Bill Oestmann

Recent Articles

LED Bulbs, More Uniform Timers Going into All Decorative Lampposts Downtown

Town officials have approved a contract with a Brookfield-based company for work that’s expected to make the decorative lampposts that illuminate downtown New Canaan more environmentally friendly and cost-effective. The Board of Selectmen at a recent meeting approved a $4,038.75 contract with Efficient Lighting & Maintenance Inc. that will see new light-emitting diode or ‘LED’ lights and “astronomical timers” installed on the lampposts. The new timers will be programmed to turn the lights on and off at pre-programmed times, rather than having them go and off now based on sensors that often “go bad over time,” according to Bill Oestmann, buildings superintendent with the New Canaan Department of Public Works. “We are constantly chasing [the photosensors]” Oestmann told the Board of Selectmen at its March 21 meeting, held at Town Hall. “It gets costly.”

The existing photosensors could be tripped by passing headlights that make them “believe” it’s daytime, meaning the lampposts would switch off at night for a period of time, officials said. Continue Reading →

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Project Underway To Do Away with Conspicuous Overhead Electrical Wires at Waveny Pond, Cornfields

Town officials on Monday approved funds for a project at Waveny that ultimately will bury underground the power lines that now run conspicuously over the pond and cornfields—focus areas for a nonprofit organization dedicated to the park. The approximately $46,000 approved for three contracts by the Board of Selectmen at a special meeting—following a $21,000 contract with Eversource that the board approved last week—are designed to kickstart work as part of a public-private partnership between town and Waveny Park Conservancy, officials said. “The idea was to get this in place so that it does not disrupt the park come July and August,” First Selectman Rob Mallozzi said at a meeting, referring to Eversource’s work of bringing in new electrical service. The project will see about 800 new feet of electrical cable go in underground, as well as installation of three new transformers and an overall system upgrade, according to Bill Oestmann, the New Canaan Department of Public Works’ superintendent of buildings. Mallozzi said the combined $90,000 project at Waveny will be split between the town ($60,000) and conservancy ($30,000). Continue Reading →

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Newly Appointed Town Building Committee Elects Officers, Sets Priorities

A committee charged with evaluating the uses, condition and future needs of town-owned buildings decided Monday to start its work by figuring out what data points it must have to conduct an analysis and make recommendations. Ultimately, the work of the Town Building Evaluation and Use Committee is expected to help officials prioritize taxpayer funding for competing capital projects—a job made more difficult without a basis for comparison, according to Amy Murphy Carroll, a committee member elected as co-chair of the group during its first meeting. “There is a lot of information for all these buildings,” Carroll said during the meeting, held in a board room at Town Hall. “What I am seeing is that we have all these buildings—the Nature Center and whatever—but I don’t feel we have a good sense of how they are used.”

With institutional knowledge and documentation from Department of Public Works officials in hand—such as each building’s operating expenses and an estimation of future capital needs—two-person “teams” from within the seven-member committee could made field visits to the various structures and collect all the desired information, Carroll said. “So then we have ‘This is the state of our building,’ This is what it needs,’ ‘This is how we use it’ and ‘This is how the town uses it,’ ” she said. Continue Reading →

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‘It Is Falling Apart’: Building Chief Floats $5 Million Estimate for New Canaan Police Department Renovation

The New Canaan Police Department needs extensive interior renovations and overhaul of its heating, HVAC, plumbing and electrical systems—a project that could cost about $5 million, the town’s building chief said Thursday. That figure is based on a $375-per-square-foot calculation for a South Avenue structure that “is really starting to suffer,” according to Bill Oestmann, superintendent of buildings with the New Canaan Department of Public Works. “The building is falling apart, literally—the windows are falling out of the building,” Oestmann told the Board of Selectmen during a regular meeting, held at Town Hall. The town’s fluid 5-year capital plan has a $2 million placeholder in fiscal year 2020 for a windows replacement and wider renovation of the department’s headquarters at 174 South Ave—a 1927-built structure, originally New Canaan High School. Oestmann during the Police Department’s capital budget proposal for fiscal year 2018 said he would need $250,000 to kickstart the long-postponed renovation process. Continue Reading →

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Town Councilmen To Walk Waveny House Ahead of Vote on $2.3 Million Bonding for Roof Replacement Project

After putting off a vote last week on $2.3 million in bonding to replace the porous and crumbling roof of Waveny House, members of the town’s legislative body on Friday afternoon will walk the site with building officials to understand better the high-cost project. The Town Council, concerned about escalating costs—it had been estimated at $1 million to $1.2 million in recent years—took up an offer from Bill Oestmann, superintendent of buildings with the New Canaan Department of Public Works, at its Jan. 18 meeting to see the damaged roof for themselves. Though the funds had been approved by the Board of Finance with assurances that costs would be kept down as much as possible for the roof replacement, the Town Council also is concerned about “the cost listed in the 5-year capital plan to renovate the house and how the pieces fit together and what the expected results may be,” councilman Sven Englund, of the group’s Subcomiittee on Infrastructure and Utilities, told NewCanaanite.com in advance of the site visit. A total of $5 million in placeholders now are in the fluid out-years capital plan for “Waveny Roof and Renovations,” though estimates for what’s needed at the cherished 1912-built structure range up to $10 million, Englund said. Continue Reading →

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