On Friday, June 28th there was a fourth fire at the Havens site. Continual blight, neighbors unable to refinance their homes because of the depressed neighborhood, safety issues, homeless encampments, and God only knows what else is going on there.
This administration is continuing to be irresponsible by not holding these developers accountable to get these buildings razed immediately. The citizens are tired of the excuses for all the delays, including myself who was told by a city administrator that it is not cost effective for the developer to take down buildings one at a time. Lives are at stake here.....in more ways than one.
What follows is a letter I sent to the city council and copied the Mayor and the Economic Development Commissioner after the second fire in February. My statements still hold true. The good citizens of West Haven have had enough with this sham of so-called economic development!
Members of the City Council:
As you all know by now, there was a second fire at the Havens site in a former Bilco building last night.
I am asking you all to please explore and implement any legal action that is necessary to facilitate immediate demolition of the vacant properties.
There are obvious health and safety issues that co-exist with vacant properties, especially properties that have been vacant for such a long period of time.
Furthermore, there should be a complete accounting of any of the extraordinary expenses related to these properties as well as follow up on blight and security issues.
I think we can all agree that West Haven does need development to enhance our grand list, but this lingering project has other issues attached that are impacting residents daily, such as these last two fires. It is unfortunate and sad that the eastern side of the city is now starting to resemble the Detroit landscape of a few years ago. Vacant properties are inviting squatters, illegal activities and now fires. This situation can no longer stand.