Town Purchasing Two Solar-Powered Speed Sentries


The Board of Selectmen at its most recent meeting approved an approximately $27,000 contract with a Bethel-based company to purchase two solar-powered devices to monitor motor vehicle speeds in New Canaan.

The selectmen voted 3-0 at their Oct. 3 meeting to approve the $26,783.54 contract for two speed sentries from East Coast Sign & Supply Inc.

The town has “seen a definite benefit to having them out on the street, let’s put it that way, either to gather data in certain sections where we’re having residential complaints or as a permanent installation for the future,” according to Public Works Director Tiger Mann.

The solar-powered sentries will relieve the town of switching out batteries and moving the devices around town, Mann said.

“If we have a situation where we think we have a permanent speed problem, we put these up and then we don’t have to necessarily change out the battery,” he said at the meeting, held at Town Hall and via videoconference.

First Selectman Kevin Moynihan and Selectmen Kathleen Corbet and Nick Williams voted 3-0 in favor of the contract.

The selectmen asked how many the town currently has (two solar-powered and four battery-powered), whether the data collected is tied to specific vehicles (no), how often the batteries need changing (about every seven days) and whether the town programs the sentries’ messages to passing motorists (yes).

Williams noted that the town has talked in the past about installing security cameras to monitor certain intersections in the downtown. Mann said that the law just changed in Connecticut to allow for that, and that would be something for the Police Commission to make a decision about.

“Forever, we weren’t allowed to put them up and fine,” Mann said. “Now, we can put them up and fine. In New York State, if you went through a light, you would wind up getting a ticket in the mail. Same exact thing.”

Police Deputy Chief Andrew Walsh presented the contract with Mann. Asked where the Police Department stands on the prospect of introducing the surveillance cameras, Walsh said that a town ordinance would be needed first.

“We would present any problems we have in certain intersections to the Police Commission and allow them to decide,” Walsh said. “We would have to do research first.”

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