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Laura Feghali's Blog

By Laura Feghali | Agent in Stamford, CT
  • Connecticut Tax-Free Week: 8/18-8/24/13

    Posted Under: General Area in Connecticut, Quality of Life in Connecticut, Shopping & Local Amenities in Connecticut  |  August 14, 2013 10:57 AM  |  895 views  |  No comments

    Help out Connecticut's economy and save some money! Take advantage of the upcoming “Tax Free Week.” From Sunday, August 18 to Saturday, August 24, Connecticut residents will not incur sales taxes for purchases of clothing and footwear under $300.


    In these tough economic times, every little bit of relief helps.  Fortunately, Connecticut shoppers will again be offered tax free shopping for one week this year, just in time for the busy ‘back to school’ season. 


    Tax Free Week was first enacted in 2000, and applies to most clothing and footwear purchases that are intended for everyday use.  Goods not covered under the program include items that are solely intended for use in sporting activities and accessories such as jewelry, watches, handbags, and wallets.  By law, Tax Free Week is to run from the third Sunday in August to the following Saturday.


    For more information go to the Department of Revenue Services website: http://www.ct.gov/drs

     

  • Final Public Meeting On Proposed Stamford, CT Train Station

    Posted Under: General Area in Stamford, Quality of Life in Stamford, Traffic & Public Transportation in Stamford  |  June 11, 2013 8:38 AM  |  740 views  |  No comments
    The third and final public meeting to address the proposed transit options for the East Side of Stamford occurs on Thursday, June 27, 2013 7:00 PM at the Government Center in Stamford. The Planning Team will present the preferred option at that time. Everyone is encouraged to attend. 

    Visit www.swrpa.org to learn more.

  • Charter Communications Relocating To Stamford, CT

    Posted Under: General Area in Stamford, Quality of Life in Stamford, In My Neighborhood in Stamford  |  October 8, 2012 9:33 AM  |  375 views  |  No comments

    Good news for our city's economy!  Gov. Dannel P. Malloy's office confirmed that Charter Communications Inc. is relocating its corporate headquarters from St. Louis to Stamford which is expected to create 200 jobs.

    The project is part of the governor's ‘‘First Five'' initiative, which offers incentives to companies looking to expand in the state or move here.

    Charter is the fourth-largest cable operator in the U.S. According to the company's website, Charter provides video, high-speed Internet and telephone services to approximately 5.2 million residential and business customers in 25 states.

    Charter will join UBS Financial Services and Harmon International at 400 Atlantic St. in Stamford's downtown area.

    Source: The Commercial Record

  • Stamford, Conn. Property Taxes To Rise 2.42%

    Posted Under: General Area in Stamford, Quality of Life in Stamford, Home Buying in Stamford  |  May 17, 2012 8:55 AM  |  1,751 views  |  No comments

    The Board of Finance for Stamford has set the new rate for property taxes effective July 1st.  $17.79 per $1000 of assessed value is the new average.  The personal property tax rate is increasing 2.3% and will be $17.89 per $1000 of assessed value.

    Check out the article below for the mill rate breakdowns by district and for further details:

    Stamford residents will see their taxes go up an average of 2.42 percent this upcoming fiscal year, after the Board of Finance unanimously set the rate for the city at its special meeting Wednesday night.

    The new average property tax rate for the city will be $17.79 per $1,000 of assessed value, which is $0.42 higher than last year. The average city rate last year was $17.37 per $1,000 of assessed value.

    The mill rate breakdown by district is as follows: A: $17.89, which is 2.3 percent higher than last year; B: $17.49, 2.3 percent higher than last year; C: $16.73, 2.6 percent higher than last year; and CS: $17.08, 2.6 percent high than last year.

    The four districts are split geographically across the city and differ depending on certain services each receives.

    The personal property tax rate increased to $17.89 per $1,000 of assessed value which was a 2.3 percent increase on last year, and the uniform motor vehicle rate remained flat this year at $26.50 per $1,000 of assessed value.

    The Board differed on how much should be put into contingency for the city’s spending plan before adopting the proposed $4.18 million.

    Board member David Martin, a Democrat, was lobbying to add more to the contingency based on other needs, which included $500,000 for the school board and the city’s medical reserve fund. But his requests ultimately failed.

    “I am not mortgaging Stamford’s future for short-term popularity,” Martin said.  It made sense to add more to the fund in case it is needed, even though it would raise taxes, he said.

    Fiscal year 2013 begins July 1, 2012, and will run to June 30, 2013. 

