‘The Bottom Fell Out’: New Canaan Sees Steep Increase in Cost of Recyclables Disposal

Saying a dramatic turn in the recyclables market is hitting the town, officials last week approved a $197,000 one-year contract with a Stamford company to haul and dispose of glass, plastic, paper and other materials discarded at the Transfer Station. The hauling of recyclables has “changed considerably in the last couple of years” due in part to a problem with glass that breaks in the single-stream system, so that where towns such as New Canaan “used to make a little bit of money,” they’re “now getting charged a lot of money to get rid of it,” according to Don Smith, assistant superintendent of solid waste with the Department of Public Works. “China is no longer taking it,” Smith told members of the Board of Selectmen at their Dec. 4 meeting, held at Town Hall. “They are just trying to find markets to get rid of it, and a lot of people don’t want it.”

The changing market is increasing New Canaan’s recycling costs by about five times, officials said.

‘Mead Park Brick Barn’: Preservationists Ask for Demolition Sign’s Removal; Selectmen Divided

The municipal body that by Town Charter would need to approve contracts related to the demolition of a widely discussed building at the northern edge of Mead Park remains divided about whether or not to support a nonprofit organization’s efforts to restore it. During their regular meeting last week, members of the Board of Selectmen heard from two members of the New Canaan Preservation Alliance. The organization is requesting that the ‘Notice of Demolition’ sign be removed from the  ‘Mead Park Brick Barn,’ to be allowed to spruce up the abandoned Richmond Hill Road (with some outdoor cleanup and a wreath) and to get feedback on a proposed lease agreement. 

Yet at the close of the Dec. 4 meeting, when Selectman Kit Devereaux asked for information on where the town stands with respect to the NCPA, First Selectman Kevin Moynihan said that the organization cannot make a request of the selectmen through a meeting’s public comment period. Selectman Nick Williams called the NCPA’s offer “generous.”

“I don’t think it has any bearing on demo or not demoing,” Williams said at the meeting, held in Town Hall.

‘A Historic Moment for New Canaan’: Beth Jones Appointed to Fire Commission, First Woman To Serve in Role

Beth Jones, lifelong New Canaanite and former selectman, has been appointed as a member of the Fire Commission. She is the first woman to serve in the role. “This is a historic moment for New Canaan,” Selectman Nick Williams said moments before he and fellow Board of Selectmen members Kevin Moynihan and Kit Devereaux voted 3-0 to appoint Jones. “ I look forward to seeing more females on commissions that historically have not been populated with females. Beth Jones, I had the pleasure of serving with her for six years.

State Halts Natural Gas Roadworks on South Avenue, Officials Say

State officials have halted the roadworks on South Avenue overseen by Eversource as part of the natural gas main installation, and it won’t resume until midweek next week at the earliest, officials said Tuesday. A small stretch of the main at Bank Street “is posing a problem for them [Eversource and Ferreira Construction] with the state,” according to New Canaan Public Works Director Tiger Mann. “The material that they are replacing the trench with is wet—wetter than the state would like,” Mann told members of the Board of Selectmen during their regular meeting. 

“It has been raining every other day, so the material stockpiles are wet and there is not much that the contractor can do for it,” he said during the meeting, held at Town Hall. 

The parties have a meeting next week and Eversource officials hope to resume their work on Tuesday, Mann said. The rest of this week is out because the state doesn’t allow work the day before or after a holiday (both Bank Street and South Avenue are state roads). “We are pushing winter and the fact that the asphalt plants will closing Dec.

Town Approves $72,000 To Repave Park Street Lot Driveways, Fix Drainage Problem

Saying the town has received multiple complaints about the driveways that flank the Park Street parking lot, officials last week approved up to about $72,000 to repave them and fix a drainage problem that’s affecting an abutting commercial property. The Board of Selectmen voted 3-0 at its regular meeting to approve a contract with a Norwalk company whose work will include redirecting drainage from the southern driveway that now affects a staircase behind the building at 125 Elm St. “We are headed into another winter season and we would like to get this work done and make the area passable,” Public Works Director Tiger Mann told the selectmen at their Nov. 6 meeting, held in Town Hall. 

“There is a pedestrian walkway, side staircase that is not owned by the town, that is maintained by a private property owner. He has had to go in and redo that staircase because of the drainage flowing off of our driveway onto his property.