‘We’re Excited To Finally Leap into the ‘90s’: Town Switching to Digital Permitting Platform

Addressing problems that Town Hall has had for years as New Canaan has fallen behind surrounding towns, officials said last week that the municipality is finally switching over to a system where residents and business owners can apply for, purchase and receive various permits online. New Canaan Health Director Jenn Eielson for about six months has served as co-project manager to phase in a new platform that’s expected to start a test phase Nov. 1, she said at Thursday’s regular meeting of the Health & Human Services Commission. “We’re excited about that,” Eielson said of the OpenGov Permitting & Licensing platform during the meeting, held at Town Hall and via videoconference. “That’s for all the various different health permits—restaurants, salons, wells, septic, pools,” she continued.

ARPA: Town Weighs $400,000 Allocation to Waveny for Telemedicine

Town officials are weighing a $400,000 allocation of federal funds for a well-established local nonprofit organization that provides healthcare services to seniors. The Board of Selectmen voted 2-0 last week in favor of recommending the American Rescue Plan Act funds for Waveny LifeCare Network’s “telemedicine” initiative. The initiative has already been shown to address a rising need in healthcare in town, Waveny’s president and CEO, Russ Barksdale Jr., told the selectmen during their April 5 meeting. “An investment in telemedicine today will give New Canaan a tremendous advantage in managing any future public health crisis, by providing a daily tracking and disease management program with a proven record to enhance timeliness and quality of care,” Barksdale said during the meeting, held at Town Hall and via videoconference. First Selectman Kevin Moynihan and Selectman Nick Williams voted 2-0 in favor of the recommendation.

ARPA: Health and Human Services Commission Should Advise Town on Future Allocations, Members Say

An appointed body that oversees New Canaan’s Health and Human Services departments should be doing more to help the town set priorities on spending what remains of $6 million in federal American Rescue Plan Act funding, its members say. The Town Council last month approved about $2 million in “ARPA” spending, including allocations for “premium pay” for school and town workers, greenlink sidewalks, year-round public bathrooms, a generator and marketing. Yet the Health and Human Services Commission “should be giving more assistance and support to our elected officials on priority funding,” Russ Barksdale Jr., a member of the Commission, said at its Jan. 6 meeting. “I did not see any priority funding given to our local or town Health Department, as an example,” Barksdale said at the meeting, held via videoconference.