Recent Articles

Aquarion: Cellular Antennas Will Come Off Water Towers at Waveny

Officials with the company that owns the water towers at Waveny—tall structures that double as a site for wireless equipment from five cellular companies as well as New Canaan’s emergency radio gear—say that though the antennas ultimately must be removed, they’re working with the town to ensure that there’s no gap in service. Aquarion has “already verbally offered to the town that we will leave the antennas on the tank for an additional year,” meaning New Canaan will have until November 2019 to see through an early-stage plan to erect its own tower at the park for the wireless infrastructure, according to Peter Fazekas, the company’s director of public relations. “That will be adequate [for New Canaan] to build a tower and transfer the antennas,” Fazekas told “The goal here is to find a good solution. We cannot keep them on our tank, so we are looking for a good solution.”

Asked just why the equipment needs to come off of the water towers, Fazekas said, “It is causing problems with maintenance on the infrastructure.”

“We are supposed to do a complete repaint of the tank and we had to cancel that because we could not get all the cell companies to get their equipment off the tank, so we had to cancel that,” he said. Continue Reading →

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‘This Is a Serious Public Safety Concern’: Water Tower Owner ‘Evasive’ on Renewal of Leases That Provide New Canaan’s Wireless Communications

Officials said Monday that New Canaan’s ability to continue getting cellular service across a wide swath of town may be in jeopardy, as the owner of the water towers at Waveny appears to have balked on whether to renew leases for a handful of carriers whose antennas are perched atop one of them. Nearly half of New Canaan receives its cellular signals from the four carriers’ antennas located on top of Aquarion’s water tower, and “the town has emergency services transmitters and antennas located on that tower,” according to Tom Tesluk, chairman of the Utilities Commission. “Over the summer it was Aquarion’s plan to have the tower repainted,” he said during the group’s regular meeting, held at Town Hall. “In order to do that, they came up with a very elaborate plan which would allow the antennas to move onto scaffolding and then move back onto the tower once the painting was finished. But we found out that they decided not to repaint the tower, and now we hear from two different carriers that the renewal of the leases that these carriers have for using that tower are in question. Continue Reading →

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State Approves Controversial Aquarion Land Sale Under Draft Decision; Final Decision Expected Wednesday

Over the objections of the town’s elected officials, open space advocates, conservation experts and a group of neighbors, the state agency that oversees utilities in Connecticut has said it supports the water company’s plan to sell off a large piece of untouched land in southwestern New Canaan, including to developers, under a draft decision issued this month. The non-binding decision from the Connecticut Pubilc Utilities Regulatory Authority, or ‘PURA,’ is expected to be made final on Wednesday (visit this page after 9 a.m. to listen to the agency’s hearing live). According to PURA, Aquarion’s approximately 18.7-acre parcel—it’s tucked behind Weed Street and Frogtown Road west of Thurton Drive dead-ends—“has never been used for water utility purposes.”

“It has always remained in its natural state since it was acquired by Noroton Water Company in 1907,” according to PURA’s findings. “The land is considered to be excess land and is not located within an aquifer protection area or any public water supply watershed. In September 2015, the Company received Class III land verification from the Department of Public Health confirming that the property is located outside watershed or aquifer protection areas.”

Plans call for the property—assessed at $167,720 in 2014 (fair market value of $239,600) after New Canaan in 2002 had agreed to designate it as “forest land”—to be divided into three separate pieces. Continue Reading →

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Town Urges State Officials To See That Aquarion Land Is Preserved, Not Developed; Public Hearing Scheduled for June 1

Town officials and open space advocates are urging a state agency that oversees utilities in Connecticut to see that the water company doesn’t sell off pieces of a large parcel of untouched land in southwestern New Canaan to developers, but rather ensures its preservation, as-is. Calling Aquarion’s 18.9-acre property an “oasis” of “woods, stream and wetlands” and a wildlife corridor set amid developed 2-acre properties, the chairman of the New Canaan Conservation Commission in a letter this month told the Public Utility Regulatory Authority that his group is “concerned that while Aquarion has worked in recent years to get this parcel designated as ‘forest land,’ allowing it to lower the total appraised value to $239,600, the company now seeks to reverse all of that effort and sell the property off to developers at top rate.” (more…) Continue Reading →

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Town Looks Into Putting New Canaan-Specific Message on Water Towers at Waveny

Officials said Monday that they’ve approached Aquarion about placing some town-specific lettering—such as ‘New Canaan, Home of the Rams’—on the water towers at Waveny. The water company is about to undertake a major project to repaint the towers, and Utilities Commission member Dan Welch said he broached the subject with its project manager to see what was possible. “This seems like something pretty cool that we should be able to do as a town, is to get our name on the towers,” Welch said during the commission’s regular meeting, held at Town Hall. “I talked to him [the Aquarion project manager] about colors. They’re white. Continue Reading →

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