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Letter to the Editor: Watershed Association Weighs in on Public Works Facility Plan

October 11, 2016 Government, Opinion, Referendum 2 Comments

To the Editor:

The argument for re-building the Canton town garage on a mound at its existing location goes something like this:  No other site is presently available, affordable, and acceptable; using the current site is the cheapest alternative, it’s technically feasible, and conforms to the letter (at least) of regulations about building on floodplains;  the garage staff should have a better facility; and not least, people are tired of this issue, and it could be resolved with a referendum vote in November.

But consider.  This idea still opposes the town’s own 2014-2024 Plan of Conservation and Development and the Upper Mill Pond Master Plan.  Both documents were generated in a well-regulated process of review, public comment, and approval.  Along the way, people had time to analyze, reflect, and decide what’s most desirable for the long term.  They clearly intended removal of the garage from the riverbank, for a variety of good reasons that were articulated at the time and which FRWA supports.  Finding a new location for the garage aligns with the town’s plans.  It does not come from some extreme or fringe-element agenda.

The Farmington River Watershed Association salutes Canton’s long-standing intent to promote the river’s health, scenic quality, economic value, and accessibility, as shown in its planning documents and many day-to-day actions.  The upcoming referendum will test Canton’s determination to follow through on the original, well-considered plan to re-locate the garage.  The vote will give Canton residents their opportunity to avoid a re-build on-site, and say instead, “Don’t give up!”   

Eileen Fielding 
Executive Director, Farmington River Watershed Association

  • Larry Minichiello

    Eileen,

    The Canton Department of Public Works workers need a safe place to work rather than more empty slogans.

    The POCD is a living document and as such Canton citizens understand that it evolves. Such evolution was explained and documented for the Board of Selectman by Town Planner, Neil Pade.

    The Upper Collinsville Mill Pond Master Plan is of questionable value.

    There is also a growing concern that those who oppose the ballot question may likely take their philosophy to the next level should the ballot item fail.

    Many town citizens want to see the former Collins Company revitalized.

    Is it the intent of the FRWA and the Not On Our River folks to flood our hopes and dreams for the Collins Company because a vast amount of the property is eithin the 100 year flood plain?

    • Michael Pendell

      Lary:
      Who gets to decide the evolution of the POCD? Neil Pade works for the citizens of Canton. The people who live and vote in Canton get to make that decision. You know that. In fact isn’t “we the People” your entire political platform?

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