Town: Rebuilt or Relocated Animal Shelter At Least One Year Away

A project to rebuild or relocate New Canaan’s Animal Control shelter is at least one year away, town officials said this week. The town is studying different possibilities for a future shelter, including use of a building at Kiwanis Park, Public Works Director Tiger Mann told members of the Selectmen’s Advisory Committee on Buildings and Infrastructure during their regular meeting Monday. “The other thought that was if we were to remove the existing incinerator where it [the animal shelter] is currently housed, to then bring in a facility there,” Mann said during the meeting, held via videoconference. “Or, since it is a police function, possibly bringing it over to the Police Department. So we are looking at all options at present.

Moynihan on Superintendent’s Proposed Board of Ed Budget: ‘I Wasn’t Too Happy’

New Canaan’s highest elected official said Tuesday night that he’s unhappy with the spending plan that the superintendent of schools has proposed for next fiscal year. The Board of Education is expected to vote later this month on Superintendent of Schools Dr. Bryan Luizzi’s $95.7 million operating budget for fiscal year 2022. Driven mainly by salary and benefits, it includes about $460,000 for what Luizzi described Monday as a student health and wellness initiative in the form of new start times. 

The approved Board of Ed budget for the current fiscal year is $90.9 million, town finance documents show. The Town Council in making its final budget vote last April reduced the Board of Ed’s requested amount by about $1 million, effectively forestalling a change to school start times. Addressing the Board of Finance during its regular meeting, Moynihan said, “The budget numbers are coming together very nicely on the town side.

Moynihan: Cell Tower Planned for Northwestern New Canaan

First Selectman Kevin Moynihan said Tuesday night that the town is preparing to announce a cell tower for the northwestern corner of town. Moynihan told members of the Board of Finance that he’d met in the morning with Danbury-based wireless infrastructure company Homeland Towers regarding a cell tower off of Ponus Ridge. “We are going to bring this to the Siting Council as a public safety tower with New Canaan as the carrier, which will carry some financial obligation if a carrier doesn’t sign on early on, by the end of the year,” Moynihan said during the meeting, held via videoconference. “So I will be bringing further details with that, but I expect that we are going to be bringing an agreement to the Board of Selectmen next week to sign, and then we will announce that, along with plans for other cell towers.”

The comments came during a general update from the first selectman. Moynihan began talking two years ago about installing a 110-foot-high cell tower on a strip of land off of Ponus Ridge above Dan’s Highway that’s located mainly in a town-owned right-of-way.

‘She Was Never Notified’: Longtime Parking Commissioner Out

First Selectman Kevin Moynihan has unceremoniously cast off a longtime volunteer from the municipal body that oversees off-street parking in New Canaan, according to one of its members. Moynihan never notified Parking Commissioner Pam Crum that she hadn’t been reappointed to the panel, according to Commissioner Peter Ogilvie. During the Commission’s regular meeting Jan. 7, Ogilvie said he was “disappointed in the Parking Commission and town government for not having any conversations whatsoever with Pam Crum.”

“This clearly has been in the works for months and she was never notified, she was never told that she was no longer on the Parking Commission until she got email from you just a couple of days ago, Keith,” Ogilvie said during the meeting, held via videoconference. He addressed Chair Keith Richey.

First Selectman: Playhouse on Elm Street Likely To Get New Movie Operator This Year

The town-owned Playhouse on Elm Street likely will have a new movie theater operator installed this year, New Canaan’s highest elected official said Tuesday. 

Vacated as per the termination of a agreement by longtime tenant Bow Tie Cinemas, the iconic 1923-built movie house will undergo some sorely needed capital work and then likely will get “an independent operator right now, in the next year, as far as a movie company,” according to First Selectman Kevin Moynihan. “I think there are people that are interested operating [The Playhouse],” Moynihan said during a regular meeting of the Board of Selectmen, held via videoconference. “Not one of the big chains. So I think that is what we are most likely looking at. A different kind of model.”

The comments came as the selectmen reviewed a termination agreement from Bow Tie, which had been expected to rent the largest commercial space in the cupola-topped building through 2022, under the lease, with an option to renew through 2027. 

However, the theater was ordered closed in March as the COVID-19 pandemic set in and then “when they did get the order that they could open, they can’t open,” according to Bill Oestmann, building superintendent in the New Canaan Department of Public Works.