Police Chief: Cameras at Waveny’s Entrances Would Help Deter Crime, ID Perpetrators

Though criminal activity at Waveny is rare and the 300-acre park doesn’t need surveillance throughout, it would help investigators to have cameras at entrances and exits that capture images of license plates and people in vehicles, Police Chief Leon Krolikowski said last week. Such video camera systems have already helped deter crime at the New Canaan YMCA, located across South Avenue from Waveny, Krolikowski told members of the Police Commission at their regular meeting Wednesday. “The YMCA had a big problem with people coming into their parking lot and breaking into their cars, and at our recommendation they installed camera systems that captured license plates, and that dropped off dramatically,” the chief said at the meeting, held in the training room at the New Canaan Police Department. “So it helps in that regard.”

Nearly 2,000 people have signed an online petition calling for video surveillance cameras at the park. Launched in the wake of revelations that a missing New Canaan woman’s car was found parked along Waveny on Lapham Road the day she went missing, the petition calls for cameras on specific trails as well as at the Lapham entrance. 

After Waveny user, trial lawyer and New Canaan mom Hilary Ormond presented the petition this month to the Parks & Recreation Commission, that appointed body called for a detailed proposal from police.

Town To Consider New Approval Process for Naming Rights

Members of New Canaan’s legislative body said last week that they’ll consider adopting a formal process for naming public property after individuals—for example, to honor local philanthropists. No such process currently exists, according to Town Council Chairman John Engel. “There is no formal price, there is no formal criteria,” he said during the elected body’s regular meeting, held June 19 at Town Hall. “How we feel about naming Mead Park, an enormous asset, versus a smaller asset may be different. So one set of criteria might not fit every eventuality.”

He referred to a former swamp on Park Street that the town in 1915 designated as a park named for Benjamin P. Mead, who had died two years earlier.

Utility Poles Throughout New Canaan Getting ‘Braces’ To Strengthen Them; Work To Conclude Next Week

Work crews are installing “braces” on utility poles throughout New Canaan, an effort designed to make the them sturdier, officials say. Spray-painted brown to blend in with the poles themselves, the braces and their installation is being paid for by Frontier, according to Public Works Director Tiger Mann. The braces are designed to make the poles more durable during storms and to help them carry extra weight as 5G gear is added. Nearly 400 poles in New Canaan are getting the braces and two Frontier-subcontracted work crews have about 150 left to do—at a pace of 25 to 45 installations per day, the work should be completed by the end of next week, Mann said. The installations require pile-driving the brace into the ground and strapping the device onto the pole—work that tends to be loud and could take up to 90 minutes depending on whether the crews run into rocks in the process, Mann said.

Traffic Calming: Town Considers ‘Rumble Strips’ To Alert Inattentive Motorists

Town officials are considering whether to place raised strips along the centerlines of some New Canaan roads in order to warn inattentive drivers drifting toward oncoming traffic lanes. The state would need to sign off on a proposal from New Canaan to install “rumble strips” along specific stretches of Routes 106, 123 and 124, according to members of the Traffic Calming Work Group. The administrative team—which includes members of the Police, Public Works, Fire and Parking Departments—fields requests for traffic calming in New Canaan and makes recommendations to the town’s local traffic authority, the Police Commission. Rumble strips derive their name from the alarming sensation of driving over them, and experts say they can reduce the number of crashes that result from motorist inattention. Local drivers are already familiar with rumble strips, which are installed along edge lines of the Merritt Parkway and Interstate 95.

After Devereaux Raises Concerns, Selectmen Vote 3-0 to Postpone Approval of Contract for Local Taxpayer Survey

After one member voiced concerns that the town had talked to just one company about administering a survey to identify taxpayer priorities, the Board of Selectmen on Tuesday voted unanimously to postpone approval of an approximately $20,000 contract for the project. In creating, running and analyzing something as consequential as the town-wide survey, gathering data that likely would inform future funding decisions, “we have a duty to talk to more than one provider and we have not done that,” Selectman Kit Devereaux said during a regular Board meeting. 

“This may be the best possible solution,” she said at the meeting, held in Town Hall. “But unless we talk to others, we have no way of knowing.”

After some discussion, First Selectman Kevin Moynihan, Selectman Nick Williams and Devereaux voted 3-0 to table its approval of a contract with Glastonbury-based GreatBlue Research. Moynihan said there’s a “very limited market” in Connecticut research firms that conduct surveys of this kind, that he had obtained positive references for GreatBlue from area municipalities such as Greenwich and that the company came back with a number that falls within the $20,000 project budget. 

“We wanted to stay with a Connecticut firm which does a national practice,” Moynihan said. 

He later added, “I am very pleased now that we have checked the references.”

Under the draft agreement, obtained by NewCanaanite.com through a formal request, GreatBlue would conduct 400 telephone interviews as well as “an unlimited number of digital surveys” to be completed during a set timeframe not to exceed three weeks. The survey would include no more than 40 questions and would take no more than 10 minutes to complete, under the draft agreement.