Illegal Sump-Pump Hookups Prompt Town To Commission $200,000 ‘Inflow Study’ of Sewer System 

An increasing number of New Canaan residents appear to be illegally connecting sump pumps to the town’s sewers, prompting municipal officials this week to commission a $200,000 “inflow study” of the system. Sump pumps are supposed to be connected to the storm drain system, “but they get hooked to the sewer system, so we’ll see a big spike during a storm,” according to Jim Rogers, superintendent of the Department of Public Works Water Pollution Control Facility. “We are receiving an excessive amount of water at the Treatment Plant and it’s getting progressively worse,” Rogers told members of the Board of Selectmen at their regular meeting, held Tuesday at Town Hall. “The past two storms that we had brought us right to the limit of what the plant can handle, and we have to evaluate the sewer system. It’s something we have to do.”

The plant is designed to handle 7 million gallons of water “and we were right at 7 million” as a result of recent storms, Rogers said.

‘It’s Just Been Very Difficult’: Town Re-Contracts with Norwalk Cleaning Company After Problems with Franchisee

Town officials on Tuesday re-hired a small Norwalk-based company to handle cleaning duties at several municipal buildings after having problems with a different franchise-model group. 

The Board of Selectmen voted 3-0 in favor of an approximately $95,000 contract to hire P&M Cleaning Services for 13 town buildings. P&M “were the ladies that ran a company here in Norwalk that were actually used to clean our buildings for seven years and then they lost a bid last time because of the franchise-type relationships,” Buildings Superintendent Bill Oestmann told the selectmen at their regular meeting, held in Town Hall. The town had “some problems” with that franchise-model company, JAN-PRO Cleaning & Disinfecting, Oestmann said. “A lot of it stems from labor issues, getting quality work and getting people has been a bit of a problem,” he said. “So we tried to work through this for a couple of months with them, it’s just been very difficult and JAN-PRO, it’s a franchise, through corporate it’s franchised out.

Selectman Corbet Calls for Town’s ‘Traffic Calming’ Group To Reconvene Public Meetings

Citing an ongoing need for traffic improvements at Route 106 and Carter Street, Selectman Kathleen Corbet this month called for a group of public works, safety and parking officials to reconvene their regular meetings. 

The ‘Traffic Calming Work Group,’ whose members in the past have included the public works director, police deputy chief, fire chief and representatives from emergency response and parking, and “been in place for a number of years” before discontinuing its public meetings in the summer of 2020, Corbet said during the Board of Selectmen’s most recent regular meeting. “I think over COVID that sort of work has still been going on, but sort of the formal meetings that we’ve had on a monthly or every-other-month meeting, I’d like to recommend that we reinstitute so that there is more public participation,” Corbet said during the Oct. 5 meeting, held at Town Hall and via videoconference. She referred to a work group that last met July 13. During that meeting, as it intermittently for a number of years, the group discussed problems at the intersection where Canoe Hill Road and Carter Street come into Silvermine Road, which doubles at that stretch as state Route 106. 

New Canaan has petitioned the state in the past for a stop light or four-way intersection there three or four times, and those requests have been denied, according to Public Works Director Tiger Mann. 

Corbet flagged the problem at a selectmen meeting last month, and since then the intersection has seen two more crashes, she said.

Town Hires Part-Time Gardener for Waveny

Town officials this week approved the hiring of a part-time gardener to help with plantings around buildings in Waveny Park. The Board of Selectmen voted 3-0 during its regular meeting Tuesday to approve the hiring of Ray Martin on a part-time basis to work around Waveny House and Lapham Community Center. Ensuring that plantings installed by nonprofit groups such as the New Canaan Beautification League, Waveny Park Conservancy and New Canaan Garden Club get the attention they need is “a niche that we are not filling,” according to Public Works Director Tiger Mann. “Our parks staff does a fantastic job on all of our grounds,” he said during the meeting, held at Town Hall and via videoconference. “This is one area where we are lacking, where we feel that it would be a good thing to have someone on hand to take a look and make sure that everything looks good for a wedding, an event or just the fact that it’s Waveny.