Town: Carriers ‘Very Interested’ in Proposed Cell Tower for Northwestern New Canaan

The town’s highest elected official said this week that multiple carriers are showing interest in offering service through a new cell tower proposed for northwestern New Canaan. To be sited in a wooded hill at 1837 Ponus Ridge, just north of the intersection at Dan’s Highway and across the street from Laurel Reservoir, the proposed tower if approved by a state agency would serve New Canaan’s public safety needs and also have traditional cell carriers. First Selectman Kevin Moynihan told members of the Board of Finance Tuesday night that the Danbury-based wireless infrastructure company that will apply to the Connecticut Siting Council for permission to erect the tower, Homeland Towers, “has had some good news that the carriers are very interested, beyond AT&T which has already signed up in that location.”

“There seems to be a focus away from New York City now, and focusing on the suburbs, with the carriers, because they realize people are working from home and they need to ramp up their service in the suburbs,” Moynihan said during the meeting, held via videoconference. “So I’m getting very good vibes from the carriers that they’re willing to work with us on several locations.”

His comments came during an update to the Board of Finance on various matters before the town. New Canaan for years has grappled with a lack of cell service through large areas of town, including much of the northeastern and northwestern quadrants.

Moynihan: Playhouse To Have New Movie Operator in September at the Earliest

The town-owned Playhouse on Elm Street likely will have a new operator in September at the earliest, First Selectman Kevin Moynihan said this week. The town “may have news about a potential operator soon,” Moynihan told members of the Board of Finance during their regular meeting Tuesday, held via videoconference. Municipal officials “are working on the assumption that the town wants a first-run movie theater and that’s what we’re working on,” he told the Board during a general update. “If we can’t achieve that, we would look to other things,” he said. “But I think that’s a consensus in the town and certainly it supports restaurants and merchants to bring people to New Canaan.

Board of Finance Chair: ‘We Will Approve 100% of the Board of Education’s Operating Spending Requests’

What follows are comments that Board of Finance Chair Todd Lavieri made at the start of a budget hearing Tuesday night. Several residents addressed the appointed body during the meeting. They spoke mostly on the question of funding for the Board of Education as it relates to additional buses needed to introduce a new start times schedule that would take effect in the middle of the 2021-22 academic year. 

Comments from two parents, one on each side of the issue, are included below the transcription of Lavieri’s remarks. The chair did address those speakers during the hearing, saying in part, “As you know, I think, the Board of Finance already completely supports our great school system. And obviously we have for over 20 years.

Popularity of Platform Tennis Soars Amid COVID-19

Municipal officials say they’ve seen a steep increase this fall and winter in the number of people playing platform or “paddle” tennis on New Canaan’s town-owned courts at Waveny Park. Revenues generated through selling permits and guest passes for the outdoor sport already have surpassed $70,000 for the paddle tennis season that started in early-October, compared to anticipated revenues of about $46,000, according to Recreation Director Steve Benko. In the past two paddle seasons, which run through mid-April, the town has taken in a total of about $56,000 (fiscal year 2020) and $46,000 (fiscal year 2019) in revenues, Benko told members of the Board of Finance Park & Recreation Budget Subcommittee during a regular meeting Monday. “Paddle is going crazy,” he said during the meeting, held via videoconference. 

“We’ve had an outstanding year so far in paddle tennis. Our revenues are way up in paddle.

Board of Finance Member: New Canaan Should Consider Charging Nonresidents Using Waveny Park

A Board of Finance member said this week that if a substantial number of Waveny Park visitors are from out-of-town, as has been suggested, then New Canaan should consider charging them for entry. The town should consider granting each New Canaan household two or three car passes to Waveny “and then, I don’t know, maybe at some point we charge for parking or something,” Amy Murphy Carroll said during a meeting of the Board’s Parks & Recreation Budget Subcommittee, held Monday via videoconference. “Because it’s expensive to maintain and we have the Waveny Conservancy doing incredible things, we have the paths for doing all that stuff,” she said. “And I just think, you know, we do a lot of stuff in New Canaan that benefits people in a broader way and our taxpayers pay for it all. And I’m not trying to be exclusive, and to the extent that if we did something like this, I think it could go toward the Conservancy or toward [the Recreation Department] budget or something.”

The comments came while Murphy Carroll and two other finance board members, Michael Chen and Tom Schulte, reviewed Recreation Director Steve Benko’s proposed spending plan for fiscal year 2022 in advance of a full Board of Finance meeting.