New Playground, Rubber Surface at Mead Park on Track for Late-May Completion

The widely anticipated installation of a new playground and rubber surface at Mead Park—a project nearly two years in development—is expected to be completed next month, officials say. A collaboration between the town and Friends of Mead Park Playground, the project will see preparation work for the new play structures and a “Poured-In-Place” surface commence during the last week in April with a target completion date of late-May, according to Recreation Director Steve Benko. The 20-year-old playground structure that had been there was recently removed (it’s going to be refurbished and sent for use in an underdeveloped country) after the New Canaan Department of Public Works’ Highway Department helped disassemble it in a single day, Benko told members of the Parks & Recreation Commission at their most recent meeting. “The first step to is to grade the area, level it off and then we will install the playground, put the stone in and the concrete borders and then the last step is to put the Poured-In-Place surface in,” he said at the meeting, held April 10 at Town Hall. “And that is probably going to be in mid- to late-May to put that in, because the temperatures should be in the 50s to do that.

Parks Officials Propose Lower Rates for Mead Park Tennis Permits, Non-Resident Option

Saying lower rates could increase use of a public facility that’s seen a decline in interest, town officials last week voted unanimously to recommend a new slate of fees for Mead Park tennis permits. Parks & Recreation Commissioner Steve Haberstroh, a member of the appointed body’s Tennis Committee, said the reduced fees and introduction of a new type of permit for non-residents are part of a multi-pronged approach to reinvigorating interest in tennis in New Canaan. Officials also pare planning to create new and better programming at Mead Park tennis courts, he said during the Commission’s March 13 meeting. Haberstroh noted that officials must have clean data on facility use in hand in order to make decisions about the courts—for example, whether some of them should be re-purposed. “We want a robust tennis program and so we’ve started to do work understand what is going on,” Haberstroh said during the meeting, held at Town Hall.

Officials Approve $30,000 Contract for Fireworks at Waveny

Town officials on Tuesday approved a $30,000 contract with a Douglassville, Pa.-based pyrotechnic company to put on the fireworks show at the Waveny July 4th event this summer. The Board of Selectmen voted 3-0 in favor of the contract with International Fireworks Mfg. Co., which has supplied fireworks for the massively popular Family Fourth event for four decades, Recreation Director and Family Fourth Committee member Steve Benko said during the Board’s regular meeting. Selectman Nick Williams asked whether the town would ever consider “doing music with the fireworks.”

Tom Stadler, chairman of the Family Fourth, said the question has come up over the years. 

“It’s been suggested, just like Macys and some of the others that while the fireworks are exploding in the air, boom boom boom, we have choreographed music,” Stadler said at the meeting, held in Town Hall. “We brought that to the committee and the committee has not been receptive to that.

Town Officials Approve Baseball Storage Shed for Little League Fields at Mead Park

Town officials last week approved the purchase and installation of a storage shed at Mead Park that will serve new partially turfed little league baseball fields. 

The Board of Selectmen at its Feb. 26 meeting voted unanimously in favor of the $6,165.40 project, to be paid for New Canaan Baseball, a nonprofit organization that runs youth baseball in town. The 12-by-18 foot shed will be located at the end of the parking lot that runs along Mellick Field’s right field line, Recreation Director Steve Benko told the selectmen at their meeting, held in Town Hall. “And they would keep the portable pitching mounds and some of the other equipment,” Benko said. “And we now have turf infields so there is a need for more maintenance on a weekly bases to put down rubber as kids slide and wear it out.