From his Grocery, Robert Lee Talks Business, Surveys Changes in New London

NEW LONDON — Robert Lee watched a steady stream of traffic travel down Williams Street into Hodges Square on Thursday morning.  “We live here, upstairs, it’s very noisy with all the trucks,” said Lee, who owns Lee’s Oriental Market at 432 Williams Street. “It’s a very short commute.”        Lee, 56, inherited the business from his parents, who started it in 1980. He’s been around the neighborhood, Hodges Square, for most of his life and is hoping for some changes and improvements. Across the street, the Citgo gas station, which includes a convenience store, was recently rebuilt, he said.  “I think that’s encouraging

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Connecticut Port Authority Wind-down of State Pier Approves $800,000 Deal for Road Salt

NEW LONDON — The Connecticut Port Authority and Northeast Offshore LLC, a joint venture of Ørsted and Eversource Energy, paid Gateway New London LLC $800,000 as part of the “wind-down costs” for existing businesses at State Pier. David Kooris, acting chair of the port authority, explained the agreement in an email to CT Examiner on Tuesday. The payment reimbursed Gateway for the purchase earlier this year of 20,000 tons of salt from DRVN Enterprises, Inc., a road salt distributor located at State Pier. The sale was authorized in a Memo of Understanding between the companies, requiring Gateway to purchase as

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Micro-Lofts Planned for Mixed-Use Preservation Project in Historic Green Street Locale

NEW LONDON — The owner of a building on Green Street that briefly housed a Black-owned lending institution and civic group in the 1920s will use tax credits to renovate the structure into “micro-loft” apartments and a restaurant space. The State Historic Preservation Office last week approved developer Brian Lyman’s application for Historic Preservation tax credits that offset 30 percent of the projected $1,050,000 project cost. He has also applied to the National Park Service for a federal credit to offset an additional 20 percent of costs. Lyman said that the second and third stories of the building at 38

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Fate of $3 Million Commitment Raises Tensions Between New London and the Connecticut Port Authority

NEW LONDON — A $3 million promise from an offshore wind company to the City of New London to support the city’s maritime infrastructure for commercial fishermen could become a source of tension between the mayor’s office and the Connecticut Port Authority.  Originally promised by Deepwater Wind, which was purchased by the Danish wind giant Ørsted in October 2018, the $3 million grant was designated for the Port of New London to improve marine facilities used by the commercial fishing industry. Ørsted has promised to honor Deepwater Wind commitments.  At Tuesday’s port authority meeting, Acting Chair David Kooris, said he

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New London Seeks to Ease Reopening for Restaurants Beginning May 20

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NEW LONDON — On May 20, for the first time in more than two months, restaurants in Connecticut will – most likely – be allowed to begin extend service to customers beyond takeout and delivery According to Governor Ned Lamont, the first phase of the reopening efforts will allow restaurants to serve patrons  in outdoor, socially-distanced seating.  How many restaurants have the space — or be able to turn a profit — has yet to be seen. “We want to work with the individual restaurants depending on your needs. Some of you already have areas for outdoor dining, but if

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New London Launches a Streamlined Helpline for People in Need

On May 1st, New London is launching a helpline for all those in need during the COVID-19 pandemic. Any resident with questions or in need of food, housing, education or medical assistance should call 860-941-4355. “New London is the number one most distressed community in the state. Even without a pandemic we have a lot of needs,” said Jeanne Milstein, the director of human services in New London. “We have established the Humanitarian Emergency Lifeline Program (HELP) to help residents access the resources they need.” In the past two months Milstein, Mayor Mike Passero and other city employees have received

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Passero recommends 4.48% Mill Rate Reduction for New London in 2020-21 Budget Presentation

NEW LONDON — Mayor Michael Passero’s budget recommendation for fiscal year 2020-21 calls for a 4.48 percent decrease in the city’s property tax rates, made possible by growth in overall taxable property and the retirement of some city debt. Passero presented his budget recommendation to the City Council by teleconference Wednesday night. “Despite the remarkable improvement in the City’s fiscal health over the past few years, this budget reflects a continued emphasis on lean spending to minimize year-to-year growth in expenses,” Passero wrote in his budget message to the council. “This philosophy has allowed us to continue the goal of

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New London Adjusts to Coronavirus, Debates Help for Vulnerable Populations

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NEW LONDON — Several boxes of blue disposable latex gloves and a bottle of hand sanitizer were placed prominently on a table that sat midway between the City Council and a few members of the public who attended the council meeting Monday night in the Congregate Room at the Senior Center. That afternoon, Mayor Mike Passero had issued an executive order that outlined public meeting protocols for city departments, agencies, boards and commissions during the COVID-19 pandemic. “We want all boards and commissions to continue functioning. That’s the heart of our city, that’s our community but we’re all to provide

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No Explanation for End to New London Urban-Suburban Open Choice Program

NEW LONDON — Despite being identified as a priority district in 2001, funding for the Open Choice program in New London was eliminated. Open Choice is credited with helping to integrate suburban schools, and for providing educational opportunities to urban students unavailable in their home districts. New London schools are instead provided with Interdistrict Cooperative Grants that allow any student in the state to attend New London schools. The state continues to fund Open Choice programs for Hartford, Bridgeport and New Haven. “There is no explicit reason we can find on why New London chose to stop participating in the

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