‘I Don’t Like It’: Parks Commissioner Voices Concerns Over Proposed Fee To Use Tennis Courts at NCHS

Calling it “clubby” and restrictive, a member of the Parks & Recreation Commission last week pushed back on a proposal to start charging residents for use of the tennis courts at New Canaan High School. Commissioner Francesca said the proposed $30 or $35 seasonal pass fee for the hard-surface courts means residents would have no public courts left to play tennis for free, such as Darien residents have in Cherry Lawn Park. “I don’t like it,” she said during the Commission’s regular meeting, held Jan. 13 via videoconference. “We have to pay for everything.

COVID-19: State Reports 16 More New Canaan Cases Over Weekend 

State officials reported 16 more cases of COVID-19 virus for New Canaan over the weekend. 

The cumulative total of 895 confirmed cases is up 50 from the prior week, according to Connecticut Department of Public Health data. The figures come as New Canaan grapples with what municipal health officials anticipated as a rise in new cases following travel and small gatherings through the Christmas and New Year’s holidays. First Selectman Kevin Moynihan said during his most recent town-wide outcall, last Tuesday, that most new cases reflect high school teenagers, college-aged and middle-aged parents. A total of 39 New Canaanites with COVID-19 have died, according to the DPH. As of Monday, the district reported 25 total students in isolation after testing positive for COVID-19, with 15 of them from New Canaan High School, as well as five staff members throughout the district.

Town: Rebuilt or Relocated Animal Shelter At Least One Year Away

A project to rebuild or relocate New Canaan’s Animal Control shelter is at least one year away, town officials said this week. The town is studying different possibilities for a future shelter, including use of a building at Kiwanis Park, Public Works Director Tiger Mann told members of the Selectmen’s Advisory Committee on Buildings and Infrastructure during their regular meeting Monday. “The other thought that was if we were to remove the existing incinerator where it [the animal shelter] is currently housed, to then bring in a facility there,” Mann said during the meeting, held via videoconference. “Or, since it is a police function, possibly bringing it over to the Police Department. So we are looking at all options at present.

Moynihan on Superintendent’s Proposed Board of Ed Budget: ‘I Wasn’t Too Happy’

New Canaan’s highest elected official said Tuesday night that he’s unhappy with the spending plan that the superintendent of schools has proposed for next fiscal year. The Board of Education is expected to vote later this month on Superintendent of Schools Dr. Bryan Luizzi’s $95.7 million operating budget for fiscal year 2022. Driven mainly by salary and benefits, it includes about $460,000 for what Luizzi described Monday as a student health and wellness initiative in the form of new start times. 

The approved Board of Ed budget for the current fiscal year is $90.9 million, town finance documents show. The Town Council in making its final budget vote last April reduced the Board of Ed’s requested amount by about $1 million, effectively forestalling a change to school start times. Addressing the Board of Finance during its regular meeting, Moynihan said, “The budget numbers are coming together very nicely on the town side.

Town: Natural Gas Should Come This Summer to Town Hall, Fire Station, Waveny Pool

The town has converted three of its buildings to natural gas and has plans this winter for three more before moving on to prominent structures such as Town Hall, the Fire Department and Waveny Pool, officials say. In addition to four of five New Canaan schools, the town has converted a garage at Saxe Middle School, the Police Department and Schoolhouse Apartments, according to Public Works Director Tiger Mann. Next up are the DPW highway garage, scale house and the control building at the wastewater treatment facility, Mann told members of the Selectmen’s Advisory Committee on Buildings and Infrastructure during their regular meeting Monday. Later this summer, the utility company is expected to run gas lines along Main Street so that Town Hall, the former Outback Teen Center building and fire station can be converted, “then we are in the works, discussing with Eversource about bringing a line into Waveny which will bring online the pool itself, the paddle hut and then Lapham Community Center,” Mann said at the meeting, held via videoconference. “The rest of the facilities at Waveny—the distance to, say, Waveny House or the Powerhouse or the Carriage Barn—is about half a mile of piping.