Aquarion Countersues Indian Waters Drive Neighbors, Seeking Right To Use Private Road

Saying it has a right to access its land through Indian Waters Drive, Aquarion is countersuing a group of property owners there who have argued that the water company cannot use their private road. In a counterclaim filed Dec. 20, Aquarion also argues that an alternative route to access its property—a so-called “driftway” from Frogtown Road—would cross two Indian Waters Drive homeowners’ parcels, rendering it unusable. The counterclaim comes in response to a lawsuit filed on behalf of 23 Indian Waters Drive homeowners by attorney Amy Zabetakis of Darien-based Rucci Law Group. It also comes on the heels of a decision by the Planning & Zoning Commission to deny its application to subdivide and develop a wooded, vacant 10-acre lot.

First Selectman: Aquarion Will Allow New Canaan To Keep Emergency Radio Equipment on Water Towers at Waveny

The company that owns the water towers at Waveny—tall structures that also serve as the site for local emergency radio equipment—will allow the town to keep its gear up there indefinitely, New Canaan’s highest elected official said Thursday. According to First Selectman Kevin Moynihan, officials from Aquarion “heard us loud and clear and they understand how important Waveny Park is to us.”

The news—a turnaround from past statements made by the water company—means that New Canaan will not need to build its own tower at Waveny in order to maintain the town’s emergency radio communications. Aquarion’s decision is subject only to the company’s negotiation of new leases with the five wireless carriers that also use the water towers, Moynihan said. He spoke during a press briefing with local media outlets. Earlier this year, members of the Utilities Commission explored the idea of erecting a tower alongside the water towers but on public property.

Aquarion: Cellular Antennas Will Come Off Water Towers at Waveny

Officials with the company that owns the water towers at Waveny—tall structures that double as a site for wireless equipment from five cellular companies as well as New Canaan’s emergency radio gear—say that though the antennas ultimately must be removed, they’re working with the town to ensure that there’s no gap in service. Aquarion has “already verbally offered to the town that we will leave the antennas on the tank for an additional year,” meaning New Canaan will have until November 2019 to see through an early-stage plan to erect its own tower at the park for the wireless infrastructure, according to Peter Fazekas, the company’s director of public relations. “That will be adequate [for New Canaan] to build a tower and transfer the antennas,” Fazekas told “The goal here is to find a good solution. We cannot keep them on our tank, so we are looking for a good solution.”

Asked just why the equipment needs to come off of the water towers, Fazekas said, “It is causing problems with maintenance on the infrastructure.”

“We are supposed to do a complete repaint of the tank and we had to cancel that because we could not get all the cell companies to get their equipment off the tank, so we had to cancel that,” he said.

‘This Is a Serious Public Safety Concern’: Water Tower Owner ‘Evasive’ on Renewal of Leases That Provide New Canaan’s Wireless Communications

Officials said Monday that New Canaan’s ability to continue getting cellular service across a wide swath of town may be in jeopardy, as the owner of the water towers at Waveny appears to have balked on whether to renew leases for a handful of carriers whose antennas are perched atop one of them. Nearly half of New Canaan receives its cellular signals from the four carriers’ antennas located on top of Aquarion’s water tower, and “the town has emergency services transmitters and antennas located on that tower,” according to Tom Tesluk, chairman of the Utilities Commission. “Over the summer it was Aquarion’s plan to have the tower repainted,” he said during the group’s regular meeting, held at Town Hall. “In order to do that, they came up with a very elaborate plan which would allow the antennas to move onto scaffolding and then move back onto the tower once the painting was finished. But we found out that they decided not to repaint the tower, and now we hear from two different carriers that the renewal of the leases that these carriers have for using that tower are in question.

State Approves Controversial Aquarion Land Sale Under Draft Decision; Final Decision Expected Wednesday

Over the objections of the town’s elected officials, open space advocates, conservation experts and a group of neighbors, the state agency that oversees utilities in Connecticut has said it supports the water company’s plan to sell off a large piece of untouched land in southwestern New Canaan, including to developers, under a draft decision issued this month. The non-binding decision from the Connecticut Pubilc Utilities Regulatory Authority, or ‘PURA,’ is expected to be made final on Wednesday (visit this page after 9 a.m. to listen to the agency’s hearing live). According to PURA, Aquarion’s approximately 18.7-acre parcel—it’s tucked behind Weed Street and Frogtown Road west of Thurton Drive dead-ends—“has never been used for water utility purposes.”

“It has always remained in its natural state since it was acquired by Noroton Water Company in 1907,” according to PURA’s findings. “The land is considered to be excess land and is not located within an aquifer protection area or any public water supply watershed. In September 2015, the Company received Class III land verification from the Department of Public Health confirming that the property is located outside watershed or aquifer protection areas.”

Plans call for the property—assessed at $167,720 in 2014 (fair market value of $239,600) after New Canaan in 2002 had agreed to designate it as “forest land”—to be divided into three separate pieces.