bg

9/2/2020 - 9.2 TOWN UPDATE
Dear Fairfielders,

It's hard to believe Labor Day weekend is almost here and students are headed back to school next week. I hope you all enjoyed these last weeks of summer. There are still many unknowns ahead of us with COVID, the reopening of our schools and what this fall and winter will bring. While I can't predict what lies ahead, I can promise that I will continue to dedicate myself to our community and to communicate with you on the work the town is doing, and I will also do everything within my power to maintain our town's low COVID transmission rate.  

COVID-19 UPDATE:
The Town of Fairfield has 746 residents who have tested positive for COVID-19 and a total of 144 of our residents have sadly lost their lives. Of the 746 residents who have tested positive in Fairfield, 366 have reported that they have fully recovered and 213 are assumed recovered. 

Charts and data on Fairfield cases including age, gender, nursing home statistics, testing results, and different trends can be found at fairfieldct.org/covid19data. The Health Department has been providing data since March and this data page is updated daily.  In addition a new COVID-19 School Data page has been created which details the school related metrics and is update each week as the State releases the data.

Contact Tracing
One of the key tools we have to contain the spread of COVID-19 is Contact Tracing. For this initiative to be successful, the Health Department needs the cooperation of residents who test positive for COVID-19.

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

Any Fairfield resident who tests positive for COVID-19 and has not received a phone call from the Fairfield Health Department or the Connecticut COVID Tracing system within 24 hours of receiving their result is urged to contact the Fairfield Health Department at 203-256-3022.


Traveling? Please take the time to check the CT Travel Advisory page to know what states are on the list as most impacted. If you travel to these states, you are required to quarantine for 14-days upon return to protect the members of our community. 


FAIRFIELD FIRE DEPARTMENT RECEIVES GRANT:
On Tuesday, I gathered with town, state and federal officials to highlight the Fairfield Fire Department being awarded a grant totaling $53,832 to purchase Cardiac Compression Devices and Automatic Defibrillators. These life saving tools are critical to assist our first responders in saving lives. I know now first hand how vital these life savings tools are to our first responders because first responders used these very tools to help save my own child's life last month.  You can watch the press conference here. 
State Representative McCarthy Vahey, DC Kyran Dunn, Congressman Jim Himes, Firefighter/Paramedic Jerry Maguire, State Senator Hwang, Chief McCarthy, First Selectwoman Kupchick, AC Sherwood (pictured left to right)
THANK YOU TO CERT:
Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, the Fairfield CERT Team stepped up to assist our community during a time of need. Beginning on Friday April 3, CERT provided 33 volunteers with over 87 days of service and over 1,500 volunteer hours. I was happy to present proclamations to all of the CERT volunteers and shared my heartfelt gratitude for stepping up to support our first responders and the needs of our community. Thank you CERT!
STATE OF CONNECTICUT
I want to thank Representative Cristin McCarthy Vahey for taking the time to meet with me this week, as I 
have met with each member of our state delegation over the last few months to discuss how we can work together for the benefit of the town. Among the topics we discussed were the reopening of our schools in the time of COVID, the possibility for a special session in September and the recent utility forums and storm response.

You can watch the Energy & Technology Committee public hearing in it's entirety but specifically I am linking the portion presented by DEEP Commissioner Dykes which you may find informative on utility regulation. Watch it here. 

ENVIRONMENTAL CONTAMINATION AND CLEAN-UP
While this process has taken much longer than I expected, I wanted to provide an update on where the Town stands regarding the environmental contamination and clean up.

FILL PILE/RECLAMATION YARD 
As I mentioned in my newsletter in June, the licensed environmental professional (LEP) began work at the fill pile yard and the first round of testing was finally completed in accordance with an investigation work plan reviewed and approved by Connecticut Department of Energy & Environmental Protection (DEEP) and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The summary of the preliminary investigation was the subject of a meeting with DEEP and EPA regulators yesterday, that included a proposal to perform additional sampling in order to fill final data gaps. The Town's LEP will incorporate comments received from DEEP and EPA at this meeting and is expected to submit the work plan for the next round of sampling that will be conducted later this month. The Town is working closely with the CT DEEP and EPA in order to get a final approved remedy for the former landfill site.

REMEDIATION SITES
With respect to the auxiliary sites, the Town continues to work diligently with DEEP on a Consent Order that will be a road map for the cleanup of these contaminated sites. The Consent Order requires sign-off by the DEEP Bureau of Materials Management and Compliance Assurance and the Bureau of Water Protection and Land Reuse, as well as several Divisions within the two bureaus. To express the urgency and importance to get this work done, I held a conference call last month with the DEEP Deputy Commissioner and, following that discussion, our environmental attorney and LEP continue to work with DEEP leadership and staff to finalize the Consent Order.

