First Selectman: New Local COVID-19 Cases Include Two at Party, Family of Four

New Canaan’s top elected official said the town learned last Monday of a party where a resident who had traveled to South Carolina ended up bringing COVID-19 virus back here and, at the gathering, infected one other local person. The two new cases account for some of the seven reflected in state Department of Public Health figures that appeared Monday in the agency’s statistics, according to First Selectman Kevin Moynihan. Other new cases include a New Canaan woman who tested positive at a hospital where she’d gone in for a heart procedure, an employee of the New Canaan YMCA, a woman who had a wedding at her house on Ponus Ridge where out-of-state relatives were invited, and a local family of four that is hosting a Stamford teen, Moynihan said during a regular meeting of the Board of Selectmen. “That is a rather unusual case,” Moynihan said of the last, “but another indication that COVID is coming from outside rather than local transmission.”

“All of these cases are people under 50 and primarily teenagers, younger people,” he added during the meeting, held via videoconference. 

The comments came after Selectman Nick Williams said during a discussion of general matters before the town that he had thought Moynihan might do a town-wide outcall Monday night to address the DPH data on new cases in New Canaan. “You indicated over the weekend that you were collecting data and maybe didn’t have a chance to get the data that you wanted for purposes of the outcall,” Williams told the first selectman.

Selectmen Devereaux and Williams Thank Mike Handler for Years of Effective Community Service

Selectmen Kit Devereaux and Nick Williams on Tuesday thanked New Canaan’s recently ousted emergency management director for his years of effective volunteer work on behalf of the community. Citing a petition that has garnered more than 1,800 signatures calling for Mike Handler’s reinstatement, Devereaux during a regular meeting of the Board of Selectmen said he’s owed “a huge ‘thank you’ for the years of service that he volunteered to our community.”

“Mike’s was a voice we heard over the years during times of emergency and he diligently and clearly and eloquently kept us informed and calm,” Devereaux said during the meeting, held via videoconference. “In my opinion, New Canaan should be celebrating the years of volunteer work that Mike gifted our town and for his dedication to our wellbeing. And whatever the misunderstanding that caused this event, it should not keep the town from acknowledging MH’s long and effective volunteer service to the community. I don’t think he has been thanked.”

The comments came during a general discussion of matters before the town.

Selectmen Approve $31,240 Contract for Weeding and Pruning at 10 Town Buildings

Town officials last week approved a contract with a local landscaping company for pruning and weeding around 10 public buildings in New Canaan. The Board of Selectmen voted 3-0 in favor of the $31,240 contract with Gregg’s Garden Center on Grove Street. 

The town typically does a round of spring weeding in early April, but held off this year given that nearly all municipal buildings are closed, according to John Howe, parks superintendent with the Department of Public Works. “With that said, it has increased the amounts a little bit, but it has also avoided a second springtime weeding of the beds,” Howe told the selectmen at their regular meeting, held June 2 via videoconference. He added that the $4,000 contingency included in the contract is higher than in years past “due to the fact that the weeds are growing so rapidly right now.”

Skipping the April work likely will result in a break-even for the town, Howe said. The current fiscal year’s budget includes $65,000 for this type of work, Howe said.