The Board of Selectmen last week approved a $500,000 contract with a Watertown-based company to build a new rescue truck for the New Canaan Fire Department.
Bid proposals that came in for the new truck ranged higher than the budgeted half million dollar figure, so the department removed about $41,000 in modifications to the vehicle—some of which it hopes to re-add in the future, according to Fire Chief Jack Hennessey.
“Everything we cut out we thought we needed,” including a 360-degree camera, Hennessey said during the selectmen’s regular meeting, held Jan. 7 at Town Hall. “But we needed to make our number so we had to delete things. That was a lower-priority thing so we had to take as much stuff truck off of the truck as we could. There might be money in future budgets in other lines that we might be able to put some of these things back in.
New Canaan won’t benefit from the 36-inch main line that likely will see a stretch of Main Street dug up for the third time starting this year or next, officials say. The water company’s transmission line is designed to move water from Bridgeport’s system to Greenwich, according to First Selectman Kevin Moynihan. “Believe it or not, Greenwich actually contracts to sell their water to Westchester towns, and when we had the drought and we had that temporary pipeline, they had to move water which is available in Bridgeport reservoirs over to Greenwich,” Moynihan said during Tuesday’s Board of Selectmen meeting, held at Town Hall. “this is a permanent fix for that, I guess.”
The comments came during an update on general matters before the town.
Public Works Director Tiger Mann had discussed the future project during a meeting last month. The line is coming from Wilton and will run through New Canaan to Stamford, Mann said.
Most of the route will stick to state roads, but it will come off of Route 106 near East School before hooking back up with Route 124/South Avenue near Waveny, according to Mann.
A newly formed committee will develop a formal purchasing policy to help guide the town’s process of awarding bids to contractors, New Canaan’s highest elected official said last week. The Audit Committee identified the need for such a written policy, and it will be developed soon by the Selectmen’s Advisory Committee on Buildings and Infrastructure, according to First Selectman Kevin Moynihan. “Right we have a policy out of [the] Finance [Department] which is not very clear to me,” Moynihan said during a regular Board of Selectmen meeting, held Dec. 17 at Town Hall.
“This committee is going to recommend purchasing policy—a written purchasing policy that is more clear—but also a committee like this can review with [Public Works Director] Tiger [Mann] and [Buildings Superintendent] Bill [Oestmann] the lay of land we have with contractors and how realistic it is to put things to bid when we don’t want to get the lowest bigger out of Bridgeport with unreliable work and that kind of thing.”
The committee will put together a purchasing policy that the selectmen can review in February or March, Moynihan said. The matter arose as the selectmen discussed whether to approve an approximately $13,000 contract with a with a Shelton-based heating and air conditioning company to install A/C units at Lapham Community Center.
The Board of Selectmen on Tuesday voted unanimously to appoint Budget Director Lunda Asmani as CFO for the town. Hired in June 2018, Asmani will succeed Sandra Dennies in the role starting next week, and will continue to work as budget director, as well, officials said. “We are very sorry to see her [Dennies] go but are bittersweet to have a new CFO taking over on Friday,” First Selectman Kevin Moynihan said at the meeting, held at Town Hall. Moynihan and Selectmen Kit Devereaux and Nick Williams voted 3-0 in favor of the appointment. Prior to coming to New Canaan, Asmani had served for two years as director of management and budgets for Norwalk, according to his resume.
The Board of Selectmen on Tuesday voted unanimously to appoint six members to a newly conceived committee that will advise the executive branch of local government on building and infrastructure projects. First Selectman Kevin Moynihan will serve as chairman of the committee, which is to meet monthly and “provide expertise and financial oversight on an ongoing basis for major decisions and plans such as town-owned buildings and infrastructure projects including but not limited to major capital projects that are part of the Five-Year Capital Plan,” according to a draft resolution read out at the Board’s regular meeting, held at Town Hall. “Right now I am the oversight over Public Works, and some other towns have standing commissions,” Moynihan said. “I have discovered that I sometimes do not have the bandwidth to be on top of all projects and this is an opportunity for us to have people on Board of Finance who have a continuing interest, making sure that projects are on budget, so a sort of standing building committee in that regard, and also it gives us the opportunity to better coordinate with the Board of Education on their projects, like solar.”
The appointees to the Selectmen’s Advisory Committee on Buildings and Infrastructure include Moynihan, George Blauvelt (a Board of Finance member), Neil Budnick (Board of Finance), Penny Young (Town Council), Penny Rashin (Board of Education) and Stuart Sawabini, former Police Commission chair. Moynihan said he’s still looking for a seventh member to nominate, a “contractor type.”
Under the resolution, committee members will serve two-year terms.
Moynihan and Selectmen Kit Devereaux and Nick Williams voted 3-0 to make the appointments.
The first selectman introduced the concept of the committee two weeks ago, saying it would include specialists such as contractors and architects and would advise the Board on projects such as major roadway renovation, bridges, school roofs and solar installations.