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There’s Still Time to Sign Up as a Vendor, Sponsor of Collinsville Hot

June 30, 2016 Business, Community No Comments

A scene from the 2015 Collinsville Hot. Photo by John Fitts

COLLINSVILLE – While the second annual Collinsville Hot is just a little more than two weeks away, organizers said there are still opportunities for those wishing to display their wares at the festival or simply support it financially.

The Canton Main Street-sponsored event takes place in downtown Collinsville from 9 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. on July 16. To provide additional parking capacity for the free activities, a shuttle bus will run between downtown Collinsville and Canton High School from noon to 11 p.m.

This year the festival’s events, such as its morning yoga, craft fair, artisan market, community art space, fire dance and live music over two stages will be focused in the downtown area along Main and River Streets.

In addition to the live music and fire shows, from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., Main Street and a portion of River Street will become an outdoor market of sorts – with artisans, food vendors, business booths and more.

“Essentially it will become a huge pedestrian plaza vis-à-vis European style,” said Shawn Cole, a co-founder and co-organizer for the event. “The whole of Main Street will be an outdoor theater.” … Continue Reading

Residents Learn More About Economic Tool Aimed At Jump-Starting Redevelopment of Factory Complex

A "panoramic" iPhone view of the Collins Co. Photo by John Fitts

By John Fitts

CANTON — A consultant charged with helping the town work on plan to help jumpstart redevelopment of the Collins Company complex began its work Tuesday.

During the day, representatives from Saratoga-Springs based Camoin Associates, in the first of several visits to town, interviewed complex owner “Rusty” Tilney, talked to merchants and potential developers and spoke at two public meetings as the first step in developing a Tax Increment Finance, or TIF, Master Plan for the property and perhaps some of the surrounding area. TIF involves taking a portion of the additional tax revenues generated by a development, or redevelopment, and investing them back into the project and/or related improvements.

At a public workshop Tuesday evening Camoin senior vice president Jim Damicis provided an overview for approximately 30 residents and the Canton Tax Increment Financing (TIF) Steering Committee.

In this case, the master plan would involve the general guidelines the town could use as a springboard to enter into an agreement with a future developer. Damicis said his company has been involved in some 75 projects, mostly in Maine and is excited about a relatively new state law that revamps the process in Connecticut. It’s not a cure-all but a powerful tool, he said.

“This is not a silver bullet for economic development,” he said. “It’s one tool in the mix.” … Continue Reading

Reminder: Public Invited to Learn More About Tax Increment Financing Possibilities for Collins Company Complex

By John Fitts 

COLLINSVILLE — On Tuesday representatives from Camoin Associates will be in town to learn more about the Collins Company complex, the town’s hopes to spur redevelopment there and to share with business owners, officials and residents the possibilities of Tax Increment Financing.

Earlier this year, encouraged by revamped state legislation, the town chose to formally explore Tax Increment Financing, or TIF as an option to encourage redevelopment. TIF is the concept of taking some of the future tax revenues from a development and investing back into the project itself  – or related improvements.

On Tuesday, June 28, representatives from the Saratoga-Springs based Camoin Associates, contracted to help the town develop a TIF Master Plan, will be in town to tour the complex, meet with local merchants, speak with the complex owner, talk to potential developers and attend two public meetings. The first of the public meetings will be at 3:30 p.m. with the town’s TIF Steering Committee, Town Leaders and staff. It takes place in the Canton Community Center, Room C.

At 7 p.m., the consultants will hold a public education workshop in Room F of the community center. The meeting is designed to provide an overview of TIF and how it could be used to encourage redevelopment.

