‘A Lot of Hooey’: Selectman Pans Those Claiming Town Hall Project Went Over Budget


Though there are whispers around New Canaan that the Town Hall renovation and expansion project went over budget, that’s “a lot of hooey,” Selectman Nick Williams said this week.

The $13 million construction project—$18 million with “soft costs” including placement of municipal employees in temporary space—is wrapping up now and nearly all municipal employees with offices there are expected to be moved back in by summer’s end.

During Tuesday’s special meeting of the Board of Selectmen, Williams said he’s had some people come up to him asking whether the project stayed on budget, and it is “so I think we just need to make sure we get that out there.”

“People say, ‘Why do you need a new Town Hall? Because it was broken,” Williams said at the meeting, held in the Training Room of the New Canaan Police Department. “And it was a disaster. And it was an embarrassment to this town. So I am proud that we have got this new Town Hall and I think we need to get it out there that it is on budget and on time. And I don’t like to hear this disinformation. I don’t know where that is coming from. I can suspect where it is coming from, certain elements in town. But we need to get that out there.”

A full accounting of the Town Hall building project will be presented to the Town Council, the selectmen said.

The discussion emerged as the selectmen approved a $21,400 contract with Norwalk-based Colonial Woodworking Inc. to custom-build and install a curved meeting table for the new Town Hall Meeting Room on the second floor at 77 Main St.

Floor plan for the new Town Hall Meeting Room. The new curved table can be seen at left. Specs by KSQ Architects

Floor plan for the new Town Hall Meeting Room. The new curved table can be seen at left. Specs by KSQ Architects

The funds are available in what’s been appropriated for the Town Hall bulding project, First Selectman Rob Mallozzi said.

Bill Oestmann, superintendent of buildings with the New Canaan Department of Public Works, said officials looked for something pre-built that was available but found nothing that worked and that pricing would not be much different anyway.

The original price tag for the table was significantly higher, at $30,000, he said.

Mallozzi added that the table itself underwent four months of review, including feedback from the Town Council and Board of Finance, and site visits to Norwalk.

“We did our homework,” he said.

Selectman Beth Jones said “The room is so beautiful” that it deserves an appropriate table at the front.

Mallozzi noted that the Town Hall Building Committee includes several vigilant local residents and officials, including Michael Anthony, Neil Budnick, Kathleen Corbet and John Goodwin.

7 thoughts on “‘A Lot of Hooey’: Selectman Pans Those Claiming Town Hall Project Went Over Budget

  1. The question around Town…. is what is the Total Cost of the project? When you state a project cost it is usually hard costs (construction costs) plus soft costs (architects/engineers/consultants) that make up the Total Costs of a project. Additionally there are always up-charges/work change orders in any project and FFE-Furniture/Fixtures/Equipment. Additionally, the relocation costs including moving and fit-up in temporary spaces make up the Total Cost of a project. Those are the elements that make up the Total Cost of the Project.

    • Well said. Let the tax payers know what the “total cost” was then we can decide if it was a “lot of hooey” or not.

  2. The number that seems to keep coming up when the project
    was approved in 2013 seems to be $17.9 mil including “soft costs”.

  3. Whatever we spent on the Town Hall is a worthwhile endeavor
    it’s for all the residents of NC — If you have been there in the past you would know that — In the last 10 yrs alone we have spent over 650 million
    on the BOE they have over 800,000 sq ft of buildings and
    requesting more — so take pride in the New Town Hall it’s for all of us and please visit it — take part in the local government — you will not be to cold in the winter or to hot in the summer as before —
    the BOE was going to be in the new town Hall don’t know what happen to that —
    maybe it was to close and their secrets would not be safe

    Richard P vachula

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