A town official on Tuesday voiced concerns about the characterization of New Canaan’s most heavily used park as unsafe. Saying he believed that some of the talk around town about the safety of Waveny Park was “misguided a bit,” Selectman Nick Williams raised the issue during the Board of Selectmen’s regular meeting, held at Town Hall. While saying that he was “in favor of safety,” Williams asserted that “Waveny is one of the best parks in America and one of the safest parks in America.” Speaking during a section of the Board’s agenda dedicated to general town matters, Williams said that suggestions to the contrary were “perhaps politicized,” but was not specific about how. “I think it’s unfortunate that people are talking about Waveny as if it’s Central Park in the 1970s,” Williams said.
The “vast majority” of police incidents in town parks occur in Waveny, with 376 incidents reported there over the five-year period ending June 15, officials say. The figure is far higher than citizen-reported and police-initiated incidents at Irwin (62), Kiwanis (31), and Mead (89) Parks, according to data cited by Police Chief Leon Krolikowski. Though most of the incidents that police responded to at Waveny “were service-related, medical assists, animal complaints and suspicious vehicles,” Krolikowski said in a July 22 report to the head of the Parks & Recreation Commission, there were numerous criminal incidents as well. These include reports of a male masturbating in a vehicle and a fight during a wedding at Waveny House. Furthermore, on several occasions, the report said that “nationally organized gangs” were responsible for crimes committed in Waveny.
Following an online petition signed by more than 2,000 people, and acting on the advice of police, town officials said this week that they’re looking to install cameras to record motor vehicles entering and exiting Waveny Park.
Parks and Public Works officials said during a subcommittee meeting Tuesday that the cost of installation might be around $25,000, for which they would likely request a special appropriation. The main purpose of the cameras will be to “show visibility of activity coming in and out of our parks,” Parks and Recreation Commission Chairman Rona Siegel said during a meeting of the appointed body’s Camera Subcommittee. The two-person subcommittee, which also includes Parks Commissioner Matt Konspore, discussed potential locations for the cameras, focusing on the three entrances to the park—one on South Avenue and two on Lapham Road, including near the Waveny Pool. “It would just be an extension of cameras at the entrances – not throughout the park,” Siegel said during the meeting, held at Town Hall. Those in attendance included Siegel and Konspore as well as Recreation Director Steve Benko, Public Works Director Tiger Mann and Parks Superintendent John Howe.
On May 31st, join fellow New Canaanites at Waveny House for a “Night at the Beach.” The 4th New Canaan Benefit for Nazareth Housing supports Nazareth Housing’s homelessness prevention work and will celebrate the teen volunteers that dedicate their time serving the families at Nazareth’s Thorpe Shelter. With live music by the Short Bus Band, dining by Rosie’s, and plenty of silent auction items up from grabs, this event is guaranteed to be the can’t-miss event of the spring! This will be the 4th benefit held in New Canaan to raise funds to support the work of Nazareth Housing and their services in the Bronx. WHERE
677 South Ave
New Canaan, CT 06840
May 31, 2019
Teen Volunteers for their service and dedication to Thorpe Shelter
Kate Van Dussen
ABOUT NAZARETH HOUSING
Nazareth Housing is a community-based nonprofit dedicated to the promotion of housing stability and economic mobility of low-income families and individuals of New York City through the provision of: homelessness prevention services, emergency family shelter, supportive housing, and urgent needs assistance.
New Canaan’s highest elected official said Tuesday that he would like to appoint a new committee of architects to set a strategy for capital improvements at Waveny House. A project to introduce air-conditioning at Waveny, for example, and overhaul its HVAC system, would cost $2.5 million, according to First Selectman Kevin Moynihan. “Do we want to do that?” Moynihan said during a regular meeting of the Board of Selectmen, held at Town Hall. “We would look to this committee to recommend what would be the strategy. So we would not be planning to do an $8 million or $10 million or $12 million renovation of Waveny House.