allow their dogs to relieve themselves on the property of others without picking up after them? 

Answer by Ken Hughes, Chairman of the Board of Aldermen.
There is currently a pooper scooper ordinance in the City of Derby Code book where the penalties carry a $200 fine, the maximum allowed by the State. If you are aware of offenders, I would notify the Derby Police Department.

Posted August 1, 2008

*How often are the streets swept?

Answer by Ron Culmo, Director of Public Works.
The streets are swept after the winter season is over.  Then we go over all the streets one or more times throughout the rest of the season depending on the manpower of the department.  If there are more demanding issues that we must take care of, we address them first.  If residents call to complain about a problem area we will address it as soon as possible.  We only have at the present time 11 employees in the department and during the summertime two or three employees are on vacation during that period.   We try not to allow vacations during the winter months.  With the employees we have, we were committing two men to the transfer facility, men taking care of the parks, fields, greens, & City properties, and the men that maintain the roads, (bulk, brush, leaves, signs, crosswalks, assisting P.D., etc.).  Like I said before, if there are any problem area's, we ask residents to please call the garage and as soon as people are available we will address the problems.

          Hopefully this will answer your question and if there are any problems feel free to call the Public Works Garage at 736-1468.

Posted July 29, 2008

*Are we still building the new Middle School?

Answer by Keith McLiverty, Chairman of the School Building Committee.
The derby middle school building committee is moving forward in accordance with the construction schedule.
Design is complete, the state has approved the plans and specifications, and the construction bids are on the street.
The water main that will be supporting the middle school is being installed. On july 29th and july 30th bids for the site work and construction will be submitted to the city.
The plan as of today, is to start site work by the end of august. The bid prices with dictate the actual date.
 


*I heard that the State is now running the Derby dump. Is this true?

Answer by Ken Hughes, Chairman of the Board of Aldermen.
At the last Board of Aldermen meeting, we motioned and voted to approve a private company to run a 90 day trial on the Derby dump. This trial period will not cost the City a dime. This has several benefits for the City. First and foremost, it will free up 2 more employees to work "on the street" in the Public Works Department. Previously, there were 2 employees stationed at the dump. Secondly, the dump will now have extended hours, that is 7am to 5pm during the weekday, and 8am to 2pm on Saturdays. The fee schedule will remain the same, that is no charge for private Derby resident garbage, but contractors and certain items will carry a charge, as they always have. Lastly, this company will take care of all the State reporting duties which were currently lapsing under the old system. Its a win win for the City with no negative consequences.

Update (08/08/2008) - Due to the concerns of the union membership the dump will now close at 3 during the week and at 12 on Saturdays.

Click here for poll on city dump operations

 

*I Can't Help but to ask that is $220,000. For a roof job a lot of$$$.. That sound like a real lot of Money for a roof can this be justified?

Answer by Gerald D. Narowski, Deputy Chief of Police
The city hired an engineering firm to evaluate the roof, write the bid specifications, and perform the project management for the roof replacement. The firm examined the roof and the only option was an entire roof replacement, a repair or overlay roof were not viable options. The roof replacement was estimated to cost nearly $400,000.00. The project was put out to competitive bid and the city received 6 bids ranging from $189,000.00 - $385,000.00. These prices do not include the engineering firm's project fees. The low bidder actually erred in his calculations and under bid the project. He agreed to complete the project as bid, saving the city approximately $20,000.00. Although the cost of materials has risen exponentially, it appears that contractors are willing to lower their profits to keep their employees working in this sluggish economy. The project was awarded to the low bidder and is estimated to start within the next couple of weeks.

 

*Is it true that the Officers of the Derby Police Department have not had any training since Dec. 07 because there was no money in the budget for this very necessary training?

Answer by Gene Mascolo, Chief of Police
The backbone to DPD's training program is an officer's individual state certification.  This requires 60 hours training per officer or 1,860 total man hours over a 3 year period.  Currently, all DPD officers are certified or are on track to be certified before their certification expires. 

