Op-Ed: The Brick Barn Risk to Taxpayers

The Mead Park Brick Barn debate should focus on New Canaan taxpayers. Should we underwrite the cost of preserving the Barn in perpetuity? Most would say no. 

The New Canaan Preservation Alliance claims that its September 12 proposal “Eliminates all Town costs related to [the] Barn.” That’s what taxpayers want to hear. But the claim would be true only if the State of Connecticut continues grant and tax credit programs at current levels for several years, if the State approves the full amount of NCPA submissions in each of three consecutive years, and if private donations are sufficient to defray any short-term and long-term maintenance costs not funded by the State. 

That’s a lot of “ifs.”

Letter: Preserve the ‘Brick Barn’ at Mead Park

The Brick Barn at Mead Park is historically significant. Constructed in 1911, it was a stable for horses used to deliver kerosene to local residents. Standard Oil’s delivery wagon filled its tanks and five-gallon containers to deliver to farms and retail stores, to the town for street lighting, public building heat and lighting, and to residential customers for lighting their oil lamps and fueling their oil heaters and stoves. During World War II Red Cross ladies met at the barn and rolled bandages and knitted for the troops. During and after the war the Town Band and the Veterans of Foreign Wars Fife & Drum Corps practiced patriotic music at the Barn to play for residents.  

The Brick Barn at Mead Park is architecturally significant. “As probably the last remaining example of such a delivery stable in Connecticut, this barn has great historic, cultural and architectural significance” said Bruce Clouette PhD, an independent Industrial Archeologist who has for 40 years prepared National Register nominations all over the state.

Police Chief: Thanking Those Who ‘Protect and Serve’

Dear Editor:

Written on each New Canaan Police vehicle is the motto “protect and serve.” These simple words are what the men and women of our Department do exceptionally well. Our officers and civilian staff fulfill this mission every day. In the coming months, we will begin budget talks which often focus on numbers, costs, savings, return on investment and other statistical data. Unfortunately, these talks do not focus enough on the tremendous value our officers provide to our town in ways which are often not publicized. 

Despite budget constraints, staffing difficulties and increased workloads our officers continue to perform well in their roles as crime fighters, caregivers, community partners and protectors.

Letter: ‘Thank You’ for Supporting Summer Reading Programs for Kids

Editor,

The kids are back in school at last, and we in the Children’s Room of New Canaan Library would like to take a moment to thank the community for its tremendous support and participation in our summer programs.

People always say New Canaan empties out in the summer but that was definitely not our experience this year. On average, we had over 500 visitors a day in the Children’s Room.  Our summer reading program, which we revamped this year, saw a 250 percent increase in participation, and an incredibly rewarding level of engagement and excitement among our youngest members, who read more than 13,000 books this summer—more than 10,000 more books than were recorded last year. A big thank you goes to the elementary schools for supporting our summer program; inviting our librarians to speak to the students in June really generated excitement about participating. We also thank The Toy Chest and Sky Zone Norwalk for providing exciting summer reading incentives, and United Methodist Preschool for supporting our Family Mini Golf finale celebration.