Selectmen Approve $500,000 for New Fire Rescue Truck

The Board of Selectmen last week approved a $500,000 contract with a Watertown-based company to build a new rescue truck for the New Canaan Fire Department. 

Bid proposals that came in for the new truck ranged higher than the budgeted half million dollar figure, so the department removed about $41,000 in modifications to the vehicle—some of which it hopes to re-add in the future, according to Fire Chief Jack Hennessey. 

“Everything we cut out we thought we needed,” including a 360-degree camera, Hennessey said during the selectmen’s regular meeting, held Jan. 7 at Town Hall. “But we needed to make our number so we had to delete things. That was a lower-priority thing so we had to take as much stuff truck off of the truck as we could. There might be money in future budgets in other lines that we might be able to put some of these things back in.

Re-Digging Up Roads: Water Main Won’t Serve New Canaan

New Canaan won’t benefit from the 36-inch main line that likely will see a stretch of Main Street dug up for the third time starting this year or next, officials say. The water company’s transmission line is designed to move water from Bridgeport’s system to Greenwich, according to First Selectman Kevin Moynihan. “Believe it or not, Greenwich actually contracts to sell their water to Westchester towns, and when we had the drought and we had that temporary pipeline, they had to move water which is available in Bridgeport reservoirs over to Greenwich,” Moynihan said during Tuesday’s Board of Selectmen meeting, held at Town Hall. “this is a permanent fix for that, I guess.”

The comments came during an update on general matters before the town. 

Public Works Director Tiger Mann had discussed the future project during a meeting last month. The line is coming from Wilton and will run through New Canaan to Stamford, Mann said. 

Most of the route will stick to state roads, but it will come off of Route 106 near East School before hooking back up with Route 124/South Avenue near Waveny, according to Mann.

‘I Am Concerned’: Selectman Williams Addresses New Canaan Historical Society’s Financial Woes

One of New Canaan’s most venerable nonprofit organizations is running at a significant deficit, concerning some in town government, officials said last week. Asked about the New Canaan Historical Society’s financial situation during a Board of Selectmen meeting held Dec. 17 at Town Hall, the organization’s executive director, Nancy Geary, said its projected deficient this year is about $60,000. “We are a member-supported organization,” Geary said in response to a question from Selectman Nick Williams. “I apply for as many grants as I can find. Oftentimes the one thing about grants, though, is that they’re for very specific projects, so it’s hard to find general operating grants.

New Committee To Develop Formal Purchasing Policy for the Town

A newly formed committee will develop a formal purchasing policy to help guide the town’s process of awarding bids to contractors, New Canaan’s highest elected official said last week. The Audit Committee identified the need for such a written policy, and it will be developed soon by the Selectmen’s Advisory Committee on Buildings and Infrastructure, according to First Selectman Kevin Moynihan. “Right we have a policy out of [the] Finance [Department] which is not very clear to me,” Moynihan said during a regular Board of Selectmen meeting, held Dec. 17 at Town Hall. 

“This committee is going to recommend purchasing policy—a written purchasing policy that is more clear—but also a committee like this can review with [Public Works Director] Tiger [Mann] and [Buildings Superintendent] Bill [Oestmann] the lay of land we have with contractors and how realistic it is to put things to bid when we don’t want to get the lowest bigger out of Bridgeport with unreliable work and that kind of thing.”

The committee will put together a purchasing policy that the selectmen can review in February or March, Moynihan said. The matter arose as the selectmen discussed whether to approve an approximately $13,000 contract with a with a Shelton-based heating and air conditioning company to install A/C units at Lapham Community Center.

New Canaan Budget Director Lunda Asmani Appointed Town CFO

The Board of Selectmen on Tuesday voted unanimously to appoint Budget Director Lunda Asmani as CFO for the town. Hired in June 2018, Asmani will succeed Sandra Dennies in the role starting next week, and will continue to work as budget director, as well, officials said. “We are very sorry to see her [Dennies] go but are bittersweet to have a new CFO taking over on Friday,” First Selectman Kevin Moynihan said at the meeting, held at Town Hall. Moynihan and Selectmen Kit Devereaux and Nick Williams voted 3-0 in favor of the appointment. Prior to coming to New Canaan, Asmani had served for two years as director of management and budgets for Norwalk, according to his resume.