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Letter to the Editor: Don’t Be Fooled Again

October 31, 2016 Government, Opinion, Referendum No Comments

To the Editor:

In a recent letter to the Canton Compass, Brian First incorrectly asserted that the PAC “Not On Our River” prefers the Cadle/Mitchell VW property on Route 44 as the alternate location for the garage. “Not On Our River” is NOT supporting any particular alternate location – it supports defeating the referendum because the Farmington River is the worst location for the garage “Not On Our River” has stated, over and over again, that Canton’s Selectmen should send the new, smaller design to our expert Building Committee to have them re-evaluate sites and make a recommendation. What is abundantly clear is that, with the total facility size barely over 14,000 sf, quite a number of sites that were previously excluded are now workable. Canton GOES is trying to scare the public into voting for the current location by creating the illusion that there are no alternatives. The true answer is that there isn’t one yet: there are several, and it should be up to our experts to make that choice. These sites include 674 Albany Turnpike, 5 Cherry Brook Road, three locations on Commerce Drive, a site on Dowd Avenue, Powder Mill Road (if we’re willing to construct in a floodplain), other locations, and, yes, the Cadle property. And Cadle may be a good choice for many reasons not explained by Mr. First. But it is Canton’s Building Committee that should do the analysis and make the recommendation.

The important fact here is that there ARE viable alternatives that are inexpensive, not in the floodplain, allow for future expansion, are not in neighborhoods, have good road access, and can be developed in the same timeframe as the river site. And ALL are better than the river and will give our town crew a better facility without facing flooding or degrading our unique riverfront. The only reason the river location is on the ballot this November is that the Selectmen were in a hurry to get something – anything – on the ballot, regardless of whether or not it made sense and without vetting by the Building Committee. The river does not make sense.

Mr. First is seeking to do the same thing that was done in the last referendum: scare the public into voting illogically. Don’t be fooled again: THE RIVER IS A TERRIBLE LOCATION for the garage. There are others, and they are inexpensive. We can do better. Please vote NO on November 8th and let’s make a sensible decision for Canton’s long term future.

Sarah Faulkner
Canton

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