Dan Welch

Recent Articles

Op-Ed: Caution on Private Cell Site Development

An Advertiser article recently suggested that town officials might work with private property owners for cellular site development. Doing so risks costly litigation, pitting neighbor against neighbor, like what we saw with the proposed Puddin Hill site a few years ago. While one private property owner may benefit from tower revenues, surrounding property owners would likely protest the impact. If the town steps away, and supports private property owners working directly with telecommunications carriers and the Connecticut Siting Council, we substantially reduce the town’s municipal voice in the siting process, risk exposing surrounding private property owners to real estate devaluation, and would be losing cellular revenues. As a former member of the Utilities Commission, the wireless topics which public meeting attendees seemed to care most about were real estate/view shed impact, and health. Continue Reading →

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Letter: Great Working Experience with Our Current Selectmen

As a resident and public servant, my experience working with our current Board of Selectmen has always been professional and enjoyable. I’ve found them to be accessible and responsive whenever there is work to be done. From the perspective of a community resident with concerns around spending, taxes, real estate values, schools, or more neighborhood specific issues, my experience has been that our selectmen want to hear from residents, and collaborate on solutions. From the perspective of a Utilities Commissioner working with them for over five years now, my experience has been equally gratifying. When I was serving as chairman early on, their support was memorable for the gratitude I felt from them for the work the commission did, and notable for the example they set as advocates for progress. Continue Reading →

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Town, Eversource To Ink Deal Bringing Natural Gas to New Canaan Starting Next Year

The town’s highest elected official on Monday night said he’s poised to sign an agreement that will bring natural gas to New Canaan public buildings, businesses and some homes, signaling the introduction in earnest of a widely anticipated energy source following years of stop-and-go efforts. First Selectman Rob Mallozzi and representatives from Eversource unveiled a plan to bring a 4.7 mile “trunk line” up Route 106 from Stamford to serve New Canaan High School, South School, Saxe Middle School, the YMCA and Waveny Care Center, as well as East School, in 2018. After that, Eversource’s program manager for gas expansions, Chris Luca, told members of the Utilities Commission at their regular meeting, the company in 2019 will lay an additional five miles of lines to bring natural gas to residences along the South Avenue corridor, from Farm Road toward the downtown. Additionally, Eversource will offer natural gas to residences where it makes sense along the route to East School—the proposed route calls for a line to run down Harrison and then up Main and along Lakeview to the school. And then in 2020, the natural gas line build-out will come to the business district, Luca said. Continue Reading →

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‘A Very Positive First Step’: Utility Co. Reopens Natural Gas Talks with Town, Officials Say

Town officials said Monday night that the utility company has restarted conversations about bringing natural gas to New Canaan—a three-year-old effort that stalled and finally broke down last summer in a finger-pointing squabble between the parties. Yet Eversource has returned to the town “and said that they would like to present a new proposal and have a new discussion about bringing natural gas into New Canaan,” according to Utilities Commission Chairman Tom Tesluk. “They are very conscious that a lot of discussion took place and went nowhere last time,” Tesluk said at the commission’s regular meeting, held at Town Hall. “I think they’re sincere in bringing a proposal to the town, so we’ll just have to wait and see what they come up with. But there are some obvious advantages to being able to have natural gas in New Canaan and I think it’s safe to say that most of us would welcome it if it can be done efficiently.”

Tesluk said members of the commission and Board of Selectmen met with Eversource officials recently. Continue Reading →

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Town Looks Into Putting New Canaan-Specific Message on Water Towers at Waveny

Officials said Monday that they’ve approached Aquarion about placing some town-specific lettering—such as ‘New Canaan, Home of the Rams’—on the water towers at Waveny. The water company is about to undertake a major project to repaint the towers, and Utilities Commission member Dan Welch said he broached the subject with its project manager to see what was possible. “This seems like something pretty cool that we should be able to do as a town, is to get our name on the towers,” Welch said during the commission’s regular meeting, held at Town Hall. “I talked to him [the Aquarion project manager] about colors. They’re white. Continue Reading →

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