Save the Date, Jan. 9: ‘The Future of Town-Owned Buildings, Part II’ 

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The Town of New Canaan, and Zumbach’s Gourmet Coffee are co-sponsoring a forum on public buildings, to be held 6:30 to 9 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 9.

A follow-up to a widely attended forum held in April, “The Future of Town-Owned Buildings: Part II” will start with a 30-minute coffee outside the Town Meeting Room at Town Hall. Running 7 to 9 p.m., the forum is a chance for residents to address, put questions to and hear from decision-makers in local government and community experts on what’s happening with several public buildings whose future use, ownership and in some cases, existence, are now in play. 

Those buildings include:

  • New Canaan Police Station
  • Vine Cottage
  • Irwin House-Barn-Gores Pavilion
  • Former Outback Teen Center
  • Waveny House

Panelists include:

  • Amy Murphy Carroll, member, Board of Finance; co-chair, Town Building Evaluation & Use Committee
  • Penny Young, member, Town Council; co-chair, Town Building Evaluation & Use Committee
  • Kit Devereaux, selectman
  • Arnold Karp, president and founder, Karp Associates
  • Martin Skrelunas, member, Historic District Commission and Historical Review Committee
  • James Basch, taxpayer

The panel will be co-moderated by John Engel, chairman of the Town Council; Tucker Murphy, executive director of the New Canaan Chamber of Commerce; and Michael Dinan, editor/publisher of the New Canaanite.

To prepare our readers ahead of the forum and make best use of the time, info-sheets on the buildings listed above, and others, will be published on starting Jan. 2. 

Questions for panelists may be submitted in advance using this form:

6 thoughts on “Save the Date, Jan. 9: ‘The Future of Town-Owned Buildings, Part II’ 

  1. Great idea! The first one was very informative and I look forward to Part II. Thanks to all involved for putting this together.

  2. To begin, I was the person who spoke up at a New Canaanite Coffee and suggested to Mike to have a public forum. Mike agreed and went forward with the First Public Forum on the Future of Town-Owned Buildings. So I was delighted to read the Save The Date Notice and saw the names of the panelists.

    In this very same issue of New Canaanite there is an article entitled, “P&Z Looks Into Withholding Building Permits for ‘Merritt Village’ Until Retaining Wall Concerns Are Addressed”.

    So why was this same developer selected to serve on the Forum Part II panel? How about selecting someone from New Canaan Preservation Alliance as a panelist?

    From reading prior articles on New Canaanite many of us already are aware of the following:

    – there appears to be a push to sell the Police Station to a developer for use as senior housing if the First Selectman can purchase the Unimin Building.
    [see article in New Canaanite: “First Selectman: New Canaan ‘Very Interested’ in Acquiring Downtown Office Building for Combined Police, Board of Ed Headquarters”

    – the First Selectman wants to move Health and Human Services from the Vine Cottage into the former Outback and sell the Vine Cottage to a developer
    [see article in New Canaanite “First Selectman: Vine Cottage Likely To Be Sold, Human Services Relocated to Former Outback Teen Center”

    • Betty, I asked Arnold Karp to be on the panel because he’s an experienced local builder who can lend his expertise to discussions about the attractiveness or possibilities of public buildings for private developers, because he owns property that abuts at least one of the public buildings in play, and because he is one of the major individual taxpayers in New Canaan.

  3. Looks fantastic! Since we have several antique buildings, will someone from a preservation group be included on the panel?

    • Susan, the preservation group in town is unable to participate as a co-moderator due to prior commitments and the pressing matter of the Brick Barn. However, some members of the Historical Society will be actively participating in the forum.

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