Town Calls for Volunteers To Help New Canaan Seniors Stay Home During COVID-19 Emergency

Town officials are calling for volunteers to help run errands for New Canaan residents 75-and-older so that those individuals most at-risk to COVID-19 are able to stay home. A list of some 1,434 residents in the age bracket has been pared down to about 900 after those already receiving care and services through local organizations such as Waveny LifeCare Network and Staying Put in New Canaan were removed, according to First Selectman Kevin Moynihan. 

Volunteers are needed to help “order meals from restaurants, get their groceries, pick up prescriptions at the pharmacies,” Moynihan said during a regular Board of Selectmen meeting held Tuesday via videoconference. 

“We would like to have a 1-on-1 relationship where a volunteer takes on a couple or a few seniors to be able to go to the grocery store instead of having them go,” he said. Many of the 900 people identified are “very active and vital people” who do not require assistance themselves, “but the key is they could stay home, given their age they are the most vulnerable, so ideally we want to get to a point where we get as many volunteers as possible.”

Those interested in volunteering should contact Interim Director of Human Services Bethany Zaro, Moynihan said. Her email is Bethany.Zaro@newcanaanct.gov, according to the municipal website. 

“All of our town employees and our volunteers are doing a terrific job,” Moynihan said. He said that Emergency Management Director Mike Handler and Health Director Jen Eielson especially have been doing “an absolutely tremendous job” during the COVID-19 emergency. 

Moynihan announced Sunday that Town Hall is closed to the public and that the “most essential” municipal workers are reachable via phone and email to respond as best they could.

‘Gaming the System’: Town Eyes Change to Fees at Dump

Saying some residents take unfair advantage of a standing rule, municipal officials are considering a change to how the town charges those bringing brush and construction debris to the dump. As it is, it’s free for those with a Transfer Station sticker to dump the first 300 pounds of material, according to Public Works Director Tiger Mann. Yet “we have people that are gaming the system,” Mann told the Board of Selectmen at their Feb. 25 meeting in Town Hall. “[They] will come in multiple times a day—290 pounds, 275 pounds, things of that nature, where they are weighing at their house and then coming in and gaming the system,” Mann said.