‘He Has Done a Phenomenal Job’: Tiger Mann Promoted to New Canaan Public Works Director

New Canaan’s highest elected official has confirmed that Tiger Mann, longtime assistant director and senior engineer of the Department of Public Works, has been promoted to take over the key municipal agency. First Selectman Rob Mallozzi said that an email went out Friday to Town Hall employees regarding Mann’s promotion. He was selected unanimously from among nine final candidates by a search committee that included Mallozzi himself, New Canaan Human Resources Director Cheryl Pickering-Jones, Town Council Chairman Bill Walbert, Administrative Officer Tom Stadler and former Town Hall Building Committee Chairman Michael Avgerinos. “Like others on the committee I am delighted to be able to move Tiger Mann up to the position of public works director,” Mallozzi told NewCanaanite.com. “He has done a phenomenal job for the town for the past 17 years and his customer service, his professionalism and all his accomplishments in town made him the absolute best person for this job.

Town Council Approves Elm-to-Irwin Sidewalk; Construction Could Start in April

New Canaan’s legislative body last week voted unanimously to approve the town’s use of state funds to create a long-discussed new sidewalk that will run from the top of Elm Street to the entrance of Irwin Park. To be anchored by crosswalks at either end, the new sidewalk will run about 5,000 feet along the west side of Weed Street and comes after the Connecticut Office of Policy and Management in June awarded New Canaan a $150,000 grant. Town Council Vice Chairman Steve Karl said the new sidewalk “is going to do a lot to that area to access Irwin Park and to complete that sidewalk up Elm.”

“It’s amazing when people walk in that area of the condos, the grocery store, that area—it’s amazing how much pedestrian traffic has increased on that part of Elm Street over the years,” Karl said at the Town Council’s regular meeting, held Sept. 21 at Town Hall. “So I applaud the effort, I think it will make it a lot safer, that’s a dangerous intersection as it is, getting across it is tough.

‘These Good Folks Still Feel Invested’: Town Council Subcommittee Hits Pause on Thoughts of Razing Outback, Seeks Info On Restoration, Alternative Uses

Saying the careful, considerate handling of the privately funded and operated building that opened 15 years ago as the Outback Teen Center is important to New Canaan’s future, members of the town’s legislative body are calling for more information on what’s needed to restore the recently shuttered structure. Though fire officials declared the Outback unsound and unsafe on the strength of a third-party engineering study commissioned after the town inherited it, members of a Town Council subgroup feel it’s worth exploring whether there’s a viable path to alternative uses for the building, according to councilman Sven Englund. The Subcommittee on Land Use and Infrastructure at a meeting this month spent time hearing from some of those who had founded and supported the former teen center and “there is no desire to demolish the Outback building without assessing all the options,” said Englund, who co-chairs the subcommittee with Cristina Aguirre Ross. “These good folks still feel invested in the original mission of the Outback in serving the youth population of New Canaan. We hope to honor those sentiments going forward.”

He added: “Relationships between the Town and existing and future public-private partnerships depend on the respectful consideration we will give this matter.”

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Year-Long Jelliff Mill Bridge Replacement Project To Start in September; Alternating One-Way Traffic

Seven years after discussions started and four months after the state issued approval to solicit bids for the widely anticipated replacement of Jelliff Mill Bridge, town officials said this week that they’re poised to start work on the project. The Board of Selectmen on Tuesday approved a $3,256,467 —New Canaan will pay 20 percent or about $651,000 of that, with the state making up the balance—for Hudson, Mass.-based New England Infrastructure, Inc. to begin the work later this summer or early fall and wrap up in late-2017, according to officials from the Department of Public Works. “Construction will begin in 6-8 weeks,” Public Works Director Michael Pastore told NewCanaanite.com. “This will be towards the end of September.”

Because of the bridge’s susceptibility to erosion, changes are needed as soon as possible. Once construction is underway, motorists will face alternating one-way traffic at the bridge, DPW officials said.

‘It’s Going to Impact the Quality of Our Lives’: Concerns About Locust Avenue Parking Deck Plans Linger

The Board of Selectmen on Tuesday approved funds for preliminary, pre-construction work on a proposed new Locust Avenue parking deck, conditioned on two things: that a widely anticipated traffic study turns up no safety concerns and that there’s input from police, fire and EMTs on the plan. The architectural and engineering services, from a Rocky Hill-based firm, come to a total of $52,226, under a contract approved during the selectmen’s regular meeting. “We are not going to go ahead with this until we get our traffic study and involve our police and fire department,” First Selectman Rob Mallozzi said during the meeting, held Tuesday at Town Hall. An initial traffic study conducted several years ago flagged no reasons to delay or reject the project, however, people felt that the study wasn’t complete, according to Mike Pastore, director of the Department of Public Works. A second traffic consultant was hired, and the report should be analyzed within the next few days, he said.