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6/26/2020 - 6.26 TOWN UPDATE
Dear Fairfielders,

I am proud to announce that after several in-depth meetings with the rating agencies, the Town unanimously received a AAA rating from all three rating agencies: Moody’s Investor Services, S+P Global Ratings and Fitch Ratings. The Town was able to maintain the highest bond rating during this challenging economic time.

S+P specifically cited Fairfield’s “very strong economy' and “very strong management, with strong financial  policies and practices”.  Moody’s AAA rating reflects the “Town’s solid and consistent fiscal position”.  The Town’s bond and note sale will be held this coming Tuesday, June 30th at which time the Town will award the bond issues to the bidder who provides the lowest interest rate. This enables the Town to borrow money at a low rate, saving tax payer dollars. 


COVID UPDATE:
While we see other state's throughout the country experiencing spikes in COVID cases, Connecticut is currently averaging 2 new cases per day per 100,000 residents. Neighboring New York is at 3, New Jersey is at 4, Massachusetts is 3. For the past two weeks Fairfield has averaged 0.92 new cases per day per 100,000 residents. Meanwhile, Arizona is at 39 cases per 100,000 residents, South Carolina is at 21 and Florida is at 18. See the data here

Yesterday, Governor Lamont announced that anyone traveling to Connecticut, New York or New Jersey from a state that has a new daily positive test rate higher than 10 per 100,000 residents, or a state with a 10% or higher positive rate over a 7-day rolling average, are directed to self-quarantine for a 14-day period from the time of last contact with the state. Find the list of states here

The rate of new positive COVID-19 cases in Fairfield continues to trend downward. This is positive news for our community. However, as we open more locations and allow for more gatherings, we continue to take on more risk. 

All residents should continue to wear face coverings in public per the CDC guidelines and Governor's executive order, which has also been scientifically proven to dramatically reduce the spread of the virus. 

The Town of Fairfield has 648 residents who have tested positive for COVID-19 and a total of 141 of our residents have sadly lost their lives. Of the 648 residents who have tested positive in Fairfield, 296 have reported that they have fully recovered.

Charts and data on Fairfield cases including age, gender, nursing home statistics, testing samples, and different trend lines can be found at fairfieldct.org/covid19data.

SCHOOLS:
Yesterday, Governor Lamont released guidance on school reopenings. The Emergency Management Team and I stand ready to provide any assistance our school administrators may need to ensure a safe reopening for our students and teachers. You can read more about the
 Governor's plan here
RESIDENT CORNER:

I love that Fairfield is a very active and engaged community. I receive many thoughtful emails every day from residents with feedback and questions. I would like to share some of the top issues I have been contacted about recently and what I am doing to address them. 

Garbage: Our Department of Public Works employees do a wonderful job keeping our beaches clean and also provide many trash receptacles for our residents to use. However, I am disappointed that some beach goers are leaving garbage behind. This is unacceptable, and I hope that together as a community we will each take responsibility of keeping our shared spaces clean.  

Parking: I’ve received many emails from residents frustrated with illegal parking in the beach area. Police have stepped up patrols and are issuing tickets to those without proper permits. I recently opened up a limited amount of non-resident day passes at Jennings Beach because we haven’t hit capacity in that lot since opening Jennings. We will continue to monitor the capacity of our beaches to ensure residents can safely distance. I have added reviewing parking policies in the beach area to the list of considerations for the Town's Emergency Planning Team. 

Lake Mohegan: Currently, the lake and trails are open to residents only and dogs are required to be on leash. While not permanent, this is based on the CDC guidance for safety that recommends walking dogs on leashes and keeping pets away from other people and dogs. I hope to lift the leash policy soon.

Marina Parking: With the reduced capacity in our parking lots, only residents with a "M" sticker, ramp sticker or an "A" beach sticker are permitted to park at the marina at this time. We recommend boaters bring their guests in their cars. 

Skate Park: The skate park has been temporarily closed due to several unsafe incidents including physical altercations that have taken place at the park. The Town is currently reviewing some possible helpful adjustments to improve safety for all who visit the park. Stay tuned for more information. 

For more information on Parks & Recreation visit the website.

This week I attended my first ribbon cutting since the pandemic hit for the Goddard School, a private preschool that offers a development-based curriculum for children ages 6 weeks to 6 years. Some of the enrichment offerings include sign language, Spanish, yoga, music and much more. The owners, Kim Sherman and Allison Dell, said many of the children who attend live close to the school in the Stratfield area of town. This is a welcome new addition to our community and I look forward to their success. 
I hope you will scroll through new announcements and resources below that may be helpful to you.

