(February 13, 2015) Today, Mayor Pedro E. Segarra announced that 10 free Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) centers are open from now until April 15 to help eligible residents prepare their income tax returns. The service is available to lower-to-moderate wage-earning individuals and families with annual incomes of up to $53,000. At the VITA centers, IRS-certified volunteers will help those who are eligible prepare and electronically file state and federal income tax forms free of charge. Volunteers can also determine whether someone qualifies for state and federal credits, like the Earned Income Tax Credit, and related childcare and education credits. Returns are available in seven to 10 days on a pre-paid debit card or through direct deposit into a personal bank account. VITA is also a portal to job training opportunities and budget coaching for individuals and families.
“Filing taxes can be complicated work and these centers are here to help people through the process," said Mayor Segarra. "Many families stand to benefit from a tax refund, which can help financially. I urge anyone who thinks they are eligible to call and take advantage of this free and valuable service."
In 2014, VITA centers helped more than 5,200 taxpayers in Hartford, resulting in more than $12.6 million in refunds and credits to working families. The average federal refund amount to tax filers served in Hartford was more than $1,900.
To see if you qualify and to make an appointment at a VITA center, dial 2-1-1 and press 3, or go towww.211ct.org/taxes. Free online help is available to households with a combined income of up to $60,000 in 2014 at www.myfreetaxes.com.
The VITA centers were made possible through a partnership between the City of Hartford, Bloomberg Philanthropies/Cities of Service Impact Volunteering Fund, Community Accounting Aid and Services, Hartford Foundation for Public Giving, Human Resources Agency of New Britain, Liberty Bank Foundation, United Way of Central and Northeastern Connecticut, United Way of Connecticut/2-1-1, The Village for Families & Children and Walmart Foundation.
(February 10, 2015) The City has reached a final agreement with DoNo Hartford, LLC, the developer of a new neighborhood north of the I-84 intersection known as Downtown North, and Connecticut Double Play, LLC, the owner of the Rock Cats Double AA Minor League baseball team. The new mixed-use neighborhood will include a supermarket of up to 50,000 square feet, a brewery, new housing, retail, restaurants, and the Double AA minor league ballpark. Terms of the agreement include 30 percent revenue sharing for all non-baseball events at the ballpark, a project labor agreement, a guarantee of a Double AA Minor League team for the term of the lease, and hiring preference for Hartford residents and minority/women owned businesses for all direct and indirect contract work.
A groundbreaking ceremony is scheduled to take place February 17, 2015 at 1:30 p.m. More details will be available as the date approaches.
“A new Downtown North mixed-use neighborhood is even closer now to becoming a reality,” said Mayor Segarra. “The pedestrian-friendly development will grow the downtown area with new entertainment venues, restaurants, residential spaces and businesses. This means more jobs and opportunities for our Capital City. I look forward to seeing vibrancy in an area that has been blighted for too long and to seeing the vitality and economic growth it will bring to the City of Hartford.”
“We appreciate everyone’s hard work in getting this done," said Rock Cats Owner Josh Solomon. “The redevelopment of Downtown North and a new minor league baseball stadium in Hartford will soon be a reality. We look forward to providing affordable, family entertainment during baseball season and year round activities for the entire Hartford community and the region.”
A report by the University of Connecticut Center for Economic Analysis (CCEA), found that the projected benefits of developing Downtown North includes over 1,800 jobs during construction and sustained employment in excess of over 1,000 jobs at full development.
“On behalf of DoNo Hartford LLC, which includes my partners Jason Rudnick, Yves Joseph, and Howard Kaufman, I would like to thank the City of Hartford for its support and diligence in the origination, negotiation, and execution of our development proposal. We are thrilled to commence with the construction of the ballpark, and look forward to the successful realization of a transformative neighborhood,” stated Bob Landino, President and CEO of Centerplan Companies.
(February 5, 2014) Today, Hartford Public School officials met with parents and families to inform them that students will remain at their temporary locations at Wish Elementary, Journalism and Media Academy and Simpson-Waverly Elementary for the remainder of the 2014-2015 academic year due to recent discovery of polychlorinated biphenyls, known as PCBs at John C. Clark, Jr., Elementary & Middle School. Mayor Pedro E. Segarra issued the following statement in response:
“From quickly closing the school and relocating students, to retaining a firm to investigate the source of the contaminants, Superintendent Schiavino-Narvaez has made proactive and speedy decisions that have ensured the safety and continued education of Clark School students. As the children complete the school year at their ‘new’ schools, we are working to make sure they are fully integrated in their new environment. Our student’s health and educational well-being is the only priority. I want to thank the young students and their families for their patience and cooperation as we work towards a long-term solution. “
(February 3, 2015) Today, Mayor Pedro E. Segarra announced that a database of vehicles towed during the snow storm Sunday, February 1, 2015 into Monday, February 2, 2015 has been added to the city’s open data portal to help residents locate their vehicles. The database lists the vehicles that were towed, the company that towed the vehicles, contact information for the tow companies and the address of the lots where the vehicles were placed. The database will be removed 48 hours after the Parking Ban is lifted.
“The goal here is to help residents whose vehicles were towed in an efficient manner and, at the same time, reduce the volume of calls to our dispatchers from folks who are looking for their cars,” Mayor Segarra said.
Vehicle tow information is available here: https://data.hartford.gov/Public-Safety/Towed-Vehicles-From-02012015/3acs-ahvq#column-menu