What Is in Store for Hamden in 2011?
by Christopher D. LaTorraca ◊ Jan 21, 2011
Hamden, like most towns, is struggling to recover from the recession that started in ‘07 and has continued into 2011. With real estate values plummeting and businesses closing their doors, the town will inevitably be facing a revenue shortfall. However, the town still has financial obligations for which it must pay, so begs the question, will taxes rise, services be cut, or a combination of the two?
If other towns are a guide, then cuts will be made. Camden N.J. is the latest example of mass layoffs for government employees. About half the police force and one-third of the firefighters are expected to lose their positions, according to Bloomberg Business Week. There is always the potential for increases in fees and reduced hours at places, like the public library.
Higher taxes are a possibility; however, we won’t know until the mayor presents his budget to the legislative council in March.
On the flip side, the road construction at the intersection Mt. Carmel and Whitney avenues is scheduled for completion this year. This should help alleviate the congestion that develops especially when Quinnipiac is in session.
Construction of additional student housing is continuing, thus this should keep many of the students on campus.
Another point of interest is the potential for the old Newhall Community Center on Newhall Street to be the site for the Hamden Business Incubator. According to Hamden’s Economic Development Director, Dale Kroop, “The Hamden Business Incubator will be designed to assist new start-ups to provide support for the growth of their business.”
Construction of the new police headquarters is moving along, merging new construction with the Old Town Hall. Plus, the new fire headquarters is progressing on Putnam Avenue.
Essentially, there are plenty of construction projects in the town. Progress is being made, but the question remains, “What happens next?” In March, we will get our first look at the mayor’s budget and see where the council goes with it.