Sincerely,

Brenda L. Kupchick
Fairfield First Selectwoman
?? NEW EMERGENCY ALERT SYSTEM ??
The Town of Fairfield will no longer be utilizing the current alert system known as CodeRed to issue emergency and community alerts to residents and business owners. We are switching to a new system.

In order to continue receiving Emergency and Community alerts from the Town of Fairfield, you must sign up again. Visit www.fairfieldct.org/alerts 
The Fairfield COVID-19 Small Business Assistance Program was established to provide limited, one-time direct financial assistance to eligible Fairfield small businesses that employ five or fewer employees and that have been adversely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. 
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
JOIN THE KIWANIS CLUB IN HONORING OUR FRONT LINE WORKERS
A 100' wide heart ground display of flowered pinwheels beginning July 1 through July 8 at Jennings Park. Sponsor a pinwheel flower for a front line worker with a $10 donation. The proceeds will benefit the Fairfield COVID-19 Relief FundMore information here. 
With high temperatures and a lack of significant rainfall in the forecast, Aquarion is asking customers to reduce non-essential water use. Their water systems have experienced near-record water demands throughout our service area, causing us to hit our first drought trigger in Southwest Fairfield County. Due to these high water demands, customers may experience temporary low water pressure and/or possible water discoloration. These issues will resolve themselves as water usage returns to normal levels. 
HEAT KILLS: If You Love 'Em, Don't Leave 'Em 
It takes just a few minutes for the temperature inside a vehicle to skyrocket, sometimes causing entirely preventable tragedies. I worked hard to launch this program in 2015 with the Fairfield Police Department, which has been replicated throughout the state, in an effort to remind residents of the dangers of leaving their kids or pets in a car during warm weather. I thank all the stores who have posted these signs in their parking lots. 
 
Heading to the beach or Lake Mohegan? Check the parking lot capacity before you go:
BEACH PARKING - KNOW BEFORE YOU GO
FARMER'S MARKETS:
The downtown farmers market will return to Sherman Green on June 28, and will continue on Sundays, from 10AM-2PM throughout the summer months and into the fall season.  In keeping with CDC and State of CT guidelines, face masks and social distancing protocols are required.  For more information and a list of vendors, please visit www.fairfieldfarmersmarket.org.  For those unable to make Sundays, the Greenfield Hill Farmers Marketlocated at 65 Hillside Road, is another great local option which is open on Saturdays from 10AM to 2PM, through the fall.

 
FIREWORKS  
All fireworks are illegal in the State of Connecticut, with the exception of sparklers and fountains.

Residents may report the illegal use of fireworks within the Town of Fairfield by calling (203) 254-4800.
LOCAL TAXES
Tax Deferment: Deferment-eligible 4th Quarter real estate taxes, and 2nd installment sewer use bills were due April 1 and payable through July 1. Failure to pay by July 1 makes the installment delinquent and subject to interest charges of 1 1/2% per month from April 1, 2020. For more details or for anyone with questions, please click here to visit the Tax Collector’s website or call 203-256-3100. 

Senior & Disabled Tax Relief both the State and Town Programs: The Governor issued Executive Order 7S which includes a provision to eliminate the refiling requirement for those applicants due to refile this year. If you were due to refile this year, you were notified by mail in February. As a result of this Executive Order, you are no longer required to come into our office to refile. In addition we mailed a postcard to those that do not need to reapply on April 16,2020, as confirmation.

If you are seeking benefits for the first time you will need to apply. Please contact the office at 203-256-3110 and we will work with you on submitting the required documentation.
UNEMPLOYMENT BENEFITS
If you become unemployed due to coronavirus (COVID-19), you should file for unemployment benefits. Click here for more information. For frequently asked questions about coronavirus (COVID-19) for workers and employers click here.
FOR BUSINESSES
The deadline for businesses to apply for a Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan is June 30th. There is still more than $120 billion available and now more flexible loan forgiveness terms.  For more information or to find a lender, click here. 

SBA is once again accepting applications for its Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) and cash advance grant program.  SBA can issue loans of up to $2 million with a 30-year term, with interest rates beginning at 2.75%.  For more information or to apply click here.

The Town has a limited supply of free face shields available for local non-profits or businesses in need.  Face shields will be distributed on a first come, first served basis until supplies are exhausted.  Please contact the Department of Community & Economic Development at 203-256-3120 or 
cedoffice@fairfieldct.org if you are interested.
MORTGAGE RELIEF
The state has provided a FAQ which is a resource to help answer many of your questions about unemployment, mortgage relief, and more. Please read it here. The Governor provided information on mortgage payment relief with over 50 credit unions and banks to help residents and businesses impacted by COVID-19. Participating financial institutions are now offering mortgage-payment forbearances of up to 90 days.

