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Letter to the Editor: Let’s Do the Right Thing and Not Rebuild on Our River

October 23, 2016 Government, Opinion, Referendum 1 Comment

To the Editor

We need a new garage to provide necessary services for the town but this garage, if rebuilt in its current location, will fail the needs of our community now and in the decades to come.
We must not build this garage on our river.

Thirty years of development plans have recommended moving the town garage away from its site on the banks of the Farmington River. The town Plan of Conservation and Development recommended to use that space for recreation and for ‘open space.’ The Upper Mill Pond Management Plan recommends using that space for recreation. Rebuilding at its current site ignores the Permanent Municipal Building Committee and we as a town have already voted to move the garage from its site at 50 (Old) River Road.

We all know how vital recreational use of the Farmington River at the village in Collinsville is for many of our local businesses and reallocating the property where the current garage stands for further recreational use can only benefit our small businesses and economic development in the greater Canton community. Rebuilding the garage at one of the several other proposed sites will not only allow us the increased economic development of the River Road property but we will also be able to build the town garage to the size recommended to meet the town’s needs as described in the development plan. The current site at 50 River Road is inadequate to meet the town’s needs for its garage in the decades to come.

We, my fellow residents, have a responsibility and an opportunity, a responsibility to ensure the municipal needs of our community are met for today, tomorrow and in the coming years, and an opportunity to provide an engine for economic development for new businesses and sustainability for existing small business owners whose viability is supported by visitors and people using our little piece of the Farmington River for recreation.

Let us do our best to make our community a place where people want to come to visit and also revisit. Let us do the right thing, let us do the wise thing, let us build a new garage, yes, but not on our river.

With eyes looking forward,

Adam and Stephanie Reader
Canton Residents

 

  • Larry Minichiello

    Adam and Stephanie,

    Why do you not believe that the question before voters will not allow for more recreational opportunities at the existing site?

    The plan will not in anyway restrict river access across the entire length of the site.

    The Upper Collinsville Mill Pond Master Plan proposal plan consumes most of the existing parcel with an ineffective cul-de-sac and a skating pond?

    The Master Plan ignores that the town’s waste water treatment plant needs to have the ability for an 18 wheel tanker truck access to the plant so that sludge may be transported off the site.

    I went kayaking today on the upper mill pond.

    The goal of the paddle was to better understand the perspective of those who are fearing that the rebuilding on the existing site will hinder the ecotourism which is taking hold in Collinsville.

    I parked and noted there were three other cars parked. I estimated that an additional 20 vehicles could park. Under the rebuild plan there should be at least this many spots and possibly more.

    Public rest rooms are part of the plan replacing the existing single porta-potty.

    For all intents and purposes the view shed from the river will remain intact.

    The rebuild plan calls for the removal of the unsightly spreader rack.

    From the west side of the river the large fire station is currently visible. The rebuilt garage will partially block the view of the fire station. The roof of the fire station will likely still be visible

    Downstream on the south western side of the river the rebuilt garage will be screened by existing trees. The vista will be the same from the south eastern side.

    The garage should be rebuilt at the existing site and the Board of Selectman must act to figure out how to revive the river.

    During the paddle I recorded that much of upper mill pond is being reduced to a body of water barely navigable in a kayak.

    Further troubling is the amount of aquatic plant growth that is choking the river. This phenomenon must be reducing the oxygen level of the river creating a negative ecological impact.

    I will bring photographs to the next Board of Selectman meeting to raise awareness to the matter.

    In summary, please vote to rebuild at the existing site and let’s next focus on rehabilitating the health of the river.

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