Town: Rebuilt or Relocated Animal Shelter At Least One Year Away

A project to rebuild or relocate New Canaan’s Animal Control shelter is at least one year away, town officials said this week. The town is studying different possibilities for a future shelter, including use of a building at Kiwanis Park, Public Works Director Tiger Mann told members of the Selectmen’s Advisory Committee on Buildings and Infrastructure during their regular meeting Monday. “The other thought that was if we were to remove the existing incinerator where it [the animal shelter] is currently housed, to then bring in a facility there,” Mann said during the meeting, held via videoconference. “Or, since it is a police function, possibly bringing it over to the Police Department. So we are looking at all options at present.

Town: Natural Gas Should Come This Summer to Town Hall, Fire Station, Waveny Pool

The town has converted three of its buildings to natural gas and has plans this winter for three more before moving on to prominent structures such as Town Hall, the Fire Department and Waveny Pool, officials say. In addition to four of five New Canaan schools, the town has converted a garage at Saxe Middle School, the Police Department and Schoolhouse Apartments, according to Public Works Director Tiger Mann. Next up are the DPW highway garage, scale house and the control building at the wastewater treatment facility, Mann told members of the Selectmen’s Advisory Committee on Buildings and Infrastructure during their regular meeting Monday. Later this summer, the utility company is expected to run gas lines along Main Street so that Town Hall, the former Outback Teen Center building and fire station can be converted, “then we are in the works, discussing with Eversource about bringing a line into Waveny which will bring online the pool itself, the paddle hut and then Lapham Community Center,” Mann said at the meeting, held via videoconference. “The rest of the facilities at Waveny—the distance to, say, Waveny House or the Powerhouse or the Carriage Barn—is about half a mile of piping.

Town Plans New Children’s Playground at Waveny

Public works officials say they plan to request funding in upcoming budget talks for a new children’s playground at Waveny. It would be located near an existing exercise equipment area that also is due for an upgrade, Public Works Director Tiger Mann told members of the Selectmen’s Advisory Committee on Buildings and Infrastructure during their regular meeting Monday. “The existing exercise equipment next to the large parking lot at Waveny needs to be replaced and we are looking at putting in a children’s playground, as well, at the exact same time, adjacent to that,” Mann said during the meeting, held via videoconference. According to a draft DPW budget document that Mann shared, the combined cost of replacing the exercise equipment and installing a new playground at Waveny is $429,000. It is one of several parks- and fields-related bonding requests that Public Works plans to make for capital projects funded in fiscal year 2022.

Councilman Calls for New Canaan To Make Decisions on ‘Under-Utilized’ Town-Owned Buildings

A member of New Canaan’s legislative body is calling for municipal officials to examine whether it’s time to offload town-owned structures that she described as “under-utilized.”

Town Councilman Penny Young said Monday that “it is really time to look a little more in-depth” at “some of these buildings which are under-utilized or which we should be offloading.”

“Other than the swing space for a possible need for the police, what do we do with the Irwin House?” Young said during a regular meeting of the Selectmen’s Advisory Committee on Buildings and Infrastructure, held via videoconference. “Because it’s really not that great a structure. So maybe the recommendation is that after the police have use of it, it’s demolished. So I think we really need to take a good look. What is happening with Vine Cottage?

Moynihan: Movie Operators, Others Interested in Playhouse

New Canaan already has received several calls from movie operators and others interested in The Playhouse on Elm Street, the town’s highest elected official said Monday. Though there’s “a lot of sentiment because it’s good to have a movie theater in town,” according to First Selectman Kevin Moynihan, “we can certainly look at other opportunities to do active performance type things there.”

He spoke during a regular meeting of the Selectmen’s Advisory Committee on Buildings and Infrastructure, held via videoconference. Moynihan was responding to a suggestion from Committee member Stuart Sawabini that the group review the use of town-owned buildings. 

“The movie theater—is it good utilization to bring the theater back?” Sawabini said. “You go right around the town and there’s a long list of buildings, and I just wonder whether periodically it would be advisable for us to go back and look at building utilization and see what we can do to either improve or sell off buildings that we are not using,” he said. Moynihan disclosed last week that Bow Tie Cinemas is terminating its lease for The Playhouse, which closed mid-March amid the onset of COVID-19 virus.