Our training program has many facets in addition to certification training.  Among other things, It consists of roll call training, monthly in-house training, and in-service training conducted outside the department. 

We significantly reduced our elective training strategy in the 2007-2008 budget year to facilitate the inevitable transition to a typical public safety schedule in patrol.  Despite this, in the first half of budget year 2007-2008 (JUL 2007 to DEC 2007) , we conducted 5,380 man hours of in house training, sent 22 officers to training outside the department and conducted 8.75 hours of roll call training.  In the last 6 months of budget year 2007-2008, which is from DEC 2007 to JUN 2008, we conducted 240 man hours of in-service training, sent 39 officers to training outside the department and conducted 8.75 hours of roll call training.

Despite the adjustment over our typical training year, our training program remained robust and not one of our officer's certification is in danger because of this!  On the contrary, if you do the math, in the adjusted year (2007-2008) we trained around 5,620 man hours in house alone!  That is 3,750 man hours more than is required for all 3 years of certification! 

The new budget year began on 1 JUL 08 and we anticipate a return to our typical training rhythms.  We will be conducting our yearly internal command level training conference in the JUL/AUG timeframe to lay out our training program for the current budget year.  We have already sent 2 officers to a 4 day (8 hrs a day) bike patrol class at Bridgeport PD, and we will be conducting the first phase of our yearly firearms training and will be resuming or monthly in house training in SEP.

Additionally, Roll Call training will be conducted routinely throughout the year.  Hopefully, you can see, we are already on track to return to our traditional yearly training program. 

Few department's train like DPD and despite the adjustments in budget year 2007-2008, DPD police officers are and will remain some of the best trained officers anywhere!

 

*Does the City of Derby use the City attorney for the mediation with the developer?

Answer by Ken Hughes, Chairman of the Board of Aldermen.
No, the Board of Aldermen approved the hiring of an outside firm to handle the legal issues with the Developer.


*What was the offer the City made at the developer mediation?

Answer by Mayor Anthony Staffieri and Sheila O'Malley, Economic Development Director.

This was a press release that you can read by clicking here.

 

*The City's School Board was recently criticized in the newspaper for wasting about one hundred thousand dollars on insurance expenses. The newspaper story alleged that a contract negotiated by former Superintendant Robinson was at least partly to blame. What's the real story here and has anything been done ?

Answer by Phil Robertson, Administrative Assistant City of Derby.
When you have reached a group above the number of 200 there are certain discounts Anthem offers. Those discounts are based upon sharing of risk, the larger the group, the more sharing of that risk.
The city also wished to save on commissions for the brokers. If the city and school board were to join under one broker, the negotiated commissions would be lower.
The Mayor and the new superintendent are talking and hopefully there will be agreement to the savings of the taxpayers. We will provide an update once a resolution is reached.
 

*Is the City really cutting spending?

Answer by Phil Robertson, Administrative Assistant City of Derby.
The mayor is always looking for ways to cut costs. For example, our liability insurance cost less today than it did three years ago due to negotiating premiums. We have changed the employee health insurance plan to one which is better but cheaper and we have aggressively sought State Grants to pay for needed work but not at the taxpayers expense.  The State sponsored Senior Center renovations is an example of this aggressive grant seeking style which we pursue.

 

*Is it true that the City of Derby is "broke?

Answer by Alan Schlesinger, Finance Director City of Derby.
Absolutely not. The City usually has 4-8 million dollars in its cash account during the fiscal year depending on the timing of tax receipts, grants and cash draw downs.  The City also has millions in other assets. It is still early, but I believe that we ended the 2008 fiscal year with about a $1 million surplus.  As you know, we finished last year with a $1.3 million deficit due to the failure of the preferred developer's downtown reimbursement.  These funds along with previous investments in the Downtown are anticipated to be reimbursed by the new Preferred Developer.  The fund balance should then be restored to a new high of over $5 million, a very healthy figure.  At the present time the City is in a strong financial position, with adequate reserves and cash flows. 