I understand and share in the frustration of our residents that we were not given the green light to remediate the sites while schools were not in session. 

PENFIELD PAVILION/PARKING LOT

The Town’s LEP is still investigating the contamination under Penfield Pavilion and the parking lot. More testing is needed before a remediation action plan (RAP) can be completed and presented to DEEP. However that testing will not take place until the end of the beach season. Testing taken prior to the beach season found these contaminants do not pose a public health risk at the beach.

WASTEWATER TREATMENT PLANT HARDENING PROJECT
While the town was working on a $7 million
 waste water treatment projectthe Town’s LEP identified PCBs in certain project-area soils from historical contamination. There is no evidence that this contamination is connected to the fill pile or other sites in Town. The regulators were notified of the site conditions and since then the Town's environmental attorney and the Conservation Director have met with DEEP and EPA staff several times. The LEP prepared a protocol (with input and concurrence from DEEP and EPA) to investigate, manage and properly dispose of contaminated soils so the town could continue with the hardening project. 

OSPREY ENVIRONMENTAL
Back in June the Town of Fairfield
 filed litigation in Superior Court against Osprey Environmental and its Principal, Robert Grabarek, for its role in the fill pile contamination. Osprey Environmental was hired by the Town in 2016 to complete an environmental site assessment of the Reclamation Yard and, later, to conduct testing and design and oversee the regulatory closure of the fill pile in compliance with environmental requirements. In 2018, Osprey Environmental directed the Town to move forward with Osprey’s closure plan without obtaining the required approvals from DEEP. This work included the construction of the berm using materials that were present at the fill pile. DEEP subsequently issued a Notice of Violation regarding the work that was completed at the direction of Osprey Environmental, which violated state laws.
 
I expect that any organization or person that puts our Town at risk to be brought to justice. The Town seeks costs associated with the investigation and remediation of the fill pile, including the berm surrounding the fill pile, from Osprey Environmental.  

 
While progress is moving slower than we all would like, it is important that the Town’s actions to resolve the fill-related issues meet with DEEP and, as necessary, EPA concurrence and/or approval. I will continue to provide further updates, as always.

I encourage residents to browse below for more information and resources and hope you have a wonderful holiday weekend. 
 
Sincerely, 


Brenda L. Kupchick
Fairfield First Selectwoman
FAIRFIELD'S ANNUAL GREEN EXPO:
Fairfield’s Annual Green Wheels Expo Will Roll Online Featuring Special Guest Jay Leno:
The Sustainable Fairfield Task Force (SFTF)’s acclaimed Green Wheels Expo will roll again this September, in a feature-packed online format providing viewers a host of opportunities, safely accessible right from home, to sample the many appealing models of electric vehicles (EVs) transforming how we travel.

The hub of this year’s online Expo will be a dedicated website accessible via the Green Wheels Expo tab at  SustainableFairfield.orgfeaturing EV webinars from Monday, Sept. 28 to Friday, Oct. 2, daily at 1 pm, plus a showcase of new EV models, informational articles and videos, and testimonials from EV owners. 

Comedian and former Tonight Show host Jay Leno (now seen talking cars on CNBC's 
Jay Leno's Garage) will make a special guest appearance on the site, in an extended Zoom conversation about EVs with Fairfield-based automotive writer and SFTF member Jim Motavalli. Read more here.

REALLY BIG FOOD DRIVE: Saturday, September 12, 12 - 2 p.m. at Operation Hope 
Due to COVID-19, Operation Hope couldn't hold their annual "Really Big Tag Sale" last weekend which usually raises several thousand dollars to help our vulnerable friends and neighbors. So, we decided we could hold a hold a "Really Big Food Drive" where people can still donate but don't need to leave their cars! Click here fo
more information
PLATFORM TO EMPLOYMENT:
Click the image below for more information. 
FAIRFIELD BICYCLE & PEDESTRIAN COMMITTEE: 
The Town of Fairfield Bicycle and Pedestrian Committee has been working to encourage walking and biking for transportation, recreation, exercise and quality of life.

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

With more and more of our citizens using our roads, we would like to provide you with some important safety reminders for pedestrians, cyclists and drivers. View the document here. 

 
VOTING:
Polls will be open from 6 AM to 8 PM on Election Day sanitized with social distancing measures in place. If you do not wish to go to your polling place you may vote by absentee ballot. 
 
The Secretary of the State (SOTS) will be sending applications for absentee ballots to all registered voters in the next few weeks. Completed applications should be mailed to Town Clerk, 611 Old Post Road, Fairfield CT, 06824 or they may be dropped off in the Lobby Dropbox located in Old Town Hall marked Town Clerk.
 