“I think it will be a good opportunity for the public to learn more about the possible options to encourage re-development of the Collins Company,” Hill said. … Continue Reading

Plaque Memorializes Canton’s Trailblazing Physician, Founding Father and Renaissance Man

By John Fitts 

CANTON — As the story goes, Dr. Solomon Everest once treated a young woman who claimed her self-inflicted wounds were the result of witchcraft. “Immersion” in a large cistern of water diminished her symptoms and the doctor’s suggestion that he could burn the wounds with his “witchiron” quickly cured the ailment. On another occasion, Everest, according to lore, happily collected $20 from a man who “insisted” he had a broken neck.*

Everest practiced medicine in Canton (initially West Simsbury) from 1796 until his death in 1822. He, of course, treated more serious and traditional medical ailments, but the stories suggest a man who realized a good physician could use plenty of empathy and a healthy dose of humor.

And Everest’s contributions to his community and state were significant. He served in the General Assembly, is largely credited with leading the charge to get Canton incorporated in 1806 and served as a member of 1818 Constitutional Convention. For good measure, he was a deacon at the First Congregational Church of Canton Center, a charter member of Village Lodge #29 (Mason), and left funds to the Connecticut Congregational Society.   … Continue Reading

First Selectman’s Corner: Public Invited to Hear More on Idea that Could Help Spur Collins Company Complex Redevelopment

Canton First Selectman Leslee Hill

Canton First Selectman Leslee Hill

Redevelopment of the Collins Company property has been an ongoing topic in Canton for many years. As you may know, the town is considering whether to pursue a program of Tax Increment Financing (TIF) to encourage such redevelopment.

On Tuesday, June 28, 2016, representatives from our retained TIF consultant, Camoin Associates, will be visiting in order to tour the Collins Company complex, meet with local merchants and interested developers, as well as speak with town leaders and staff in order to begin the process of developing a TIF Master Plan.

That evening, Camoin Associates will be hosting a public workshop in order to discuss Tax Increment Financing and how the Town of Canton may be able to utilize this development tool. The presentation will provide an overview of TIF, as well as how it could be used to spur redevelopment of the Collins Company complex. It will be held in Room F of the Community Center, from 7:00 to 8:30 pm. I encourage you to attend and become better informed on a topic that is relevant to both our economic development and preservation of this historic asset.

Best Regards, 
Leslee B. Hill
First Selectman

Yoga Center of Collinsville Looks to Create Cohesive Space in Current Building

June 13, 2016 Business, Community No Comments
COLLINSVILLE — Yoga Center of Collinsville has announced it is moving up to the third floor of its current building at 10 Front St.
“This was a huge decision for our studio. The new space will resolve some long-standing challenges we’ve had with our 1st and 2nd floor layout,” said Shawn Cole, owner and director of YCC. “In the end, the strength of our student body and teachers gave me the confidence to invest in the move. The 3rd-floor suite provides us an ideal location to deliver increasingly exceptional wellness services to our clients in Collinsville for years to come.”
Work will begin in August and the center targeting a Sept. 1 unveiling of its new space, for which it has a 5-year lease. Until then, the center will continue to operate on the first and second floors.

… Continue Reading

Town Awarded $1.3 Million for Additional Streetscape Work in Collinsville

A portion of Phase 1 Collinsville Streetscape. Photo by John Fitts

A portion of Phase 1 Collinsville Streetscape.
Photo by John Fitts

By John Fitts 

The town learned Wednesday that it had received a $1.3 million state grant to continue Collinsville streetscape improvements.

“I was very pleased to learn that Canton was awarded this grant,” said first selectwoman Leslee Hill. “We have heard from merchants and residents alike who are eager to see the completion of the second phase of this project. I am grateful to our town planner, Neil Pade, and his staff, who have worked tirelessly on this plan.”

Before the town can formally accept the grant, it does need approval from the boards of Selectmen and finance and electors at town meeting. The funds could not be diverted to other projects.

Last summer, the town completed the first phase of the streetscape project, which included lighting, a complete revamping of the ‘Town Hall’ parking lot, plantings, benches, crosswalk and sidewalk improvements, street paving and more.

