Selectmen Restore Placeholder for Kiwanis Park Funding; Board of Finance Decision Looms

The Board of Selectmen on Tuesday proposed a spending plan for next fiscal year that restores funding to operate Kiwanis Park, though the future of the Old Norwalk Road facility remains uncertain. The selectmen voted 3-0 to pass along to the Board of Finance an overall operating budget of about $153.6 million, representing a year-over-year spending increase of 1.1%. The figure includes Board of Education spending. In a budget season that has seen the finance board call for an operating reduction of 2% in municipal departments, an initial draft proposed spending plan before the selectmen had essentially de-commissioned Kiwanis Park by removing funding for it. Yet Selectmen Kit Devereaux and Nick Williams during the Board’s regular meeting at Town Hall pushed to have $47,000 restored to Kiwanis so that recreation officials have a chance to reinvigorate the park under a reduced-hours schedule next summer.

Parks & Rec: Kiwanis Park ‘Is Not Fully Being Used’

Attendance at Kiwanis increased by more than 40% last summer and the park potentially could more than cover costs associated with its operation, officials said last week. Kiwanis Park “is not fully being used for what it should be,” according to Parks & Recreation Commission Chair Rona Siegel. “The facility is incredible inside that concession,” Siegel said during the Commission’s regular meeting, held Jan. 8 at Town Hall. “It is restaurant-grade for the summer and spring months.

Selectman Williams: Concerns About Waveny Park Safety Have Been ‘Politicized’

A town official on Tuesday voiced concerns about the characterization of New Canaan’s most heavily used park as unsafe. Saying he believed that some of the talk around town about the safety of Waveny Park was “misguided a bit,” Selectman Nick Williams raised the issue during the Board of Selectmen’s regular meeting, held at Town Hall. While saying that he was “in favor of safety,” Williams asserted that “Waveny is one of the best parks in America and one of the safest parks in America.” Speaking during a section of the Board’s agenda dedicated to general town matters, Williams said that suggestions to the contrary were “perhaps politicized,” but was not specific about how. “I think it’s unfortunate that people are talking about Waveny as if it’s Central Park in the 1970s,” Williams said.