If you have already filed an Application for an Absentee Ballot, you do not need to complete the application sent to you by SOTS. This especially applies to college students who have already submitted their completed applications with their school address to which the ballot will be mailed. Absentee ballots will become available 31 days prior to the election.


Some residents have asked about the absentee ballot process: 
The absentee ballots, after each being endorsed by the Town Clerk on the outer envelope with the date, precise time and their signature are presorted by voting districts and sent over to the Registrar’s of Voters Office.
 
The Registrars then cross off the names on the Official Voter Lists of the absentee voters typed on each envelope.  Each of those crossed off names are then Marked with a capital A so as to not be counted by the official checkers as having voted at the polling place.
 
The Registrars then appoint, train and swear in the absentee ballot counters.The counters report to the Moderator at the central count location or to the Polling Places.
 
The Moderator records the total number of ballots on the Certificate of Absentee Ballot Count.

The counters check each envelope to be sure it has been endorsed by the Town Clerk.

It must show the date, precise time the clerk received the ballot and the clerk’s signature.  If the outer envelope does not comply substantially with this requirement the ballot cannot be counted and is marked rejected with a statement for the reasons for the rejection.  These envelopes are then placed in and sealed in a depository envelope.

The inner envelope is then inspected for having been signed by the voter. If not signed the envelope is marked rejected. If signed, folded ballots are removed from the inner envelope. 

Ballots are then kept folded for voter secrecy. They are then shuffled, unfolded, and checked for marking errors.

They are then put into the tabulator machines for counting if there are no marking errors. Hand counted ballots with errors are inspected for voter intent by the counters and the moderator. Once the counting is completed all envelopes are sealed in large envelopes and returned to the Town Clerk for secure storage.

There are many other precautions which are outlined in the ‘Procedure Manual for Counting Absentee Ballots’ on the 
CT Secretary of the State’s website. 


If anyone is interested in working on Election Day in Fairfield, they should e-mail 
Steve Elworthy at selworthy@fairfieldct.org or Matt Waggner at mwaggner@fairfieldct.org.
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. 
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
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 
Help is available to Fairfield small businesses that are struggling due to the pandemic.  The Fairfield COVID-19 Small Business Assistance Program was established to provide limited, one time direct financial assistance to eligible Fairfield small businesses that have no more than five full-time employees and that have been adversely affected by the public health emergency. Applications are still being accepted by the Office of Community & Economic Development. To learn more or to apply, please visit the website: www.fairfieldct.org/covidsbr
Eligibility & Application
While the State has paused plans for its Phase III re-opening, it has issued new industry-specific rules and expanded guidance for various businesses.  These include changes to retailpersonal serviceshair salons & barbershops and indoor recreation that clarify that:
  • non-essential businesses have the right to refuse service to anyone not wearing a mask
  • updated guidance in the event that an employee tests positive for COVID-19
  • additional guidance for use of restroom facilities and ensuring compliance with capacity limitations and proper hygiene.
For restaurantsservers are no longer required to wear gloves and indoor musical performances are now permitted.
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
FARMER'S MARKETS:
The downtown farmers market is held Sundays on Sherman Green, 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.
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.
ASSISTANCE FOR RENTERS, HOMEOWNERS & RESIDENTIAL LANDLORDS 
Governor Lamont announced a comprehensive plan to put more than $33 million in state and federal resources to work providing emergency assistance to renters, homeowners, and residential landlords impacted by the COVID-19 public health emergency. 

Rental assistance information can be found here. Further information is below:
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 are running 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 buses may only transport four riders per trip. For those who do not live in Senior and Disabled Housing, Fairfield Senior Transportation will provide rides Tuesdays or Thursdays each week. Masks must be worn to board the buses. Rides are now available to medical appointments for Fairfield’s seniors and people with disabilities on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays between the hours of 9:30 – 3:00 PM. 
     
If you or anyone you know are homebound and unable to shop, the Mobile Food Pantry is available every other week and lunches are available for those who are homebound. Please call Social Services for more information: 203-256-3170.
COVID-19 TESTING
Testing capacity has increased in our area. To view locations where to get tested, please visit fairfieldct.org/covid19testing.
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.
FAIRFIELD PUBLIC LIBRARY

The Fairfield Public Main Library will be reopening for quick browsing and checkout on weekday afternoons 2:00 pm - 4:00 pm. Learn more about Library Express.


Please visit fairfieldpubliclibrary.org  for full details regarding curb side pick up.   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.

 

PREVIOUS UPDATES: