NORTH HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — Quinnipiac University gave a voluntary payment of $500,000 to the Town of North Haven on Thursday afternoon. The school has a campus in the town, though it is not a North Haven taxpayer. The money is for services that the town provides, including the police and fire departments.
Though the school is based in Hamden, about 40% of its operation is in North Haven. That does cost the town money, but the school also brings money in.
“We have several new businesses on northern Washington Avenue that we’ve been able to recruit as a direct result of Quinnipiac University being there,” said North Haven First Selectman Michael Freda.
Many students live in town as well, and private housing also brings in tax money. The university gave North Haven $400,000 last year. President John Lahey says it’s a way for the school to thank the town for its services.
“This will certainly be an annual event,” said Lahey. “I don’t anticipate the numbers going down. Those services and expenses go up and the needs are always great out there.”
Quinnipiac University’s main campus is in Hamden. The school has given voluntary checks to Hamden in the past, but it did not do so last year. However, it does contribute to town expenses. The school is taxed on off-campus housing used as dormitories.
“When you combine the numbers we’re probably giving twice the amount to Hamden, whether through taxes or voluntary contributions,” Lahey said.
Hamden Mayor Curt Leng says he expects the town will receive a voluntary payment from the university in the near future. He’s been meeting regularly with Lahey, and that’s something they’ve discussed. Leng says relations between the university and Hamden have been improving.
“It takes time to build relationships behind the scenes and that’s what we’ve been doing over the course of the year,” said Leng. “Moving forward we’ll see a lot more positive things happening there.”
The voluntary payment is in addition to the payments in lieu of taxes – called PILOT payments – that each town gets from the state to reimburse them for lost revenue.
The North Haven Campus for Quinnipiac University is continuing to grow. Approximately 2,150 students attend classes there and there are 350 faculty and staff members on the campus as well.