Town Hires Health Sanitarian Certified in Contact Tracing

The Board of Selectmen on Tuesday voted unanimously to hire a new sanitarian in the New Canaan Health Department. Shannon Vallerie is certified in contact tracing, among other areas, and has been working since last March with Health and other municipal departments, according to the town’s human resources director, Cheryl Pickering-Jones. “With COVID and everything going on, we are definitely in need of another sanitarian in that position,” she told the selectmen at their regular meeting, held via videoconference. “She has been a great asset to the town, she has helped Human Services out, the Health Department, Planning & Zoning, and I think she will be a tremendous asset to [Health Director] Jenn [Eielson] at this time,” Pickering-Jones said. 

First Selectman Kevin Moynihan and Selectmen Nick Williams and Kathleen Corbet voted 3-0 to approve the hire. Vallerie has been working since March of this year on a number of COVID-related tasks, according to her resume, obtained by through a public records request.

Selectmen Approve New Policy at Dump: Up to 300 Pounds of ‘Bulky Waste’ Free, Limit One Visit Per Day

Conceding that a change to the way residents are charged when bringing construction debris and brush to the dump didn’t work out, officials last week revised the policy again. Following the Board of Selectmen’s decision, New Canaanites now can bring up to 300 pounds of such waste to the Transfer Station for free though they can only come once per day under those terms—a new stipulation. “The [Transfer] Station managers are well-informed and they know who is coming in and who isn’t,” Public Works Director Tiger Mann told the Board of Selectmen at its regular meeting, held July 21 via videoconference. 

First Selectman Kevin Moynihan and Selectmen Kit Devereaux and Nick Williams voted in favor of the change. 

The new fee structure replaces a problematic and short-lived policy at the dump—part of a wide reassessment of municipal fees that Moynihan had called for—that had residents paying a fee for all the “bulky waste” they brought to the Lakeview Avenue facility. 

“We kind of bought [into] this idea in budget season and it probably wasn’t the greatest idea,” Moynihan said. Mann said the difficulty with the abandoned policy, which had taken effect July 1, was “that we are getting a substantial amount of traffic into the station for lower charges, meaning 50-cent charges.”

“There is a 10-pound limit on the scale so the first 10 pounds is read by the scale so it’s at 10-ton increments, so 10 pounds and at our rate, 5 cents per pound ,turns out to be a 50-cent fee for the first 10 pounds,” Mann said. 

“We feel that that is a little excessive,” Mann added. “It’s driving too much traffic into the station and causing some backups so we felt that we should go and revise the poundage to the first 100 pounds for free but then limit the number of times a resident could come into the station to one time a day.”

The new fee structure effectively keeps the longtime policy but limits “free-up-to-300-pound” visits to one per day.