Selectmen Approve $33,000 Contract To Make 106-Carter-Canoe Hill Intersection Safer

Town officials this week approved a $33,000 contract with a traffic consultant in order to design a new, safer plan for a harrowing intersection in New Canaan. The Board of Selectmen voted 3-0 during its regular meeting Tuesday to approve the contract with New Haven-based Hardesty & Hanover to create a long-term solution for the intersection of Route 106, Carter Street and Canoe Hill Road. The solution is expected to “provide us with better sight lines and safe turning lanes,” Public Works Director Tiger Mann told the selectmen during the meeting, held at Town Hall and via videoconference. Documents provided in the public packet for the meeting show that motorists traveling toward Route 106 on Carter Street would have an option to turn more squarely to the state road in order to gain a better sight line to enter the traffic flow and get into position to turn left onto Canoe Hill. “So as you’re coming up to Carter and Canoe, you would turn, have an area of refuge, and then be able to make the [left] turn [onto Canoe Hill],” Mann said.

‘His Legacy and Impact Will Live On’: New Canaanites Remember Don Hersam

For Steve Karl, there’s a very short list of New Canaanites whose contributions to the community in business, civic matters, faith and philanthropy exceed what anyone conceivably could imagine in terms of commitment and longevity. They are “the rare residents who have created a legacy and body of work that the rest of us just sit back and wonder how they could possibly have that much time, that much energy and that much love for one place,” according to Karl, himself a lifelong New Canaanite. “Don Hersam was one of those extremely rare individuals,” Karl said this week, days after V. Don Hersam, Jr. passed at age 92. 

“He was the soul of the community,” Karl told “The centerpiece of the 06840 Mt Rushmore,” he continued. “He loved New Canaan, respected its rich history, and consistently endeavored to make it a better place to live, work, and raise a family.

Town, Church Reach Agreement on God’s Acre

The Summer Internship Program is sponsored by Carriage Barn Arts Center. The Board of Selectmen during its most recent meeting voted in favor of an agreement that’s expected to bring a lengthy legal battle between the town and Congregational Church of New Canaan to a close. The agreement (which can be read here in full) sets aside the question of who owns God’s Acre—a question that First Selectman Kevin Moynihan raised amid the legal dispute—and calls for creation of a four-person committee to make decisions about the hallowed New Canaan property, a burial ground for the town’s founders. Selectman Kathleen Corbet during the Board’s July 25 meeting cited this sentence from the agreement—“Whereas, for at least two centuries the church, the town and New Canaan residents have honored, maintained and enjoyed God’s Acre in a respectful and harmonious manner”—saying, “I feel this agreement moves forward with those intentions.”

Selectman Nick Williams added, “It’s an elegant and simple solution.”

The selectmen voted 3-0 to accept it. 

A dispute first arose in 2020, when the church opposed a town-backed plan to construct a stone terrace at the top of God’s Acre, saying that they were the legal owners of the property. The church’s claim was questioned by Moynihan, who noted that the town spends taxpayer dollars maintaining the parcel. 

While evidence has since been discovered by attorneys representing the Congregational Church that supports their claim to ownership, the new policy that both parties have agreed upon will override any previous claim to ownership in favor of both parties agreeing to hold joint stewardship of the property.

Selectmen OK Contract To Repair Main Street Sidewalk 

Town officials voted last week to repair a stretch of sidewalk opposite the fire station that’s been damaged, in part, from large emergency vehicles pulling up onto it while turning in order to back into their bays at the Main Street building. 

The repair will involve about 156 feet of sidewalk in front of the Vine Cottage, according to Walker Blair, a New Canaan High School senior intern with the town Department of Public Works. “The fire trucks as they have come out of the firehouse, they have hit the granite curbing and caused it to shift outwards, allowing water to permeate between the concrete sidewalk and the curb which has caused major cracking and even, in one place, sinking under the concrete,” Blair, who plans to attend Lehigh University next year to study mechanical engineering, told members of the Board of Selectmen at their June 6 meeting, held at Town Hall and via videoconference. First Selectman Kevin Moynihan and Selectmen Kathleen Corbet and Nick Williams voted 3-0 in favor of a $27,036 contract with New Canaan-based Peter Lanni Inc. The project had gone out to bid to six contractors and two returned with quotes, Blair said. Public Works Director Tiger Mann said that the deterioration has happened over time and was exacerbated when a natural gas line was run through the area. “It just so happens they drove over it and punched through, which then allowed us to go out there and take a look,” Mann said.