Town Officials Call for Less Conspicuous Garbage Dumpsters in Parks

Town officials said last week that they’re addressing an aesthetic problem whereby those entering local parks in some cases are accosted by the sight of garbage dumpsters. 

The town many years ago switched from trash cans dotted around fields at parks such as Waveny and Mead, to having dumpsters, according to Parks & Recreation Commission Chair Sally Campbell. That effort was “very critical to reducing the amount of trash on the fields and in our parks,” she said during the Commission’s regular meeting, held Oct. 10 at Lapham Community Center. 

“However, we find that every park we drive into we are verbally assaulted by City Carting on the dumpsters,” she said. The answer, according to Commissioner Hank Green, who has looked at how nearby towns handle their dumpsters, will involve putting up three-sided fencing around them. “It should be a pretty easy fix,” Green said.

Dramatic Drop in Tennis Pass Sales at Mead Opens Questions of Courts’ Future Use

New Canaan has seen a dramatic decline in the number of residents purchasing passes for the tennis courts at Mead Park, according to officials who now want to consider alternate uses for some of them. Members of the Parks & Recreation Commission said Wednesday night that while residents purchased some 400 passes a dozen years ago to play on the clay courts at Mead, that number declined to about 300 from 2012 to 2015, then 147 last year and just 112 this season, whose opening was delayed due to a contractor’s failure. “They have dropped by two-thirds almost,” Commission Chair Sally Campbell said during the group’s regular meeting, held at Latham Community Center. “So it appears there is not real heavy usage of the courts anymore. So we were thinking we have a little group some committee members who are going to look at what would be best thing to do with those courts.

$10,000 in Improvements Planned for Colonnade at Mead Park

Town officials last week approved a $10,000 contract with a Norwalk-based company to improve the pedestrian access areas at the heavily used colonnade in Mead Park. A WPA project that originally had been a wading pool and was converted into a “victory garden” following World War II, the grassy colonnade area hosts community events such as the cherry blossom festival, an annual breakfast hosted by the New Canaan Beautification League and junior prom photo gatherings. At its regular meeting Tuesday, the Board of Selectmen approved a contract with Nature’s Way Landscape Associates of Norwalk to rebuild the cheek walls, steps and walkway there. Public Works Director Tiger Mann said New Canaan-based Keith Simpson Associates, a prominent landscape architecture firm, provided a “nice plan for work” at the colonnade that include four separate items. As of now, the town only has the funds to complete two of those four things, Mann said. Nature’s Way Landscape “are ones that are doing the work at Waveny right now and they are doing a very good job,” Mann said at the meeting, held in Town Hall.

‘I Know It Is Extremely Frustrating’: Contractor’s Failure to Deliver Material Delays Opening of Clay Tennis Courts at Mead Park

Tennis players in New Canaan are frustrated that the courts at Mead Park haven’t yet opened for the season, officials said Wednesday night, a problem caused by a contracted company that’s failed to deliver the clay material. Normally, the “Hartru” courts at Mead are open around May 20, according to Recreation Director Steve Benko. 

But a Cheshire-based company that did a very good job preparing the facility last year, despite weather-related problems, has “dropped the ball” this spring, he said at a regular meeting of the Parks & Recreation Commission. “The problem is, they have to put 50 bags of material on each court,” he said during the meeting, held at Lapham Community Center. “They can’t get the material here to put it on the courts. So they came in and micro-groomed the courts and pulled weeds.

First Selectman Breaks 6-6 Tie To Advance Demolition of ‘Mead Park Brick Barn’

Though some argued that it makes little sense to rush an irretrievable decision when a viable alternative has emerged, members of New Canaan’s legislative body and the first selectman on Wednesday pushed forward the demolition of a widely discussed brick structure on Richmond Hill Road. First Selectman Kevin Moynihan broke a 6-6 tie on the Town Council to preserve $65,000, as part of a larger proposed bonding package, for razing the “Mead Park Brick Barn” or “Richmond Hill Garage.”

New Canaan Baseball has said it’s interested in using the 1901-built, two-story structure, opposite the bottom of Grove Street, for meetings and storage. Yet some on the Council questioned the organization’s ability to make the structure usable and maintain it. “I am totally in favor of giving [New Canaan Baseball] a reasonable amount of time, but I think the building should be taken down unless there is a credible plan,” Moynihan told members of the Town Council as he cast a vote in favor of preserving the money for demolition. It wasn’t immediately clear what are the criteria for “a credible plan,” or how long “a reasonable amount of time” is, though Councilmen noted that a 90-day delay is likely from the time the town applies for the demolition permit.