The Board of Selectmen on Tuesday voted unanimously in favor of a $34,000 contract with a New Canaan-based company to repair and replace damaged sections of fence at an increasingly popular bird sanctuary that’s undergoing a major restoration ahead of its centennial.
The first phase of work at Bristow Bird Sanctuary and Wildwood Preserve—a 17-acre town-owned property that’s accessible through Mead Park and Route 106—as well as pond dredging and restoration has largely been completed, according to Town Engineer Maria Coplit.
“In order to prepare for spring plantings, it is timely for sections of the existing fence around the perimeter of the park to be repaired or replaced, either due to tree or storm damage or age,” Coplit told the selectmen at their regular meeting, held via videoconference. “In addition, the existing pedestrian gates need to be relocated, per the Bristow Centennial Master Plan.”
First Selectman Kevin Moynihan and Selectmen Kathleen Corbet and Nick Williams voted in favor of a $33,943.40 contract with Gannon Rustic Fence.
Gannon “has done fantastic work for us in the past,” Public Works Director Tiger Mann said.
“They’re local, which is nice, they’re New Canaan-based. So it’s a nice thing to actually have local contractor working on a local prominent project.”
Bristow, one of the nation’s oldest bird sanctuaries, is on track to be fully restored for its 100th anniversary in 2024. The Friends of Bristow Park and Sanctuary is raising private funds for the work, and the town budgeted about $200,000 for the current fiscal year for work at Bristow. The municipal parks fields budget has earmarks for $112,000 for next fiscal year, with $100,500, $82,500 and $15,000 to follow.
The selectmen asked during the meeting whether it was surprising that just one company put in a bid on the project (yes, though the town did extend the bid deadline at the request of another company that ended up not responding to it) and what else Gannon has done in New Canaan (initial repairs at Bristow, guiderail installation by the Powerhouse at Waveny, guiderail sections along the sidewalk by Saxe Middle School, guiderail along the new access road between Waveny and New Canaan High School, among others).
“He’s done quite a few projects for us,” Mann said of Thomas Gannon.
Coplit said, “Some of the work they are doing, improvements along Old Stamford Road, it’s work they had done 20 years ago.”