New Haven’s Board of Aldermen held its biweekly meeting on Wednesday night in the Aldermanic Chambers of City Hall, authorizing several new initiatives for the city’s infrastructure and social programs.
The agenda included the approval of a grant proposal for the Street Worker Outreach Program, first introduced to the Board last month. The Board also approved a resolution calling for the repair of four New Haven bridges that were reported to be in unsatisfactory condition by recent inspections.
SWOP aims to connect its employeees — who have some history with violence — with youth in the city in order to reduce youth gun violence. The resolution granted $200,000 to SWOP for the years of 2012-2015.
SWOP outreach workers have established their credibility on the topic of violence, Chief Administrative Officer Robert Smuts ’01 said after the meeting. He said that the workers’ experiences with violence range from having engaged in it in the past to having lived in violent neighborhoods, adding that he supported the approval of the grant. Melissa Mason GRD ’08, the legislative liaison for Unite Here at Yale, called the initiative a “good step forward” toward improving the city’s public safety.
The Board also turned its attention to the status of city bridges, which Smuts said are in need of repair. He said that there has been a high amount of “deferred maintenance” on these bridges and that the city had recently started repair operations on several New Haven bridges that were not in good condition. The city plans to pay over two-thirds of the necessary design, inspection and construction costs on three of the four bridges, Smuts said, while that number is lowered to 20 percent for the fourth bridge.
During the pre-meeting Public Caucus, several aldermen raised questions concerning the bridges including Board President and Ward 5 Alderman Jorge Perez, who asked Smuts to clarify the time frame of the repair operations. Smuts responded that official construction will begin in fall 2013.
Other topics discussed in the meeting included several motions to recognize the achievements of past members of the New Haven community. Ward 8 Alderman Michael Smart said a resolution to amend the name of Salvatore Consiglio Corner on Wooster Street and Olive Street to “Salvatore and Flora Consiglio Corner” was “fitting and proper.” Flora Consiglio, who died last month, was the owner of New Haven-based Sally’s Apizza.
The Board consists of a slate of new aldermen who were elected last November. Once their terms began in January, they passed a resolution to focus on certain issues including the creation of a “jobs pipeline” and stronger city youth services, both of which have seen significant progress in recent months.
“The Board of Aldermen has been working pretty diligently on the issues they put forward on their legislative agenda in January,” Mason said.
The Board of Aldermen meets on the first and third Monday of every month.