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.

After Difficulty with Trash-Collecting Company, Town Turns to New Hauler 

Municipal officials on Tuesday approved a contract with a new hauler of recyclables following months of difficulty with a company that had been charging New Canaan more than neighboring towns. 

The Board of Selectmen voted 3-0 in favor of the contract with Danbury-based Oak Ridge Waste and Recycling. The two-year contract calls for Oak Ridge to haul recyclables at a rate of $83.74 per ton, compared to the $85 per ton that New Canaan currently is paying Stamford’s City Carting, and the $95 per ton that City Carting offered in responding to the town’s bid for the job. “We are doing slightly better going forward than what we were paying City for this year,” Public Works Director Tiger Mann told members of the Board of Selectmen during their regular meeting, held via videoconference. 

The estimated $215,000 annual contract also calls for a per-pull cost of $189 for recyclables. 

Officials said in November that New Canaan was paying $85 per ton while Wilton was paying $65 per ton for similar services. New Canaan Department of Public Works Assistant Superintendent of Solid Waste Don Smith said in January that he’d been unable to reach City Carting to get an explanation for the discrepancy. 

Asked about City Carting’s failure to return calls during this week’s meeting by Selectman Kit Devereaux, Smith said that the “new general manager apologized for all that.”

“But I already told him the damage is done,” Smith said. “And then they tried to negotiate after-the-fact when we put it out to bid again and I said no.”

First Selectman Kevin Moynihan, Devereaux and Selectman Nick Williams voted in favor of the new contract with Oak Ridge. 

William asked what drives the pricing for the work.