This week on 0684-Radi0, our free weekly podcast (subscribe here in the iTunes Store), we talk to Cristina A. Ross, an incumbent on the Town Council who is seeking re-election to the legislative body. Following the July caucuses, Ross and her fellow Republican nominees—Steve Karl, Mike Mauro and Maria Naughton—are entering a contested race versus Democratic nominees Robin Bates-Mason, Colm Dobbyn and Mark Grzymski. This week’s podcast is sponsored by Baskin-Robbins, a favorite family dessert destination for New Canaanites. Here are recent episodes of 0684-Radi0:
Members of New Canaan’s legislative body said last week that they need more information and public input prior to committing an estimated $400,000 to a renovation of Irwin House as a base of operations for local nonprofit organizations.
Though rent from three nonprofit organizations that have shown an interest in relocating to the Irwin Park house would come to about $46,500—exceeding the annual cost of maintenance—the town first must gauge whether taxpayers would prefer to tear the structure down, members of the Town Council said during their regular meeting. Chairman John Engel said the three nonprofits interested in moving to the Weed Street property—New Canaan Land Trust, New Canaan Community Foundation and Staying Put in New Canaan—also should have an opportunity say how important such a move would be for them, what alternatives they’ve seen and how hard it is to find a workable space. Councilman Penny Young said, “There really are a lot of questions. This is indeed the cart before the horse. I mean way before horse.”
The comments came as the Town Council discussed a possible investment of $80,000 for architectural, engineering and other services that would be needed prior to the physical renovation work.
Though the Town Council on Wednesday night once again raised the specter of the “Mead Park Brick Barn” and its pending demolition, some members of the legislative body said their ongoing discussion only offers the false hope that it can be spared the wrecking ball. During a meeting attended by preservationists who have been working for months on a plan to preserve the century-old structure on Richmond Hill Road, Councilman Tom Butterworth noted that the Council already voted on an appropriation of demo funds, and said the difficulty in having a meaningful conversations now is that the “process” of municipal government is underway.
“We have a process in our government and if you want to look at what the implications of that are, look at the people here tonight that we are misleading by having this discussion,” Butterworth said at the meeting, held in Town Hall.
“It’s fine for us: We have no skin in the game on this anymore. We voted. We are done. If somebody can come up with a way to revive this issue and put it in some way so that the Town Council has jurisdiction, please bring it on.
The repaving of Farm Road from South Avenue to Old Stamford Road will be completed by mid-November and state roads including Old Stamford Road and South Avenue will be have temporary patches removed and permanent patches installed in the next few weeks, town officials said Monday night. South School and Saxe Middle School already have been connected to the new natural gas lines, and Eversource will have connected the natural gas lines to New Canaan High School by Wednesday, according to Cristina A. Ross, co-chair of the Town Council’s Infrastructure and Utilities Committee. East School is hopefully to be completed by year’s end, she said. Also, Eversource has received 200 service requests from residents seeking to hook up to natural gas and the town has received over 50 applications for permits to do so, Ross said during the Committee’s regular meeting. The utility company is planning a three-year installation period, from 2019 to 2021, she said, with roads repaved in 2022, 2023 and 2024.
The town’s legislative body on Wednesday night approved a $500,000 bonding package designed to help plan for a renovation of the New Canaan Police Department, though the municipality’s highest elected official said the question of whether or not to follow through with the project is uncertain. Even though members of the Town Council at their regular meeting voted 12-0 to approve funds for design, engineering and consulting services for police headquarters, First Selectman Kevin Moynihan told NewCanaanite.com during an interview prior to the meeting that he was “intrigued” by the prospect of relocating the New Canaan Police Department to a prominent office building on Elm Street, negating the need for that renovation. Unimin first put put its building at 258 Elm St.—on the corner of Grove Street, overlooking the Lumberyard Lot—on the market 18 months ago. The industrial mineral producer has said it employs 100 to 110 people in the structure. “I am intrigued by the Unimin building but we don’t know yet whether it could accommodate a Police Department,” Moynihan said.