… Continue Reading

Images of Canton: Bristol’s Farm Gets into Swing of the Season

By John Fitts

CANTON — Now in his fourth season back at his family farm, Josh Bristol feels he is truly home.

“I’m planning on sinking my roots here,” he said. “It’s the right place for me to be.”

The Bristol family has been farming – or leasing – the land along Route 44 in Canton since the late 1800s.

Josh Bristol, a 2004 graduate of Canton High School, worked in the theater industry for several years but kept thinking of getting back to the farm, where he spent many, many hours while growing up. Initially the timing wasn’t right but the exit of one of the tenant farmers and the fact that those remaining didn’t want to run the store put the plan in motion. The 2013 death of his grandfather and long-time farmer, David A. Bristol Sr., along with the fact that his contract at the Long Wharf Theater in New Haven was coming to an end, cemented the decision. Josh Bristol decided to try it for a year.

“After that I kind of kept going,” Bristol said, adding that he bought a home in town. “It’s the right place for me to be.”

“I get a lot of satisfaction out of just watching something grow and kind of nuturing it through,” Bristol added. “It’s always a good thought at the end of the day that people are taking all this food I grow home and feeding their families with it. I always say there’s just something primal about farming. There’s just something deep down in my primitive brain that’s just like this a good thing to be doing; this is something you should be doing.” … Continue Reading

On the Road Bookshop Celebrates 40 Years

May 16, 2016 Business No Comments

By John Fitts

CANTON – For 40 years, On the Road Bookshop has sat along the town’s busiest thoroughfare but somehow it still seems a hidden treasure.

Some long-time residents seem unaware of the store but during the latter part of each week you’ll find owner Susan D. Grzyb, her trusty lab mix sidekick Brock, and more than 6,000 books to browse. Titles cover a vast range of subjects and categories such as literature, art, history, poetry, cooking, biographies, philosophy, travel and sports.

“Books endure because of their mystique, but also for a more practical reason,” said owner Susan D. Grzyb. “Books haven’t changed since Gutenberg 600 years ago because the design and functionality can’t really be improved upon.” … Continue Reading

Canton Chamber of Commerce Seeks Golfers and Sponsors for Annual Golf Tournament

Simsbury Farms Golf Course. Submitted Photo

Simsbury Farms Golf Course.
Submitted Photo

A portion of proceeds to benefit scholarship fund for Canton High School Seniors

Submitted Release 

The Canton Chamber is pleased to announce its 23rd annual Golf Tournament, being held on Monday, June 6 at Simsbury Farms Golf Course in West Simsbury. The tournament is open to the public and a portion of the proceeds fund the Chamber’s annual scholarships to Canton High School seniors seeking higher education in business or pursuing an entrepreneurial endeavor.

Registration and the putting contest begin at 10:30 am. Lunch is at 11 am and the shotgun scramble tee off is at 12 pm. The post-play reception begins at 5 pm, followed by dinner and awards. The tournament fee is $170 per person or $680 for a foursome, which includes lunch, dinner, golf cart and beer on the course. … Continue Reading


Upcoming Events

7:30 am Rotary Club of Avon-Canton @ Avon Old Farms Hotel
Rotary Club of Avon-Canton @ Avon Old Farms Hotel
Mar 24 @ 7:30 am
The Rotary Club Meets Fridays at 7:30 AM Avon Old Farms Hotel 279 Avon Mountain Rd. Avon, CT  06001 United States – See more at: http://portal.clubrunner.ca/5482#sthash.qE3T9Hoe.dpuf
6:00 pm Open Mic @ LaSalle Market
Open Mic @ LaSalle Market
Mar 24 @ 6:00 pm – 10:30 pm
Open Mic every week. Limited sign-ups available by calling at 1:30 p.m. the day of event (860) 693-8010
7:00 pm Friday Night Jazz @ La Trattoria
Friday Night Jazz @ La Trattoria
Mar 24 @ 7:00 pm – 10:00 pm
 Every Friday night, entertainment in the Lounge