Bill Oestmann

Recent Articles

‘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 →

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Officials Approve $44,000 in Contracts To Reconfigure Finance Department at Town Hall

Officials last week approved approximately $44,000 in contracts to reconfigure the Finance Department’s area at Town Hall in a way that makes it more welcoming and also creates space for two more bodies. The department is “the central service agency” of the town and “people need to feel that they can come in and ask any questions” of the staff there, according to interim Finance Director Sandra Dennies. Yet “right now, when you walk in, you walk into a big gray hall,” she told members of the Board of Selectmen at their regular meeting, held Sept. 12 at Town Hall. “It is not user friendly. Continue Reading →

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Town Approves $32,780 Contract for Masonry Repairs at Schoolhouse Apartments; Senior Living Facility To Secure Funding for Work

Officials this week approved a $32,780 contract for a Darien-based company to do masonry repairs to the town-owned Schoolhouse Apartments building on South Avenue. The funds will come from the senior living facility itself, through HUD, according to Bill Oestmann, superintendent of buildings with the New Canaan Department of Public Works. (more…) Continue Reading →

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‘The Project Is Going Very Well’: Waveny House Roof Replacement Underway

The widely discussed $2.3 million replacement of Waveny House’s porous and crumbling roof is underway and progressing nicely, town officials say. Contractors are stripping the existing roof and making repairs to damaged areas of the structure beneath it as they go, with an eye on starting the new roof next month, according to Bill Oestman, superintendent of buildings with the New Canaan Department of Public Works. “The risk is diminishing daily as the work progresses and we have not uncovered anything that we didn’t already know about,” Oestmann told NewCanaanite.com. “The project is going very well.”

At this point, workers from Danbury-based Alden Bailey are on track to finish the project ahead of an end-of-year deadline, he said. They’re starting on the east side of the 1912-built Waveny House and are expected to encounter significant structural damage as they go—due mostly to the town’s decades-old neglect of capital maintenance on it. Continue Reading →

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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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