Ban on Bird Feeders Lifted

New Canaan residents can bring their bird feeders back outdoors again now that the  mysterious bird die-off that started in July has subsided. During the Conservation Commission’s Sept. 9 virtual meeting, Newell Cotton, a member of Friends of Bristow Bird Sanctuary and Wildwood Preserve, provided an update on the strange disease that resulted in a ban on bird feeding. Cotton said the mysterious affliction “was a concern during the summer—you probably saw the Connecticut Audubon’s communications regarding taking down feeders—but now they say feeders can go back up.”

Cotton said although the alarming trend of birds suddenly dying “did make its way to Connecticut, it was in very small numbers.”

“It was more of a Mid-Atlantic occurrence—around Washington D.C., Virginia and Maryland,” he said. “I don’t think the root cause has been identified.

More Improvements Coming to Bristow Bird Sanctuary

More improvements at Bristow Bird Sanctuary—including improving trails, adding more boardwalk, building a new pavilion and adding a bird blind—will soon be underway. During the Conservation Commission’s meeting on Sept. 9, Chairman Chris Schipper announced that the town is actively bidding for phase two of the project, which will be privately funded and includes the construction of footings and a pad for the new pavilion. “I was very pleased to have seen the bid notice out today for Centennial Master Plan Phase 2,” Schipper said during the virtual meeting. “Let’s hope we get some interested responders who can undertake that phase.”

Director of Public Works Tiger Mann said the contractor who won the bid for phase one has been notified that bidding is now open for phase two.

To Boost Sustainability, New Canaan Explores Adding Electric Vehicles to Fleet

The town of New Canaan is gearing up to add electric vehicles to its fleet as part of its effort to achieve silver accreditation in the Sustainable CT program, which offers recognition and grants to towns that engage in a range of sustainability initiatives that meet state standards. On Thursday, Public Works Director Tiger Mann presented an update to the Conservation Commission on the town’s plan to start replacing some if its municipal vehicles with electric vehicles. Although Mann said there is no definitive timetable for converting the town’s fleet, the process would likely begin with the vehicles used by the various land use boards such as the Building, Inland Wetlands, Planning & Zoning and Health departments. “A majority of our fleet is either emergency vehicles for police and fire—or for public works,” Mann said during the meeting, held via videoconference. “We are looking to turnover our land use departments to electric vehicles, first.”

Mann said last year the town submitted a proposal for a mitigation in air quality grant from the Western Connecticut Council of Governments to switch four land use department vehicles to electric, but the Department of Transportation denied the application.

Parking Commission Opposed to Double Yellow Line in Morse Court

Members of the New Canaan Parking Commission at their most recent meeting said they are opposed to a traffic consultant’s recommendation that Morse Court be double-yellow-lined, so as to eliminate “wrong way” parking on the north side of the road, which is used for access to the Morse Court Lot. The traffic consultant had first made the recommendation during a meeting of the Police Commission several weeks ago—when possible changes to parking and crosswalks on Main Street were discussed—and it was reported by NewCanaanite. However, during the Nov. 7 meeting at Town Hall, Parking Commissioner Pamela Crum wanted to make it clear to the public that the appointed body is not in favor of this recommendation and, furthermore, that the road falls under the purview of the Parking Commission and not the Police Commission. “[This matter] results from an article in New Canaanite about a consultant that the police had hired who had suggested putting a double yellow line through Morse Court, so there would be a street, so you could put one-way parking down one side,” Crum explained.

Canopy Plan For Talmadge Hill Station Takes a Step Forward

A new canopy on the platform at Talmadge Hill Train Station would cost about $450,000, members of the New Canaan Parking Commission said last week. Commissioner Chris Hering, who is spearheading the plan, said he has received a quote from a private company for a 100-foot long bus-stop style canopy with solar panels, and that the quoted price includes installation. Hering said he has forwarded to quote the Board of Selectmen. That’s a fraction of the estimated $4 million the state would have spent installing a more permanent canopy in a previously submitted plan. However, as Hering noted during the Nov.