Major Paving Project To Start Next Week

The town is poised to start a major paving project next week, encompassing many of the roads along the South Avenue-Main Street corridor. Public Works Director told members of the Board of Selectmen during their most recent meeting that he’s hoping the approximately $1.6 million paving project starts Oct. 1 so that it’s wrapped up well ahead of Thanksgiving. The town is to be reimbursed by utility companies for paving that will include Farm Road, South Avenue, Brooks Road, Crystal Street, Elm Place, Grace Street, Hawthorne Road, Kelly Green, Leslie Lane, Meadow Lane, Orchard Lane, Park Place, Selleck Place, Whitney Avenue, Woodland Road, Autumn Lane, Douglas Road, Fairty Drive, Orchard Drive, Southwood Drive, Tommy’s Lane, Green Avenue, Maple Street, Oak Street, Locust Avenue and Grove Street. The town is hiring Norwalk-based FGB Construction to do the work, and will be reimbursed by Eversource and Aquarion, Mann said.

 ’It’s Really Not OK’: Finance Board Chair Comes Down on Spending ‘Contingency’ on Police Station Renovation

The chair of the Board of Finance this week called for the team overseeing the extensive renovation of the New Canaan Police Department to tighten its belt with respect to spending a total of $2.6 million budgeted for contingencies on the project. 

That figure—$700,000 in contingency for Shelton-based Turner Construction, which is providing construction services, plus $1.9 million for the town—only applies to the recently set $20 million guaranteed maximum price for the South Avenue project, not for the full $29 million price tag that also includes soft costs such as insurance and creating a temporary police headquarters, according to finance board Chair Todd Lavieri. “I really can’t impress upon you enough how important that is not to be spent,” Lavieri told members of the Police Department Building Committee during the Board’s special meeting, held Tuesday night at Town Hall and via videoconference

“We have to be careful that that’s not really kind of code for ‘it’s budgeted for’ ” he continued. “It’s not budgeted for .. and we can have this meeting again in October, and I can bring you the deck that we went through, and it was a $17 million renovation, and it’s now $29 million. I’ve just got to send the message: It’s not there to be spent.

‘It’s a Scary Proposition’: Pedestrian Safety Issue Emerges Near Saxe Middle School

Farm Road motorists are blowing through a crosswalk with a pedestrian-activated flashing beacon near Saxe Middle School, raising serious safety concerns for the town, officials say. The crosswalk at Farm Road between Field Crest Road and Village Drive already has a “Rapid Rectangular Flashing Beacon” or “RRFB,” according to Public Works Director Tiger Mann. 

Though the overall motorist “adherence rate” to the devices (there are six in New Canaan) is about 92 percent—a high figure—“we are having a little bit of a problem with the one at Saxe,” Mann told the Board of Selectmen at its most recent meeting. “People were running through it,” Mann said at the meeting, held Sept. 5 in Town Hall and via videoconference. “Kids will press the button and people are still running through it because they want to get through South Avenue and then through South and Farm and then get onward towards the Merritt or wherever else they need to go.

Selectmen Approve $17,000 Contract for ADA-Compliant Rails at ‘9/11 Memorial Plaza’ Downtown

The Board of Selectmen at its most recent meeting approved a $16,780 contract with a Norwalk company to install guardrails and handrails at a 9/11 memorial plaza at the train station. The town installed a new sidewalk recently, above the Elm Street 911 Memorial Plaza, and in that work “they kind of stripped all the landscaping away,” according to Public Works Director Tiger Mann. “We’re working with the Beautification League on replanting that area,” he told the selectmen at their Sept. 5 meeting, held at Town Hall and via videoconference. “They’re paying for the plantings and they’ll replant that area,” he said.