I estimate that the fund balance at present is about $3 million or approximately 8.5% of the general fund budget, a healthy and respectable figure.  A figure that is actually on the high side in comparison with the last 25 years of the City's financial history.

*What is the process the blight officers follow when given a complaint?

Answer by Joe Moore and Andy Cota, Blight Officers, City of Derby.
When we receive a complaint about blight we usually go to the area in question and take a look at the property. If there is an issue we photograph the property and take notes of what we observe. In most of
the cases we write a courtesy letter to the owner of the property that points out the issues and we ask for voluntary compliance. The Mayor, the Building Official and the Facilities Inspectors want to work with the property owner in an informal manner first if possible. The first letter is sent regular mail and if there is no response the Inspectors go to the site about two or three weeks after the first letter and
recheck it. Sometimes the problem is resolved and sometimes it is not.

If no contact is made then the Facilities Inspectors send a second letter, Registered Mail, to the owner of the property in which the property owner is advised that he/she has thirty days to rectify the
blight. At this time the property owner also receives a copy of the Blight Ordinance. If there is no reply, no contact or no compliance within the thirty days the Facilities Inspector recheck the property
and if it is still blighted, the inspectors make a recommendation to the Building Inspector to have the property blighted by the Board of Aldermen. If during this period the property owner is working toward
compliance and there are circumstances that go beyond the thirty days the time line is extended. If these time lines are not met within a reasonable period of time the next step is taken. When the property
owner fails or refuses to comply with the ordinance then the Board of Aldermen places the property on the blight list. There is an appeal process that the property owner can request. Once the property is on
the list the penalty of $100 per day is assessed on the property retroactive to the date the property was officially designated blighted.  

There are times when contact with the property owner/s is very difficult and consequently the steps are still followed including the blight designation. 

The process is somewhat different for the unregistered/inoperable motor vehicles on private property. With many of the blight issues there are also unregistered/inoperable vehicles included so the process takes the same course. However, if it is vehicles only then a courtesy letter, followed by a registered letter is sent and then an infraction of $25 per vehicle can be assessed. If no compliance after ten days a second infraction can be issued and the fine is multiplied times ten for each vehicle and the vehicle can be towed.

 

*Will the elderly housing planned for the 75 acre former Hine property still have an access road onto Sodom Lane? The previous plan for an industrial park did and I am wondering if this is still the case.
 

Answer by Ken Hughes, Chairman of the Board of Aldermen.
Yes, there will still be an entrance proposed less than 100' into Sodom Lane, but there also has been a second entrance proposed on Baldwin Road on the Woodbridge side. The traffic studies produced by
United Methodists similar facilities produced 60 cars per hour during peak periods, which is a very minimal impact when compared to the industrial park, especially when these vehicles are now split
between 2 proposed access points/entrances.
 

*Why is the ONLY "outhouse" unit at the entrance to the soccer fields and not up at the soccer fields?

Answer by Ken Hughes, Chairman of the Board of Aldermen.
Since the opening of the Witek Park fields, the City has been fighting constant vandalism to the portable toilet (broken doors, being tipped over, rolled down the hill, etc). The most recent, and most damaging, was when one was burnt to the ground. In order to stop consistently wasting the taxpayers money on service calls 3 to 4 times a week, the toilet was moved closer to the entrance, and within view of the road, with the hopes the vandalism would cease. This was a decision made by the Board of Aldermen, Parks and Rec Department and the Derby Public Works department collectively.

 

*When will all the new bold large print street signs be erected thru out the city of Derby?

Answer by Ron Culmo, Director of Public Works.
We just got 4 part time employees for a couple of months and starting next week I am assigning one of my men with a part timer to install the
rest of the signs. Hopefully it will start next Monday. The East Side
of town is done and this side will start at that time. Hopefully next week we will be starting on this issue.
 

*How often do you meet with the City Department heads?

Answer by Tony Staffieri, mayor.
I meet with the 4 department heads, the police chief, superintendent of schools, director of public works and the fire chief every Monday 11 am.

 

*How was the Tax Board able to keep increases under 1 mil considering the rise in energy and fuel costs?

