Government

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.

Recent Articles

New Handrails Coming to Two Culvert Crossings on Waveny Trail

Town officials on Tuesday approved a $20,000 contract—nearly all of that to be funded privately—to install wooden handrails over two culverts on newly upgraded trails at Waveny. The work by Wilton-based Riverside Fence is a final touch from the nonprofit Waveny Park Conservancy on the organization’s improved trails running from South Avenue to the four-way along the main road through the park, according to Tiger Mann, New Canaan’s public works director. “The Conservancy would like to see a couple of handrails put over the top for fall protection,” Mann told members of the Board of Selectmen at their regular meeting, held in Town Hall. The Conservancy is paying for all but $1,000 of the work, Mann said. Keith Simpson, a prominent landscape architect in town who is a member of the Conservancy’s board of directors, solicited the quote from Riverside Fence—the same company that installed the new footbridge he designed at Mead Park to complete the Gold Star Walk. Continue Reading →

Filed under: , , , , , , ,

Town Officials Approve Road Repair Projects on Garibaldi, Sleepy Hollow

Town officials on Tuesday approved an approximately $65,000 contract extension with a Norwalk-based company to repair two small sections of roads in residential neighborhoods. The $66,820 contract with FGB Construction includes the milling and paving of parts of Garibaldi Lane and Sleepy Hollow Road as well as about $5,000 for police protection during the work. “We normally do not do small sections but these two sections warrant repair,” New Canaan Public Works Director Tiger Mann said during a regular meeting fo the Board of Selectmen, held at Town Hall. The portion on Garibaldi essentially will finish off the road, which had been started from the Route 123 side but stopped at a narrow section toward Brushy Ridge Road “and since the rest of the road is in good shape, that is the last piece to have done,” Mann said. “There is a large development going in there right, basically right at the terminus of this stretch, and all the prospective buyers that keep coming in are driving down a poor road to get a prospective half-million-dollar home to purchase, so we feel it would be in our best interests to take care of this section.”

The portion of Sleepy Hollow lies along the first 1,000 feet or so as that road comes off of Laurel, Mann said. Continue Reading →

Filed under: , , , , , , ,

‘They Need To Be Separate’: Town Officials Weigh Future of Human Services’ Vine Cottage Home

Should their current base of operations be sold or otherwise offloaded, the municipal employees who work out of Vine Cottage on Main Street likely could not re-locate into Town Hall due to the sensitive nature of their jobs, officials say. Members of the Human Services Department “feel very strongly that they need to be separate from the Town Hall because of confidentiality issues and the clients that they are dealing with,” according to Penny Young, co-chair of the Town Building Evaluation and Use Committee. “And that is why they were not incorporated into this redesign of Town Hall,” Young said at the committee’s most recent meeting, held Sept. 28 at Town Hall. “So that needs to stay uppermost in our mind, is their function and their need for being separate from Town Hall.”

It isn’t clear just where the department, whose staff includes senior outreach and social workers, would move to if displaced from Vine Cottage. Continue Reading →

Filed under: , , , , , , ,

Letter: Vote for Kit Devereaux for First Selectman

Editor:

Kit Devereaux has served in more capacities in New Canaan government and not-for-profits than there is space to list. Her tenure on Town Council, Board of Finance and the Charter Review Commission, and her financial services background, provide the necessary experience and skills to manage town government, improve accountability and save taxpayers’ money. Kit’s track record, including serving on the Parks & Recreation Commission, as president of the League of Women Voters and her many roles at St. Mark‘s Church, provides hard evidence that Kit is collaborative, a good listener, transparent and an effective problem solver. New Canaan needs such qualities to solve challenges like declining state funding for schools and other services, poor cell phone service, inadequate parking, and sloppy oversight of town projects. Continue Reading →

Filed under: , , , ,

Plan to Build Two-Family Home on East Avenue Stalls at ZBA

An application for a variance that would allow a two-family residence on East Avenue to replace a 1900-built single family home there was continued Monday night after town officials expressed concerns over the proposed driveway and pedestrian access way included in the project. On its face, property owner William Panella’s request for a variance for 72 East Ave. is straightforward: The applicant is requesting relief from the residential Zone B requirement for a minimum 100 feet of street frontage, as the property only allows for about 93 feet of frontage, and to allow the driveway from East Avenue to connect with another driveway and parking lot for an adjacent commercial property on Vitti Street. Panella plans to tear down the existing 1,400-square-foot home, where his late mother Mary had lived, as well as the detached garage in the rear and construct a new, residential style, two-family dwelling measuring about 4,000 square feet. Before the Zoning Board of Appeals on Monday, attorney David Rucci of Lampert Williams & Toohey LLC explained that he is, in fact, representing two clients on the project, William Panella, son of the late Mary Panella, whose property is the subject of the application, and Panella’s development partner, Art Collins, who is developing an adjacent property on Vitti Street, directly behind the property on East Avenue and in the town’s Business B zone (see map below). Continue Reading →

Filed under: , , , , , , ,