Town officials on Tuesday approved a $255,850 contract with a Bedford Hills, N.Y.-based company to rebuild a brick wall outside Waveny House.
The Board of Selectmen voted 3-0 in favor of the contract with Cambareri Masonry, Inc.
The wall in question is located in a service area east of the main house, and the cost of the project will be split 50-50 with the Waveny Park Conservancy, according to Public Works Director Tiger Mann.
Cambareri had done the Conservancy’s first major project at Waveny, Mann said, a “trail coming from the forecourt and leading down the hill through the trees there, the Flexi-pave trail.”
“They did a very nice job and then they did the most recent project with the Conservancy and the town, which was the installation of the plantings along the Waveny drive coming in from South Avenue on both sides of the road,” Mann said at the meeting, held in Town Hall and via videoconference. “They’ve done very nice work and we are confident he will give us a nice project for this phase.”
First Selectman Kevin Moynihan and Selectmen Kathleen Corbet and Nick Williams voted 3-0 in favor of the contract.
The project went out to bid, Mann said, and the town received bids as high as $763,000. The reason is likely that some of the bidding companies were either masons or landscapers, meaning they would bid out a portion of the work themselves, whereas Cambareri specializes in both areas, Mann said.
“Because of the spread of the project I met with the contractor and asked him the question—did you know everything, did you understand everything? Was it a cohesive design? Did you understand what was being asked? And yes. A lot of it comes down to different fortes for different individuals,” he said.
Corbet noted that the town budgets a $300,000 grant annually to the Conservancy and asked whether the organization uses those funds for its 50% of such projects.
“What if they reach capacity?” she asked.
Mann said the $300,000 represents the town’s “match” of Conservancy projects, “so the $300,000 will buy us $600,000 worth of work in the end.”
Corbet asked for an update on spending this fiscal year. Mann said that $273,000 has been spent, while $129,000 is encumbered “and we’ll be releasing some of the encumbrances from previous projects to open up some additional funds.”
“So the contingency from previous projects will close out and then we’ll add this contract in, so we’ll be getting very close to the upper end of the amount we have given them so far,” Mann said. “There is the thought to use the ARPA [American Rescue Plan Act] funds that were provided to the Conservancy, as well, $250,000, and we might utilize those funds for this entire project since. We did bid it twice. I just need to make sure we follow all the requirements for ARPA and if we did, the thought might be to use the ARPA funds for this project instead.”
Moynihan said that under the Conservancy’s agreement with the town, the organization can propose projects and the town can agree with them or not.
“We’ve never had a disagreement—we, I think, had one disagreement, I suppose, over the Japanese maple trees,” he said. (Moynihan appeared to refer to a planting plan, presented by the New Canaan Garden Club in 2021, for the walkway between the gazebo and fountain east of the main house—a plan that the tree warden pushed back on.)
Moynihan said, “There are always improvements on our property, so they are always bid by the town and controlled by the town in terms of the execution of the project.”