Answer by Carolyn Duhaime, Chair Person, Derby Board of Apportionment and Taxation
Before each department head submitted their budget request, they received a memo from the tax board stressing that the average city taxpayer is living in uncertain times regarding employment, and being able to make ends meet.  Therefore it was more essential than ever before for all departments to limit spending.  In addition to a budget request, each department was required to submit a cut-list of items that although desired, were not absolutely necessary to the successful function of that department.  The tax board used the information provided in the cut-lists to help in keeping cost increases minimal while still having city services provided to the taxpayers.  While most of the departments complied, unfortunately a few departments did not provide a cut-list, and members of the tax board had to make some cuts to the best of their ability without the guidance of a cut-list.    Derby operates on a zero-based budget system - each fiscal year, a department must start a budget request starting at zero dollars.  Derby does not rely on carry-over figures from a previous year to use as a baseline before any arbitrary increases.  The zero-based budget process is the most transparent process, and is the most effective in showing if a line-item is underfunded, overfunded, or sufficiently funded.  Accountability is another benefit of the zero-based budget system. 

Once the budget requests and cut-lists were received, the tax board held numerous workshops during which  it reviewed EACH line item of EVERY department.  If the board had any questions or required further information, workshops included the respective department heads.  While a very time-consuming process, it proved to be beneficial to the City and the taxpayers.  By going through each item so thoroughly, the tax board was able to discover which items had been overfunded in the past and in some line-items there were significant amounts of unspent funds with less than one month left in the fiscal year.  Those unspent funds were taken into consideration when a budget amount was proposed and approved for the respective departments.  Also, the City recently joined an energy consortium and we are benefitting from lower fuel costs associated with that.  

In a nutshell, this budget season was a cooperative effort among the tax board and city departments in balancing the needs and wants of the city with the tough economic times that each taxpayer is struggling with in this era of uncertainty regarding jobs, increasing costs of food, fuel, etc.  

 

*What is the City doing to try and save money on rising utility costs?

Answer by Ken Hughes, Chairman of the Board of Aldermen.
Most recently, City hall was revamped with new energy saving light fixtures, (as was the Parking Garage and the Police Department). as well as automatic on/off switches.  The Board of Aldermen also signed an electrical consortium saving the city over 45K per year in electrical costs alone. GPS systems were installed in Department of Public Works vehicles in order to realize fuel efficiencies, and a new fuel dispenser system was installed at the DPW complex to monitor fuel usage for City owned vehicles

 

*What value does the office of Economic Development/Grants Administration bring to Derby?

Answer by Sheila O'Malley, Economic Development Director
Because of the length of this response, we are linking to it. Click here to see the answer.

 

*Are all City employees given cell phones?

Answer by Philip Robertson, Administrative Assistant
All City hall employees, no. The City pays for 38 Nextel power source phones. Phone holders include some of the administration (mayor, assistant, etc), the Police Department, Public Works, Water Pollution Control Authority, and several from the Fire Department.


*
What is the employee structure in the Mayors' office?

Answer by Ken Huges, Chairman of the Board of Aldermen.
The mayors' office currently has an administrative assistant and a secretary. The Chief of Staff position was eliminated in 2005.

 

* Concerning the new parking meters on Elizabeth St., I have never seen a city that doesn't put a placard on the meter stating days and hours of operation. What are they? If it is not stated on the parking meter and I get a ticket, can I fight it for that reason? Also what is with the parking spot  in front of city hall at the beginning of Elizabeth St, that has both a handicapped only sign and a meter? Does a handicapped person have to display the placard and pay too?

Answer by Derby Municipal Parking Authority.
1. Information plaques are on order for our meters and will read as follows: "Monday-Friday 9a.m. to 5 p.m." Any violation written before or after these times will be voided by the authority.

2. Handicap permit holders are required to pay a meter or pay station.

http://www.ct.gov/dmv/cwp/view.asp?a=842&Q=245468&dmvPNavCtr=|#30302

The above is the website for the State of CT.

