Outback Teen Center

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Town Councilman Pushes To Resolve Beetle Infestation at Former Outback Teen Center Building

A member of the Town Council on Wednesday night called for the legislative body to push officials to address a documented “powder post beetle” infestation at the former Outback Teen Center Building. Told that the town likely won’t address the problem until a more comprehensive report on the building’s capital needs and possible future use is in hand, Councilman Cristina A. Ross said that it’s been “slightly over one year” since the infestation was identified and “I am really surprised and concerned that this just keeps going and now we are waiting for another report and no action has been taken.”

“So I think it’s within our [Town Council Infrastructure & Utilities] subcommittee to be able to recommend to the Board of Selectmen to act on [an RFP for remediation] and to take care of the infestation at this point,” she said at the group’s regular meeting, held at Town Hall. No one knows what’s going to happen with the cavernous structure behind town hall. It’s been two years since the Outback Teen Center closed, unable either to make enough money to run itself or convince town officials to support a re-imagined, broad program that went beyond serving just teens. It reverted to town ownership last July and the vacant building has been vandalized since then. Continue Reading →

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‘She Failed To Make Reasonable and Proper Use of Her Faculties’: Town Answers Lawsuit from Stamford Woman Who Fell at Outback Teen Center

The Stamford woman who last fall sued the town, two years after she tripped and fell while exiting the Outback Teen Center building, had been inattentive and failed to keep a proper lookout, according to a response to the lawsuit filed on behalf of the municipality. Patti Becker “was not watchful of her surroundings” and “failed to take the necessary and proper precautions to observe conditions then and there existing or to avoid same,” according to the response, filed on behalf of the town by attorneys with Stamford-based Ryan Ryan Deluca LLP. “She failed to make reasonable and proper use of her faculties and senses so as to avoid tripping and falling,” said the response. “And she failed to exercise reasonable care for her safety at said time and place.”

In a Jan. 18 filing on behalf of the teen center, attorneys from Musco & Iassogna of New Haven made largely the same arguments. Continue Reading →

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‘They Put Us in a Tough Position’: Town Officials Put Off $18,000 Payment to Architectural Firm on Assessment of Former Teen Center

Town officials last week decided to put off payment to a Westchester-based architectural firm for services related to assessing the structural integrity and safety of the former Outback Teen Center building. Members of the Board of Selectmen said at their most recent meeting that they would contact White Plains, N.Y.-based KSQ Design about $18,000-plus that the firm billed New Canaan after a different company concluded—incorrectly, it turns out, though also based on insufficient materials provided by the town itself—that Outback was structurally unsound and unsafe. Selectman Nick Williams noted that an original report from Danbury-based Di Salvo Engineering Group did raise some confirmed problems with the Outback, “it also strikes me they made some mistakes the first time around.”

“Maybe we just call attention to it and say, ‘Hey, don’t do this again f you want to work in the town of New Canaan,’ ” Williams said at the sellectmen’s regular meeting, held Dec. 20 at Town Hall. “They put us in a tough position.”

Ultimately, First Selectman Rob Mallozzi said he would contact KSQ directly and find out “whether some kind of a discount is warranted.”

“I think we are pretty well-intentioned folks and I believe that we got ahead of ourselves because of the impact that that report had on a visceral level,” he said. Continue Reading →

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Did You Hear … ?

U.S. Postal Service officials have the keys to their new building and say they’re hoping to open the Post Office on Locust Avenue in New Canaan “this winter.” A more specific date is not yet available. “We are ‘postalizing’ the interior by installing counters, electronic equipment, security features and other necessary items to conduct postal business,” USPS spokesperson Christine Dugas told NewCanaanite.com. ***

Originally scheduled for next week, the Grace Farms application to come before the Planning & Zoning Commission will be heard at the group’s Nov. 29 meeting, officials say. ***

Town officials say the motor vehicle that veered off of Old Stamford Road/Route 106 on Sunday morning and crashed into the Old Studio Road sign near the sharp bend there was traveling at about 60 mph. Continue Reading →

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‘It Is More Grave Than That’: After Conflicting Findings, Town To Seek Impartial Expert’s View of Former Teen Center Building

Saying the major disparities among recent findings regarding the structural integrity of the former Outback Teen Center building makes them uncomfortable, town officials on Tuesday said that they will seek an impartial third-party expert’s view. The idea originated with New Canaan’s chief building official, members of the Board of Selectmen said at their regular meeting, and could provide much-needed guidance as New Canaan takes up the question of just what to do with the structure, vacant since July. “We have got such disparity between the original analysis–which said it could fall down in a hurricane—and then the next one is ‘OK everything is hunky dory,’ ” Selectman Nick Williams said at the meeting, held in Town Hall. “That is problematic, from my perspective. Clearly, it is more grave than that and I think a third party coming in, at some additional cost, is worth it.”

The new findings are expected to come through prior to next Tuesday’s Board of Finance meeting, the selectmen said, and should cost less than $5,000. Continue Reading →

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