Kit Devereaux

Recent Articles

‘This Is Not the Year’: Parking Commission Divided on Whether To Raise Rates of Commuter Lot Permits

As New Canaan faces threats of reduced service on its rail line and the likelihood of devalued real property and increased taxes, it should reduce the fees for permits to park in commuter lots this year, according to one member of the Parking Commission. According to Chris Hering, if New Canaan looks considers its “optics” relative to comparable towns—at “our competitive towns, arguably,” he told fellow commissioners at their regular meeting March 14—then it makes sense to help commuters. Told that doing so would deprive the town of a ready source of revenue, Hering said: “You are basically telling everyone that earns money in this town, that goes and pays for parking, you are going to tell them, ‘Hey, why don’t you move to Darien? It’s another $400 cheaper.’ ”

He proposed a 20 percent reduction to the rates, but found no support from fellow commissioners. Ultimately, the four commissioners who attended the meeting at Town Hall—Hering, Chairman Keith Richey, Pam Crum and Peter Ogilvie (Stuart Stringfellow was absent)—could reach no consensus on whether to reduce or raise the rates, or keep them flat. Continue Reading →

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‘A Worthwhile Project’: New Canaan Firefighters Eye Federal Grant To Help Purchase 1,000 Smoke, CO Detectors for Residents

The Board of Selectmen on Tuesday voted unanimously to support the New Canaan Fire Department’s application for federal funds that would allow for the purchase of smoke and carbon monoxide detectors for town residents. A Federal Emergency Management Agency “Assistance to Firefighters-Fire Prevention and Safety Grant” will allow the department to purchase about 1,000 detectors with New Canaan paying 5 percent of the cost—a breakdown of $6,477 for the feds and $323 for the town, according to Fire Chief Jack Hennessey. The Fire Department applied last year for the grant but was denied, Hennessey told the selectmen at their regular meeting, held at Town Hall. Asked why, he said: “It’s a competitive grant.”

“Other people had bigger priorities and bigger projects last time,” the fire chief continued. “They spent most of the money on research they’re giving to universities to do fire safety research. Continue Reading →

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Did You Hear … ?

Urged by local leaders, dozens of New Canaanites attended Tuesday night’s ConnDOT hearing in Stamford on proposed service cuts to the New Canaan branch of Metro-North Railroad—reductions that government and business officials both have called potentially devastating. Scroll through the gallery above for photos and a transcription of First Selectman Kevin Moynihan’s comments at the hearing. ***

South School failed the most recent surprise health inspection of its cafeteria kitchen, and East School and New Canaan High School, as well as St. Luke’s School, also failed recent inspections. Food items in a 2-door Hobart at South were discarded after the cooler was found to be at 63.7 degrees—far higher than required—during a May 2, 2017 inspection. Continue Reading →

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At Testy Meeting, Selectmen Create ‘Technology Advisory Committee’

The Board of Selectmen on Tuesday voted 3-0 to create an advisory committee that will be charged with identifying and recommending the use of various technologies to make the town government run more efficiently and in more user-friendly ways for residents. The ‘Technology Advisory Committee’ will consist of five members—three Republicans and two Democrats—who will support New Canaan’s director of information technology, First Selectman Kevin Moyihan said, while working with department heads who rely on technology as “part of daily operations in many areas.”

“We have many online applications where citizens can do business in town, but I’m sure there are areas where we can improve,” Moynihan said at the meeting, held at Town Hall. “If you look at other towns or cities, you will find many applications are doing online things. We have some of those, we probably can do more simply by looking at what other towns and cities do. There are many vendors of Internet applications that you can buy.”

As an example, Moynihan said, the town pays about $100,000 per year in credit card fees by processing payments made at the Recreation and Parking departments, though many younger residents use free services such as Venmo. Continue Reading →

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10 Yellow Wood Trees Coming to Kiwanis Park

Town officials on Tuesday approved a contract with a New Canaan-based nursery to acquire 10 trees that will greet visitors to Kiwanis Park. The $6,850 contract with Frogtown Nurseries covers the purchase of the yellow wood trees that will be planted on a parking lot island that used to have Norway maples, Tree Warden Bob Horan told the Board of Selectmen at its regular meeting. Those invasive maples were “half-dead” and “decayed” because they’d been planted improperly years ago—in the late-1960s or early-‘70s, Horan said. The yellow woods are native to Kentucky with a “nice branching pattern,” their “white flowers” blooming in May and cascading down, Horan said. “Very insect and disease-free and very adaptable to different sites and soil conditions,” he said. Continue Reading →

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