We’re writing not only about those municipal bodies that all local media outlets cover—New Canaan Board of Selectmen, Town Council, Department of Public Works—but also the Public Tree Board, Traffic-Calming Work Group, Parking Commission and Park & Recreation Commission.
The town has received a building permit application to divide in two an existing retail space on Cherry Street and install a new wine shop into one of them. According to application filed Feb. 14 with the New Canaan Building Department, the space currently occupied by consignment shop Severed Ties at 111 Cherry St. would become two retail stores.
The new tenant would be ‘DB Fine Wines,’ according to the application. (Severed Ties would remain as the other occupant of the newly divided space.)
DB Fine Wines registered Feb. 6 with the Connecticut Secretary of the State, the state agency’s records show, and its principal is listed as a Carter Street man.
Town officials are looking to forge a new partnership with the New Canaan Racquet Club and also find some new uses for the under-utilized tennis courts at Mead Park in order to boost attendance there.
In 2018, New Canaan sold 112 season passes for the clay courts, bringing in about $10,000 in revenues against $14,000 just to open the facility and thousands for more attendants, according to the Parks & Recreation Commission.
“There is a considerable shortfall on tennis that the town has to make up,” Commissioner Carl Mason said during the appointed body’s Feb. 13 meeting at Town Hall. “Even if we were to look at some of our better years, looking back at 2015 or so, we have a shortfall.”
Though tennis instruction clinics bring in some money, they effectively just “cover their costs” and it’s hard to justify redoing the clay courts for an estimated $140,000 “without any real hard data on usage,” Mason said.
“We are really not finding any champions for tennis in New Canaan at this point in time,” Mason said while presenting the full Commission with an update on the eight Mead Park courts.
The Commission should consider whether all of those courts must be dedicated to tennis, given the low demand, or whether “we can convert those courts for other sports,” Mason said.
“One thing that has been discussed is pickle ball. The hard court is maybe a venue for pickle ball. Or maybe even volleyball, basketball or a flexible field on one of the Har-Tru courts.”
Recreation officials also have met with the New Canaan Racquet Club to talk about a new partnership.
A town official on Wednesday night called for a renewed effort to self-police Irwin Park, which she said has seen a resurgence in abandoned dog feces.
Parks & Recreation Commission member Francesca Segalas said during the group’s regular meeting that reporting offenders to police and having them ticketed has worked in the past. Tickets issued to irresponsible dog walkers last year led to less dog waste left behind, Segalas said at the meeting, held at Town Hall. “And the tickets happened from two citizens reporting, not from the cops stopping them,” she said. “The dog warden caught them but she caught them on information from the citizen. So we need people to go and kind of look and see and if you see somebody who leaves dog poo behind, follow them, look at their car, get the license plate and text it to me and I’ll take care of it.”
The comments come one year after Parks & Rec formed a committee to tackle the problem and one local woman launched a widely discussed public shaming campaign at Irwin, placing ‘Shame On You’ flags on individual piles of excrement left at the popular park.
Saying they’re concerned about pedestrian safety, town officials on Wednesday night called for the organizer of a popular car enthusiast gathering to be held Oct. 20 at Waveny to ensure that a footpath running along the main road through the park is clear.
If the Caffeine & Carburetors exhibitor cars are parked on one side of the footpath only, then visitors who wander through the popular show that Sunday will be less likely to walk in the road, according to members of the Parks & Recreation Commission. “If you can get the cars to park so that the path accessible that would be great, because that would change entirely what happened with all the pedestrians in the road,” Commissioner Francesca Segalas said at the group’s regular meeting, held at Town Hall. It isn’t clear which side of the pedestrian path is to be left clear—parks officials couldn’t agree on that—but Caffeine & Carburetors founder Doug Zumbach agreed to work with Recreation Director Steve Benko, Parks Superintendent John Howe and Commissioner Matt Konspore on a parking plan. Parks & Rec Chair Sally Campbell said the Commission would take a vote on whether to recommend the Oct.
The Board of Selectmen on Tuesday unanimously approved a new slate of fees for the Waveny Pool. While rates for season passes will hold at $455 for New Canaan families, the out-of-town rate will increase $25 to $1,225 for nonresident families, under the new slate. As in years past, a total of 100 nonresident family passes will be sold following a lottery.
Here’s a look at the fees:
First Selectman Kevin Moynihan and Selectmen Kit Devereaux and Nick Williams voted in favor of the slate during their regular Board meeting, held at Town Hall. Recreation Director Steve Benko said one change to pool passes will be that a 10-ticket book of guest cards will be sold to residents for $80 versus a 15-ticket book, because it appeared at the end of the 2018 season that most people who purchased the book did not use all 15 tickets.
The town-owned, self-sustaining Waveny Pool is open each year from Memorial Day through Labor Day. Williams called the pool “a great story” and said Benko and Parks & Recreation Commission Chair Sally Campbell “deserve a lot of credit” for coming to the town with a plan to put it on firm financial footing.