HAMDEN, Conn. (WTNH) — It was a moment years in the making as Hamden Mayor Curt Leng and Quinnipiac University President John Lahey came together for a press conference on Friday afternoon. Their message to the public, they are setting their past differences aside and promising better relations moving forward.
“Quinnipiac and the town are on better footing than we have been for quite some time and that is of great benefit to both the university and the town,” said Mayor Leng.
“I think there were some issues that really came to a head that really needed the attention of both the mayor and town officials and I as the university president,” said Lahey.
For decades they’ve struggled with problems like rowdy gatherings on and off campus, issues with adequate student housing and how to make the town more student friendly. Mayor Leng first took office in May of 2015. Lahey credits the change in town leadership as the turning point towards improved communications.
Quinnipiac University presented the town with a check for $1.4 million at the press conference and pledged continued support in the years to come. Some of those dollars are for taxes and services the town provides to the school but a portion of it is also a voluntary donation.
“These dollars are going to go toward a lot of things. They’re gonna help our general fund so they’re gonna help our budget and they’re also gonna go to arts programs, concert series and help us with our fireworks this year,” said Leng.
The school also announced plans to help boost business in the town. Shuttles will soon be running from the campus to the Hamden Plaza. Last year that shuttle service had been canceled and students were brought to nearby North Haven instead. The return to shuttle service has residents praising the efforts.
“So many businesses that are going out of business and moving so the more that they offer transportation to students who don’t have cars, to bring shuttles here, it’s just better for everybody,” said Hamden resident April Harps-Langston.