All landlords are prohibited from issuing a notice to quit or beginning eviction proceedings before July 1, 2020, except for serious nuisance. Read more. 
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
Many residents are installing pools, decks and patios. Please be aware that many items require a permit for your own safety to ensure proper installation. Learn more about the COVID permitting procedures here
SOCIAL SERVICES
Social Services continues to assist by telephone town residents who are experiencing difficulty providing the basic needs for themselves and their families, especially during these unprecedented times. Please call with any questions or concerns: 203-256-3170 or visit at 
fairfieldct.org/humanservices
BIGELOW CENTER 
Transportation services have resumed on a limited basis for medical appointments and grocery shopping. Reservations for rides are first-come, first-served for shopping and medical appointments and must be made no less than one week in advance. Please call the senior center for more information: 203-256-3166.

The number of riders per trip is limited to four. For those who do not live in Senior and Disabled Housing, Fairfield Senior Transportation will provide rides on fixed routes based on neighborhoods either Tuesdays or Thursdays each week. Masks must be worn to board the buses. GBT buses will continue to provide weekly trips to the Supermarket for residents of Senior and Disabled Housing. Rides are now available to medical appointments for Fairfield’s seniors and people with disabilities on Wednesdays and Fridays between the hours of 9:30 – 3:00 PM (do not schedule any appointments after 1:30 PM). 

Meals for those who are unable to cook or get to the market, and Senior Grocery bags, provided by the Southwestern Connecticut Agency on Aging, will continue to be delivered by Senior Center staff and CERT volunteers.

Bigelow Center and Social Services staff is available by phone during normal business hours to answer your questions. The Senior Center phone number is 203-256-3166, or email BigelowCenter@FairfieldCT.org.
FAIRFIELD SENIOR ADVOCATES
Fairfield Senior Advocates are having weekly ZOOM Meetings with the senior community and guest speakers. Recently they had Probate Judge – Kate Maxham and First Selectwoman Brenda Kupchick as guests. More information at: fairfieldsenioradvocates.com. 
COVID-19 TESTING
CVS has expanded their drive-thru testing to include 12 new sites in CT. These new sites will utilize self-swab tests and will be available to individuals meeting Centers for Disease Control and Prevention criteria, in addition to age guidelines. Learn more here.  

At this time, testing priority is given to those who are high risk. For more information on testing sites and protocols click here or visit www.fairfieldct.org/covid19. 
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. The pantry is currently operating as a drive-up service at 636 Old Post Road offering prepacked bags of groceries appropriate for various-sized households. 

Hours of Operation: Monday, Wednesday, Friday from 10:00-12:00; Thursday from 4:00 -6:00. Visit operationhopect.org.
SAFETY TIPS FOR FAIRFIELD ROADWAYS:
The 
Fairfield Bicycle & Pedestrian Committee reminds residents that with local gyms and parks closed, more people than ever have been outside biking, walking, running and enjoying our neighborhood streets and sidewalks. 
Pedestrians:

- Walk against traffic
- Use the sidewalks
- If there are no sidewalks, walk single file when in groups
Bicyclists:
- Ride With Traffic
- Announce Yourself When Approaching Pedestrians Not Facing You
- Observe All Street Signs
- Ride Single File When in Groups
- And, WEAR A HELMET!
FAIRFIELD PUBLIC LIBRARY: OPEN ONLINE
On Monday June 22nd Fairfield Public Main Library and Woods Branch will launch scheduled curbside pickup to Fairfield library card holders for library items that have been placed on hold.  Please visit fairfieldpubliclibrary.org  for full details regarding this service.  In the interest of everyone’s safety and health, library buildings will remain closed while providing this contact-free service.  

Fairfield Public Library continues to offer 24/7 access to their digital collection of books, music, magazines and movies plus a wide and varied assortment of virtual programs. Learn more here:  fplct.librarymarket.com/.

Need a library card?   Follow this link fairfieldpubliclibrary.org/my-fpl/library-cards/ and get started today!


Sign up for the library newsletter here
PEQUOT LIBRARY: WE'RE HERE, WE CARE 
Pequot Library's doors may be temporarily closed, but our librarians and staff are still here for you! Enjoy digital programs like story times, author talks, book clubs, and more! Get details on our website and social media:  
FacebookInstagramTwitterand YouTubeSign up for Pequot Library's Digital Digest eNewsletter or contact our Chief Librarian for personalized book recommendations. 

On Monday, June 22, Pequot will be curbside pickup. Please contact us for more information.

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.

For additional information and prevention tips, refer to the Health Department website at: www.fairfieldct.org/health or the Fairfield homepage under news at www.fairfieldct.org.
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