May 11, 2015
Mayor Stewart Announces new Anti-Blight Task Force
NEW BRITAIN—Mayor Erin E. Stewart announced today the formation of a new anti-blight taskforce that will include conducting regular, targeted visits to neighborhoods to identify and address nuisance properties.
On Tuesday, May 12, beginning at 9 a.m. the task force will conduct its initial nuisance sweep by concentrating on properties throughout the city. Three teams will be ticketing blatant blight violations and reminding homeowners about the importance of up keeping their property.
Also, on Wednesday, members from the task force will be riding CTfastrak and pinpointing any properties that are out of compliance and that are within the city’s jurisdiction to ensure riders have a pleasant view.
One of the initiatives in the Mayor’s budget proposal for 2015-16 calls for setting aside money to fund a part-time blight enforcement officer during the summer months.
“With the season for high volume blight calls upon us, we are launching a new anti-blight task force that will work to beautify New Britain,” the Mayor said. “The task force was created to identify and address properties that are a nuisance in the City of New Britain in a systematic and collaborative way. Department heads have reexamined processes in order to streamline compliance of city ordinances.”
The task force includes members from the Mayor’s Office, Fire Marshal’s office, Police, Health, Building, Housing, Municipal Development, Zoning, and Public Works departments.
The task force recently held its first meeting and discussed several cases, including properties on Union, Gilbert, East, and Tremont streets.
The goal of the task force is to resolve current and long-standing blighted properties throughout the city.
“We will be using our collaborative enforcement tools to eliminate excessive red tape and increase our coordination efforts among city departments and neighborhood groups to crack down on unsightly issues,” the Mayor added. “It is important that we protect and improve the quality of life in our neighborhoods.”
During the neighborhood sweeps, the task force will follow-up on complaints received online, in person, and through tips generated by patrol officers.
Workers will use iPads to connect with the City’s recently improved software. This system, called “View Inspect,” allows residents to electronically file blight and other complaints, which are then assigned to a department depending on the specifics of the case. Residents and city officials can track the progress and enforcement of each issue.
The goals of the task force include:
- Focusing on troubled neighborhoods through focused enforcement and nuisance abatement sweeps.
- Increasing community involvement through greater coordination within the city’s Neighborhood Revitalization Zone groups and block watch organizations to develop referrals.
- Holding monthly meetings to expedite resolutions to problematic blight cases.
- Prosecuting owners and interested parties who fail or refuse to abate nuisance properties.
In order to reward property owners who take pride in their property, the city has launched a “Beautify New Britain” award. The first one was given in February to Rileys Hot Dog and Burger Gourmet, which transformed an old print shop into a beautiful restaurant. The second award will be presented on May 19th.
City officials would also like to remind residents that every home is required to have a house number displayed.
The Building Department can be reached at 860-826-3383 for any questions on the task force or to report a blighted home in your area.