Plan To Remake ‘Irwin House’ As Office Space for Nonprofits Stalls at Town Funding Bodies; Public’s Input Sought
Members of New Canaan’s legislative body said last week that they need more information and public input prior to committing an estimated $400,000 to a renovation of Irwin House as a base of operations for local nonprofit organizations.
Though rent from three nonprofit organizations that have shown an interest in relocating to the Irwin Park house would come to about $46,500—exceeding the annual cost of maintenance—the town first must gauge whether taxpayers would prefer to tear the structure down, members of the Town Council said during their regular meeting. Chairman John Engel said the three nonprofits interested in moving to the Weed Street property—New Canaan Land Trust, New Canaan Community Foundation and Staying Put in New Canaan—also should have an opportunity say how important such a move would be for them, what alternatives they’ve seen and how hard it is to find a workable space. Councilman Penny Young said, “There really are a lot of questions. This is indeed the cart before the horse. I mean way before horse.”
The comments came as the Town Council discussed a possible investment of $80,000 for architectural, engineering and other services that would be needed prior to the physical renovation work.