The town’s highest elected official said Tuesday night that the water company’s plans to run a 36-inch main through New Canaan will start this year. The pipe is “designed to take water from the Bridgeport system all the way to Stamford and Greenwich, and we, New Canaan, get no benefit,” according to First Selectman Kevin Moyinhan.
“It was supposed to be a 2023 project,” Moynihan told members of the Board of Finance at their regular meeting, held at Town Hall and via videoconference. “So that is something we didn’t anticipate,” he said. “This is a big project.”
Moynihan spoke during a general update for the finance board on capital projects. Plans for the water main installation first surfaced at public meetings in 2019.
Though residents and town officials this summer called for more community input regarding the plan, First Selectman Kevin Moynihan on Tuesday laid out a schedule for municipal bodies to take up a proposed cell tower behind West School. Verizon “has come forward wanting to put a tower on the west side of town,” Moynihan told members of the Board of Finance at their regular meeting, held at Town Hall and via videoconference.
“Specifically, in the town property of the 47 acres on Ponus Ridge,” Moynihan continued, referring to 769 Ponus Ridge. “We are going to come back with two proposals and this will go to P&Z at the end of the month. One would be 1,000 feet behind West School. The other would be at the other end of the property at Llewelyn [Drive], which is a cul-de-sac, in the woods.
A lawyer representing the owner of a property at Weed and Elm Streets, site of a planned 102-unit multifamily redevelopment, is appealing a municipal body’s decision last month to deny a proposed relocated sewer connection. The Board of Finance, in its role as New Canaan’s Water Pollution Control Authority, violated state law in its “illegal” denial, which was “an abuse of discretion and/or not supported by substantial evidence in the records” for several reasons, according to a complaint filed in state Superior Court by attorney Tim Hollister of Hartford-based Hinckley Allen. The property at 751 Weed St. is already connected to the town’s sewer system, “ample sewer capacity exists for the proposed use” and “no system extension is proposed,” Hollister said in the complaint, received Monday by the Town Clerk’s office. “[T]here are no engineering impediments to connecting,” the complaint said, the sewer extension will be privately funded and “the applicants have a right to approval and the WPCA has a non-discretionary / ministerial obligation to grant the application.”
“In denying the application, the WPCA illegally used sewer system access to control or regulate land use, which is beyond its statutory authority,” Hollister said in the complaint, and the denial was also “pre-textual in the sense that the record shows that its stated denial reasons were not the actual factors that resulted in the decision.”
“The record contains no factual or legal basis for detail of the application,” the complaint said.
Members of the local VFW are calling on volunteers to help with an effort in Lakeview Cemetery this weekend. At 8 a.m. Saturday, the Veterans of Foreign Wars Howard M. Bossa and Peter C. Langenus Post 653 will pick up the 1,300 flags placed beside veterans’ gravestones at the cemetery in advance of Memorial Day, according to VFW Commander Francis “Mike” McGlinn, an artillery officer during the Vietnam War. “We checked with Arlington National and with the State of Connecticut VFW, and the protocol is to remove the flags before they become worn and disrespected,” McGlinn said. “Arlington does it the week after Memorial Day. An additional reason for us to pick them up now is so we can use them again next year and save $1,500.”
Those willing to help with the effort are asked to meet at 8 a.m. on July 16 near the “veterans area” of the cemetery, located off of the Main Street entrance, over the bridge and on the right-hand side of the main road through Lakeview Cemetery.
The collection comes as town officials are poised to deny the VFW’s request for $15,000 in American Rescue Plan Act funds.
During a public hearing before the Town Council last fall, VFW member John McLane, a U.S. Army captain in Vietnam, said the organization had spent a great deal of money in recent years on the veterans’ plaques that hang inside the northern entrance to Town Hall.
Members of the Board of Finance last week offered high praise for a fellow member of the appointed body who is stepping down after 15 years. Neil Budnick has been “a phenomenal counselor, partner, sounding board and thinker,” Board Chair Lavieri said during the group’s regular meeting held June 7 at Town Hall and via videoconference.
“You have added so much value to this board on all of the things you’ve done,” he said. “On anything you’ve done. And you always raise your hand, and you’re always willing to help and you always go the extra mile. Town pensions are overfunded, and there’s a lot of guidance there from the committee, yourself included, of course.