    Source: thedailystamford.com

  • CT Lawmakers Pass Bill On Utility Companies' Storm Response Time

    Posted Under: General Area in Stamford, Quality of Life in Stamford  |  May 14, 2012 1:21 PM  |  596 views  |  No comments

    A bill to improve utility companies' response time to power outages and help improve coordination between the companies and state and local officials passed unanimously through the House of Reps in CT last week.  It is now on its way to Gov. Malloy who states that he is looking forward to signing it into law.  The measure will require new performance standards by utility companies regarding emergency preparedness and service restoration.

    Check out the article below for further details:

    The Connecticut House of Representatives has unanimously passed a bill intended to improve utility companies' response to storms and prevent large outages like those seen last year following Tropical Storm Irene and a freak October snowstorm.

    State representatives passed the measure 148-0 Wednesday, the final day of the legislative session. It now goes to Democratic Gov. Dannel P. Malloy, who said he looks forward to signing the bill into law.

    "We can't know exactly what emergency is coming next, but we can learn from past experience and improve," Malloy said in a statement following passage.

    Bill proponent Rep. Vickie Nardello, D-Prospect, said the bill will help improve the resilience of the current storm response system by reducing the number of outages and enhancing coordination between utilities and state and local officials in responding to weather emergencies.

    She said the measure will also improve accountability of utility companies.

    Under the bill, state regulators will be required to establish new performance standards for electric, gas and telecommunications utilities regarding emergency preparation and service restoration when there's an emergency with more than 10 percent of any utility's customers without service for more than 48 consecutive hours.

    Regulators must consider standards for minimum staffing and equipment levels for each utility based on the number of customers; targets for recovery and restoration of service; a communication plan between each utility and its customers; and assessments of each utility's ability to rely on mutual aid from other utilities in the region to restore the services.

    Other standards relate to utilities' plans for tree-trimming, cutting and removal to reduce outages caused by falling trees and limbs; how a utility's call center is operated; notifications by each utility to state and local officials to coordinate response efforts; and safety standards for a utility's employees, mutual aid crews and private contractors. The Public Utilities Regulatory Authority has until Nov. 1 to submit a report identifying the new standards.

    If PURA determines those standards haven't been met, according to the bill, the regulatory agency can level civil penalties against gas and electric distribution companies. Those penalties cannot exceed a total of 2.5 percent of the company's annual distribution revenue.

    The bill comes in response to Tropical Storm Irene and the October snowstorm that resulted in large power outages across Connecticut - more than 1 million from the remnants of Irene and 1.4 million from the October snowstorm.

    "We cannot let our state be crippled because of these future disasters," said Rep. Steven Mikutel, D-Griswold. "We need a better response from the utilities and I believe the bill before will better prepare us for these future emergencies."

    Source: The Commercial Record

  • Harbor Point Hotel Project Approved

    Posted Under: General Area in Stamford, Quality of Life in Stamford, In My Neighborhood in Stamford  |  May 9, 2012 9:31 AM  |  649 views  |  No comments
      The Zoning Board finally approved Building and Land Technology's plan to build a 150,000 square foot hotel in the Harbor Point project in the South End of Stamford.  The 130 room hotel will include two 20-story towers along with plans for 60 condominium units and a ballroom.  The city planner said BLT must also build the two proposed 14,000 sq foot restaurants at the same time.

      There was controversy earlier this year regarding the size of the ballroom claiming that it would go against zoning regulations.  An agreement was reached to reduce it's size from 4,580 sq feet to 3,500 sq feet.

    Mayor Michael Pavia is supporting the project and is pleased with how rapidly Harbor Point is progressing.

    Check Harbor Point's website for more details:  www.harborpt.com/

    Source: The Stamford Times
  • 100th M-8 Rail Car Added To Metro North

    Posted Under: General Area in Stamford, Quality of Life in Stamford, Traffic & Public Transportation in Stamford  |  May 9, 2012 7:39 AM  |  569 views  |  No comments
    Good news for train commuters!  The Connecticut Department of Transportation (DOT) and MTA Metro-North Railroad (MNR) announced that they accepted the 100th M-8 rail car for service on May 8, 2012.
     
    This symbolized these organizations' commitment to improve rail service on the New Haven Line with more and more M-8 rail cars being accepted and placed into regularly scheduled train service.   Customers should now be seeing nearly a third of weekday trains and half of the weekend trains operating with the new M-8 cars. 
     
    Our state representatives declare that this is an excellent milestone in the effort to provide riders with better comfort and safety as they use our state's rail system.
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