Steve Benko

Recent Articles

Parks Officials Propose 2018 Waveny Pool Rates

Saying that Waveny Pool’s reserve fund is in good shape, parks officials are recommending only modest increases to certain fees to use the popular facility, while significantly reducing the costs for an individual pass. The Parks & Recreation Commission voted 6-0 at its Jan. 10 meeting to hold the resident family pass rate at $455 for the season—it typically is open Memorial Day to Labor Day—while reducing the cost of an individual pass from $265 to $175. Recreation Director Steve Benko said that last year’s price drew some criticisms from residents saying it was too high, that they “don’t go that often” or only go on weekends, “so giving that we are on sound financial footing the committee felt that they would reduce the pass to $175 for the season.”

Commissioners voting in favor of the new slate were Sally Campbell, Hank Green, Francesca Segalas, Katie Owsley, Gene Goodman and Matt Konspore. Commissioners Doug Richardson, Jason Milligan, Andy Gordon and Laura Costigan were absent. Continue Reading →

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Town Enters $150,000 Contract for New Playground Equipment for Mead Park

Town officials on Tuesday agreed to enter into a contract with a Fort Payne, Ala.-based company for new playground equipment at Mead Park. The $150,889 contract with GameTime is part of $190,000 budgeted for the current fiscal year to upgrade the outdated equipment there now, with the balance of going to removing existing footings and wood chips at the kids’ main playground at Mead and to grade the site for the new gear. Though the installation itself is not planned until next summer, placing the order with GameTime now will lock up a price and avoid an additional $7,500 in fees, according to Recreation Director Steve Benko. Benko told members of the Board of Selectmen during their regular meeting that a new “Pour In Place” or “PIP” smooth rubber surface that will surround the playground equipment—as well as some additional play structures—are to be funded by the nonprofit Friends of Mead Park Playground. The Friends group, founded by two New Canaan moms, “came up with the plans,” Benko said during the meeting, held at Town Hall. Continue Reading →

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‘An Amazing, Amazing Six Years’: Emotional Farewell for Board of Selectmen at Final Meeting

Wednesday morning’s Board of Selectmen meeting—typically a workmanlike affair, with approvals of tree removal contracts and reviews of how the pavement is faring on local roads—saw multiple department heads offering heartfelt thanks to the three town officials gathered at the dais for the final time. This week’s election signaled the end of the board composed for six years of First Selectman Rob Mallozzi and Selectmen Beth Jones and Nick Williams.

“Yours was my fourth administration and for the past six years, I have found your board to be the most collegial, congenial and decent one yet,” Public Works Director Tiger Mann said after the selectmen approved the purchase of a pickup truck from Karl Chevrolet. “Things won’t be the same. It has been a pleasure.”

During the meeting, held at Town Hall, Human Resources Director Cheryl Pickering-Jones thanked the board for “a great few years” and Parks Superintendent John Howe said, “Thank you for six years of wonderful cooperation.”

Jones and Mallozzi did not seek re-election, he after a narrow loss at the Republican caucus in July. Williams earned 3,827 votes on Tuesday and will join Kevin Moynihan and Kit Devereaux on a newly configured board, as first selectman and selectman, respectively. Continue Reading →

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Did You Hear … ?

The town on Tuesday issued a permit for Acme, the Elm Street grocery store known for decades as Food Emporium, to do a $1.5 million interior renovation at the store. The work at 288 Elm St. will include “shelving, display units, refrigerated cases” and checkout areas, according to the building permit, a total of 25,198 square feet. ***

Lindsay Benko, a New Canaan High School graduate whose father, Steve Benko, is the town’s longtime recreation director, is to be married June 9 of next year at First Presbyterian Church with a reception to follow at Waveny House (her dad’s workplace). She met her fiancé, Albany, N.Y. area native Chris Gardner, while the two studied nursing at Hartwick College in Oneonta, N.Y. 

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Four members of New Canaan Girl Scout Troop 50121—Olivia Licata, Megan Lydon, Emma Gibbens and Lily Plum—intend to install three bike racks at Waveny, Irwin and Kiwanis Parks as their Silver Award projects. Continue Reading →

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Parks Officials: 504 People with 701 Dogs Now Registered for Spencer’s Run, Mostly New Canaan

In the fifth year since New Canaan began requiring canine owners to register their pets in order to use the dog run at Waveny, 504 people have done so, officials said this week. Currently, 701 dogs are registered for Spencer’s Run, according to Kit Devereaux, a member of the Parks & Recreation Commission who serves as a liaison to the popular facility located next to the paddle hut. New Canaanites account for about 56 percent of those with their dogs registered and Recreation Director Steve Benko “has a program that he set up that really is making a difference,” Devereaux said during a regular meeting of the commission, held Wednesday night at Lapham Community Center. “Dogs dig, as we all know, and then people complain. But Steve has—with dog park money—set up a program where someone comes in and fills the holes and seeds it. Continue Reading →

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