Looking Back: Buy the Y? Cops tow cars

With Thanksgiving past, Ridgefield began many of its annual holiday traditions, according to the Dec. 3, 1992, edition of The Press, including the Toys for Tots drive sponsored by Ridgefield’s Marine Corps League. Sound familiar?

Also featured on that week’s front page were four little girls who were captured singing carols at the annual tree lighting on Main Street.

“There’s much to do this coming week as well for holiday lovers, including Saturday’s holiday wreath sale at Woodcock Nature Center,” the caption noted.

Yep, 25 years and not much has changed here: Ridgefield has a strong sense of pride when it comes to showing off its holiday spirit.

The holiday fervor may have warranted two front-page headlines, but the top story that week had to do with an out-of-season topic: swimming.

“With a 45-day clock ticking on the town’s right of first refusal, a growing number of officials says the town should think seriously about buying the former Barlow Mountain Y,” The Press reported. “The old elementary school with an indoor pool added on can be had for $750,000.”

Not a bad price tag for a building offering both pool programs and school facilities, and “a variety of educational and recreational uses.”

A second buyer, the Barlow Mountain Association, also had a deadline to meet, the newspaper said.

If the non-profit association couldn’t pony up $750,000 by Jan. 15, 1993, “the right of first refusal is a moot question,” Selectman Michael Venus said.

“Until now, the Board of Selectmen’s position has been that it is not interested in having the town buy the Barlow Mountain School property unless the Board of Education decides it needs the space for the expanding elementary school population,” The Press said. “The school board shows no sign of doing so.”

“If the Barlow Mountain Association gets their money, they can buy the building,” First Selectman Sue Manning said. “The town won’t exercise its right of refusal.”

50 years ago

Ridgefield police enacted an all-night parking ban “effective immediately” to facilitate nighttime snow removal, according to the Nov. 30, 1967, edition of The Press.

Chief John F. Haight said the town ordinance permits cops “to tow away at the owner’s expense vehicles parked overnight,” the newspaper reported.

“The owners are also subject to a summons and fine.”

Also making headlines on the front page that week was industrial zoning in Ridgebury. The town’s Planning and Zoning Commission favored the idea in a 7-1 vote at its Nov. 21, 1967, meeting.

The proposed area in Ridgebury stretched from “the west by the New York state line, north and east by the Danbury line, and south by the George Washington Highway and across to the state line,” The Press said.

“Many landowners in the area have expressed a desire to sell their land for industrial purposes,” said Arthur McKenna, a member of the Master Plan committee that recommended the industrial area to the commission.

McKenna also noted that the area was “conveniently located” to the interchange of I-84 and Route 7 and was close to the airport, The Press reported.