Update:

Meter enforcement hours stickers were added to the meters by the Derby Parking Authority on July 8, 2008.

 

*When will the residents be moved from the Spooner House to their new location in Shelton? Also what will this building on Caroline St. be used for?

Answer by Ken Huges, Chairman of the Board of Aldermen.
The City has not been given a concrete timeframe yet when speaking with those in charge of the project, only to say towards the end of this year. There has not been any discussions yet on the proposed uses for the building. We are always open to suggestions.
 

*Is the Derby Police Department Understaffed?

Answer by Gene Mascolo, Chief of Police.
There are a few ways to look at staffing at DPD. I will focus on patrol road strength since that is the focus of most questions. First, some background. This fiscal year was one of transition for DPD. We
transitioned from an obsolete, inefficient staffing system that relied on part time policeman to one of primarily full time officers. During the transition, we ran at the contractual minimum staffing of three
policeman on the road more than we would have liked. Minimum staffing is adequate by most if not all measures used in our business. However, after the first of the fiscal year (JUL 1st) , now that we have filled most vacancies in the department, often, we will be running with 4 officers on the road. This will provide a patrol car on the east side of town, a patrol car on the west side of town, a working road
supervisor and either a roving patrol car or a walking or bike officer downtown.
 

*How many people work in the tax collectors department, and what are their duties?

Answer by Cinda Buchter the City's Tax Collector.
There are 2 full time people in the Tax office, myself as collector, and 1 full time clerk. The full time WPCA employee also works in our physical office but is not considered a tax office employee. We do cover for each other when requests are made for information and work together to make sure the offices are covered for information requested and payments even if we are out due to sick days or vacation.

The Clerk in the tax office is responsible for working with the public, looking up and giving tax information, processing payments both in person and received thru the mail. She participates in sending out delinquent statements and demands. She also does some of the file maintenance, change of addresses, new owners, bank coding, mail return coding, etc. When I am not here she balances batches of payments taken and makes deposits.

The Tax Collector does all of the above, plus works individually with delinquent tax payers, works with the banks for escrow accounts, processes regular payments, electronic payments, Fireman Abatements, Overpayments, and Refunds. All batches of payments are balanced and deposited into the General Fund with reports printed for the Tax Office and Treasurer. The Tax Collector also runs monthly reports to balance all deposits, refunds and lawful adjustments made by the assessor's office for each month as well as year end reports. Rate books are run before the bills are printed and the file is balanced to the Assessor's file. When balanced the bills are printed and 10,000 MV bills are gone thru by the collector and clerk to pull all multiple bills to be mailed together. Real Estate bills are printed and all escrowed accounts are sent to the requesting banks. When all bills are printed and reviewed they are sent to be mailed. All tax bills that are returned are reviewed for a current address and re-mailed or coded and filed if unable to locate.

The Tax Collector uses the DMV access file to try and locate delinquent tax payers with returned mail. After the collection period reports are run of taxes not paid and delinquent statements are printed and mailed. Reports of MV delinquents of more than the current Grand List are run and Demands are mailed out to a portion of the list monthly. Unanswered Demands are then put into Tax Warrants to be collected by a State Marshal and are reviewed with him monthly. A list of Real Estate delinquents are run and reviewed and individual letters are sent prior to any outside collection. Those that do not respond are reviewed with the Town Attorney for collection. Personal Property delinquents are sent statements, if not paid then Demand, and if not paid then they become Tax Warrants to be collected by the State Marshal.

In December the motor vehicle supplemental list is balanced, 2000 bills printed and mailed then that file starts the same process of delinquent collection. Final Posted Rate Books are printed annually for all activity regarding payments, adjustments and refunds for the prior grand list year. The Tax Office prepares and mails approximately 17,000 bills and over 4,000 collection letters per year. Our current collection rate of the 2006 Grand List is approximately 96.9%.

That's pretty much the basics...as with any job there are always miscellaneous activities that aren't listed above such as reviewing State Statues to make sure we are in compliance with all laws governing the Tax Office. I think that goes without saying!


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