Eversource missed an Aug. 25 deadline to run natural gas lines to New Canaan’s public schools, and district officials say they’re now preparing for a more expensive backup whereby oil might be used for a period of time if the work still isn’t done by heating season. Delayed in part by weather, the company still has “quite a bit of work to do,” Superintendent of Schools Dr. Bryan Luizzi said during a regular meeting Monday of the Board of Education. “They are working hard,” Luizzi said during the meeting, held in the Wagner Room at New Canaan High School. “There is weather involved with this.
The bagels are back in town: Upper Crust Bakery & Café opens Thursday morning in the former Brueggers space on South Avenue downtown. ***
Currently, 843 people belong to Spencer’s Run, New Canaan’s dog park at Waveny, and slightly more than half of those are nonresidents, Parks & Recreation Commissioner Rona Siegel reported on Wednesday night during the commission’s regular meeting. ***
The Board of Selectmen by a 2-0 vote Tuesday approved a $938,000 contract with FGB Construction to repave and otherwise improve the following town roads (First Selectman Kevin Moynihan and Selectman Kit Devereaux cast votes, as Selectman Nick Williams was absent):
Huckleberry Road from Valley Road to the town line
Summer Street from Lakeview to East Avenue and from Cross Street to Locust Avenue
Turning Mill Lane
The photo gallery above features the newest aerial photos of the sports fields and track at New Canaan High School. ***
Town officials broke ground with Eversource on Wednesday for the company’s $25 million natural gas project. It will start with the installation of 4.7 miles of underground pipeline, making the fuel available to more than 500 homes and businesses.
Describing herself as a strong environmentalist, Selectman Beth Jones on Tuesday declined to support the town’s long-awaited agreement with the utility company to bring natural gas to New Canaan. Casting a lone dissenting vote on the Board of Selectmen and saying the town should invest instead in renewable energy, Jones during the group’s regular meeting said she was “worried for the communities where the fracking is happening.”
“You can have a ‘NIMBY’ attitude about it and say it won’t affect us in New Canaan, but it affects others,” Jones said at the meeting, held in Town Hall. She referred to a plan that will bring natural gas from Route 106 in Stamford up through South Avenue. First Selectman Rob Mallozzi and Selectman Nick Williams voted in favor of the approval. According to Jones, both Maryland and New York have banned fracking, due in part to debates over how to dispose of waste.
The town’s highest elected official on Monday night said he’s poised to sign an agreement that will bring natural gas to New Canaan public buildings, businesses and some homes, signaling the introduction in earnest of a widely anticipated energy source following years of stop-and-go efforts. First Selectman Rob Mallozzi and representatives from Eversource unveiled a plan to bring a 4.7 mile “trunk line” up Route 106 from Stamford to serve New Canaan High School, South School, Saxe Middle School, the YMCA and Waveny Care Center, as well as East School, in 2018. After that, Eversource’s program manager for gas expansions, Chris Luca, told members of the Utilities Commission at their regular meeting, the company in 2019 will lay an additional five miles of lines to bring natural gas to residences along the South Avenue corridor, from Farm Road toward the downtown. Additionally, Eversource will offer natural gas to residences where it makes sense along the route to East School—the proposed route calls for a line to run down Harrison and then up Main and along Lakeview to the school. And then in 2020, the natural gas line build-out will come to the business district, Luca said.
Sidelined last month because the asphalt was to be ripped up to install natural gas lines, the repaving of a set of town roads now is back in play, town officials say, as the utility company unexpectedly is taking a different route into New Canaan. Residents of Spring Water Lane, Adams Lane and Hillcrest Road have waited years to have their roads repaved because they live along a gas line route that Eversource had proposed in the past, First Selectman Rob Mallozzi said. Yet “it now appears that Eversource is going to be coming up state Route 106 and avoiding local roads coming into town” from Stamford, Mallozzi told NewCanaanite.com. “So, unfortunately, we had to pull back on a promised area of paving in town,” he said. The Board of Selectmen last month shifted the would-be project for Spring Water-Adams-Hillcrest to three stretches of Ponus Ridge—a plan that was “met with an incredible amount of disappointment and consternation by the neighbors because, quite frankly, they had been waiting all that time to have their streets paved,” Mallozzi said.