BLIGHT TASK FORCE
Fight Blight Day and Night
To report a blight issue, please click here.
The City of Waterbury has faced a perfect storm in recent years of a deteriorating and aging housing stock, absentee landlordism, and a stagnant economy. This has put a strain on an already difficult situation of addressing the issues of blight, litter and abandoned properties. In response to these concerns, Mayor Neil M. O'Leary initiated the creation of a new Blight Task Force (BTF) in January, 2012.
The BTF works out of the Police Dept. and is staffed full time by Sergeant Ryan Bessette, Detective Milford Hayes and Michael Gilmore from the Waterbury Development Corporation. The BTF also consists of liaisons from Corporation Counsel, Fire Marshal's Office, Public Works, Community Relations, Building Dept., Health Dept., Zoning Dept., and the Mayor's Office.
The Blight Task Force worked closely with Corporation Counsel, the Housing Division of the State Attorney's Office as well as State and local legislatures to draft a Blight Ordinance that has stricter penalties and provides a uniform streamlined process for the issuance of blight violations that includes a clearly defined process for hearings and appeal.
During the 2012 Legislative Session, a law was passed that added a criminal penalty to the blight statue under 7-148. Effective October 1, 2012 those violating the City of Waterbury Blight Ordinance will be subject to a Misdemeanor Summons requiring an appearance in Housing Court. Additionally, the City passed a landlord registration ordinance that requires any landlord not living in the physical property they own to register a home address, contact number and email address with the City. The purpose of this ordinance was to facilitate easier contact with landlords if an issue exists on their property that requires remediation. The ordinance also contains an amnesty period during which landlords could register their properties without paying the fee.
The BTF coordinated with the Board of Education (BOE) on the creation of a Blight and Litter Awareness lesson plan, which was rolled out at the end of the 2011-2012 school year, and will continue in the 2012-2013 school year. Moreover, a slogan and logo contest was held in partnership with the BOE with the winning slogan being "Fight Blight Day & Night". The slogan and logo was advertised on public buses, billboards, t-shirts as well as on bumper stickers that were applied to every marked City vehicle.
There is also a "Quick Response Team" made up of members of the Blight Crew, Street Dept. and Refuse Dept. to perform daily checks to areas prone for dumping and to respond quickly to any blight situations that arise.
Sergeant Jose Diaz
Michael Gilmore, WDC
Detective Milford Hayes
- Absentee Landlords located: 101
- Prosecutorial Summonses Issued: 7
- Warrants Served: 5
- Properties Demolished: 15
- Properties Boarded: 39
- Pounds of Junk Removed: 470,753 lbs
- Bags of Litter & Brush Removed: 13,562
- Bags of Litter Removed by Mad-Vac: 407
- Number of Streets Cleaned: 3,847
- Tires Removed: 1,537
- Lawns Serviced: 83