Saying they need to improve recruitment and retention, leaders from New Canaan Fire Co. No. 1 and New Canaan Emergency Medical Services are asking the town to offer members incentives such as tax abatement, Waveny Pool membership and use of the Transfer Station. Surrounding towns already offer plusses such as property tax relief, pool passes and fuel reimbursement to volunteer emergency responders, according to New Canaan Fire Co. Assistant Chief Russ Kimes and New Canaan EMS Capt. Phil Sheibley.
The volunteer ranks of their organizations have declined, as they have elsewhere, and now stand at record or near-record lows, Kimes and Sheibley told members of the Town Council at their March 24 meeting.
Creating a short passing lane along Metro-North Railroad’s New Canaan branch line would double hourly train service to and from Stamford, a key step toward boosting the town’s desirability and quality of life, a resident told members of the Town Council last week. With a relative decline in jobs in Stamford post-financial crisis, access to Manhattan “is more important than ever,” Giacomo Landi said during the legislative body’s regular meeting Wednesday. “I encourage each and every one of you to reach out to our [state] senators, representatives and governor saying that this is a vital town priority,” Landi said during the meeting, held at Town Hall. “In terms of who pays, New Canaan already pays a good multiple of our population in state income tax, but I am sure some wheeling-and-dealing will need to be done.”
A New Canaan resident since last summer, Landi added: “I am new to town, I don’t have all the background on why we are where we are. But we are here.
The Board of Education has put off a decision on allowing drug-sniffing dogs in schools for too long, according to a longtime and prominent member of New Canaan’s legislative body. Advocates have been urging district officials to give access to a New Canaan Police Department K-9 dog for years, Town Councilman Steve Karl said Wednesday night. “And I understand that there are two sides of this, but you have to come to some sort of decision and compromise at some point,” Karl said during the Town Council’s regular meeting, held at Town Hall. “The citizens of this town want this done. They do.
Town officials said Tuesday they’re trying to identify just where in Kiwanis Park would be the best place for a proposed open-air ice rink.
A leading contender for a seasonal rink site in New Canaan that would be open to the public with an admission charge, Kiwanis is attractive in that it has sufficiently large areas, parking, access to bathrooms, running water and electricity, and structures that could house changing areas, snack bar and skate shop, members of the Parks & Recreation Commission have said. Yet a level area out front of the main pavilion traditionally has been used by a local service organization for a large chunk of the late-November-through-February trial season that Parks & Rec has floated.
And early cost estimates to level out an area behind the pavilion and install a retaining wall there appear cost-prohibitive, a group of town officials and community volunteers said during a meeting of a Parks & Rec subcommittee. It’s also unclear whether installing the ice rink deeper into the park—on the far side of the swimming hole—would create a sufficiently attractive and workable facility, officials said during the Parks & Rec skating subcommittee meeting. While excavation, fill, retaining wall construction and other costs would push the total expense for an ice rink located between the rear of the pavilion and swimming hole to an estimated $200,000 to $250,000, creating a facility out front of the building, where the Exchange Club of New Canaan in past years has set up its approximately month-long Christmas tree sale would be far less money, official said. Rona Siegel, chair of Parks & Rec, asked whether the club had ever looked at setting up its sale in the Waveny Pool parking lot instead.
“It’s ideal,” Siegel said at the meeting, held in a conference room at Town Hall.
A little more than three years ago, town resident Jonathan Breen came up with the idea of hosting a family-friendly outdoor movie night at Waveny Park.
“I’ve always loved the idea of having outdoor movies,” he told NewCanaanite.com.
“I just reached out to the town and pitched them the idea,” he added. With the blessing of the Recreation Department, Breen said he reached out to a number of sponsors around town. Steve Karl, vicepresident of Sales at Karl Chevrolet—one of the event’s sponsors—said the project has been “a grassroots effort.” “It seemed like a great idea, and over the last few years that we’ve done it it’s really been a nice event,” he said.
“We actually have a lot of fun,” Karl added, “because there’s a little popcorn stand and it really feels like you’re going to a movie, but it’s a different kind of venue because you’re outdoors.” This year’s free Outdoor Movie Night will take place this Friday, Aug.