Utilities Commission

Recent Articles

Selectman Devereaux Argues in Favor of Preserving the New Canaan Utilities Commission

In a break from the town’s highest elected official, Selectman Kit Devereaux this week said that New Canaan should preserve its volunteer Utilities Commission rather than allow it to disband or go dormant. During a Board of Selectmen meeting Tuesday, Devereaux noted that the Town Code assigns a wide range of responsibilities to the commission, covering railway, electric, gas, telephone, sewage and water. And she also noted that the group’s job includes ensuring that local needs are met, fielding complaints from residents and business owners and presenting concerns to state agencies. “I think that this is something that should not be put into hiatus because, as I read it, it really does it seemed to serve purpose for the people,” Devereaux said during the meeting, held at Town Hall. First Selectman Kevin Moynihan was absent from the meeting. Continue Reading →

Filed under: , , , , ,

Board of Selectmen Considering Dissolving Utilities Commission

Town officials say they’re considering dissolving the Utilities Commission, which has recently seen three resignations and currently lacks a quorum. During Tuesday’s Board of Selectmen meeting, First Selectman Kevin Moynihan floated the idea of dissolving the commission—which in recent years has worked on initiatives related to cellular coverage, natural gas and solar energy—and replacing it with a Selectmen’s Technology Advisory Committee, which would simply advise the board on technology initiatives. “Because of FOIA I can’t talk that much—outside of this meeting—but we’ve had three resignations on the Utilities Commission—which leaves us with not even a quorum,” Moynihan said during the special meeting, held at Town Hall. “They had to cancel their meeting last night—and I’ve been thinking about asking the Town Council to repeal the ordinance the created the Utilities Commission and replace it with a Selectmen’s Technology Advisory Committee.”

Moynihan said the main difference between the new Selectmen’s Technology Advisory Committee and the Utilities Commission is that the committee would simply advise the board on technology matters related to the town. “The Technology Advisory Committee would work on how the town can employ technology to provide better, more efficient services to our citizens,” he said, adding that he got the idea for the committee from a town resident a couple of months ago. Continue Reading →

Filed under: , , , , ,

Op-Ed: Caution on Private Cell Site Development

An Advertiser article recently suggested that town officials might work with private property owners for cellular site development. Doing so risks costly litigation, pitting neighbor against neighbor, like what we saw with the proposed Puddin Hill site a few years ago. While one private property owner may benefit from tower revenues, surrounding property owners would likely protest the impact. If the town steps away, and supports private property owners working directly with telecommunications carriers and the Connecticut Siting Council, we substantially reduce the town’s municipal voice in the siting process, risk exposing surrounding private property owners to real estate devaluation, and would be losing cellular revenues. As a former member of the Utilities Commission, the wireless topics which public meeting attendees seemed to care most about were real estate/view shed impact, and health. Continue Reading →

Filed under: , , , ,

Utilities Commission: Consultants Studying Whether Irwin Park House’s Garage Could House Cell Service Equipment

A Danbury-based wireless infrastructure company that’s doing consulting work for the town continues to look for an alternative site within Irwin Park after the community argued against a proposed tower in the property’s southwest corner, officials said Monday. Homeland Towers is looking at the garage that’s connected by a breezeway to the main house at Irwin to store “all the equipment so it would be out of sight,” according to Utilities Commission Chairman Tom Tesluk. “The idea of placing an antenna or two shorter antennas behind the garage—we are not talking about the barn toward Weed Street, but the garage up on the hill—because that is a higher elevation of what was discussed before, it should have some benefit with its relative height,” Tesluk said at the group’s regular meeting, held in Town Hall. “I don’t think we will see anything from them until September.”

The comments came during an update on New Canaan’s efforts to improve cell service in areas that currently lack it, such as western and northern parts of town. Commissioners in May, noting that some remarks had been uncivilly delivered by opponents to the idea in a public hearing, agreed to find alternative sites to West School and a specific area of Irwin Park. Continue Reading →

Filed under: , , , ,

Town, Eversource To Ink Deal Bringing Natural Gas to New Canaan Starting Next Year

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. Continue Reading →

Filed under: , , , , , , ,