Skeptical Historical Review Committee Member Calls for Access to Library To Gauge Problems with Facility 

Saying she didn’t believe that New Canaan Library’s building and systems are failing, a town resident and preservation architect on Tuesday called for the town to direct a municipal committee to gain access to records and study the reported problems. 

A review and assessment by the Historical Review Committee “would provide the town with objective, professional information on the status of the existing facility,” Rose Scott Long-Rothbart told members of the Board of Selectmen at their regular meeting, held in Town Hall. A member of the appointed five-member Committee herself, Long-Rothbart continued, “This information, in conjunction with a full accounting by the library of what has been spent in the last 10 to 15 years on maintaining its facility, will give the taxpayers a better picture of what they are being asked to support.”

She referred to the library’s request for $10 million in town funding for its $30 million rebuilding project, unveiled last week. Plans call for demolition of the current facility, including an original 1913-built fieldstone-exterior section overlooking Main and Cherry Street, to make way for a town green. Long-Rothbart said she and others don’t believe the original structure cannot be incorporated into the library’s plans. “I appreciate being invited by the library to view those plans, although at the eleventh hour,” she said.

‘I Am Concerned’: Selectman Williams Addresses New Canaan Historical Society’s Financial Woes

One of New Canaan’s most venerable nonprofit organizations is running at a significant deficit, concerning some in town government, officials said last week. Asked about the New Canaan Historical Society’s financial situation during a Board of Selectmen meeting held Dec. 17 at Town Hall, the organization’s executive director, Nancy Geary, said its projected deficient this year is about $60,000. “We are a member-supported organization,” Geary said in response to a question from Selectman Nick Williams. “I apply for as many grants as I can find. Oftentimes the one thing about grants, though, is that they’re for very specific projects, so it’s hard to find general operating grants.

Town Pursues State Grant To Help Pay for Roof Restoration at Gores Pavilion 

The Board of Selectmen last week voted 3-0 to apply for a state grant that would help fund the restoration of a roof on a historic building in Irwin Park. If awarded, the Historic Restoration Fund Grant would provide matching funds for the estimated $100,000 roof job at Gores Pavilion, according to Bill Oestmann, superintendent of buildings with the New Canaan Department of Public Works. “If all things go well, we will have mostly like a spring project to get that roof up and on that building,” Oestmann told the Board at its Dec. 3 meeting at Town Hall. First Selectman Kevin Moynihan and Selectmen Kit Devereaux and Nick Williams voted in favor of the town applying for the grant.