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First Selectman’s Corner: ‘Substance Abuse Prevention and the Opioid Epidemic’ is Topic of March 9 Forum

Leslee Hill

This is the first of what will be an ongoing series of communications from me regarding Canton’s Year of Mental Wellness. Canton’s Mental Health Task Force has been working hard to develop a year-long Call to Action, which we will be sharing with you soon. This calendar will set forth various themes and focus areas for the coming months, along with suggested actions designed to improve your own mental wellness, or support someone else’s.

As a follow-up to the Annual Town Meeting presentation on the opioid crisis in our area, I am pleased to invite you to attend a special event on Thursday evening, March 9th, in the Canton Community Center. “Shining the Spotlight on Mental Wellness: Substance Abuse Prevention and the Opioid Epidemic” will be an informative evening for all. We will hear from featured speakers, including the State Commissioner of the Dept. of Mental Health and Addiction Services, Dr. Miriam E. Delphin-Rittmon.

I am especially pleased to welcome our special guest speaker, Ms. Laura Shafer, PhD. Ms. Shafer grew up in the Farmington Valley, and will share her candid story of heroin addiction and recovery. This will be a compelling presentation that I urge you not to miss. This portion of the evening will be in Room F of the Community Center, beginning at 6pm. Another important feature of the event will be a Resource Fair, in the lower level multi-purpose room, beginning at 5:30. A wide variety of state agencies, local groups, advocacy organizations, and service providers, will be present and able to answer your questions about their services. Our hope is that you will leave this event with a better understanding of how the opioid crisis is affecting your friends and neighbors in Canton and the Farmington Valley, how to recognize signs of addiction in someone you care about, and where to turn for help. The speaker portion of the evening will be taped for later broadcast on Nutmeg TV, and will also be available for viewing on the Town website.    Click here to view the flyer for more information.

I hope to see you on March 9th, and I look forward to continuing our community conversation about mental wellness throughout the coming months.

Best regards,
Leslee B. Hill
First Selectman

Board of Education to Host Budget Hearing, Selectmen to Continue Discussion

February 21, 2017 Budget, Government, Schools No Comments

The newly adopted town seal.

CANTON — There will be several relevant meetings this week as local officials continue to grapple with how to refine their 2017-18 budget plans in light of Gov. Dannel P. Malloy’s budget proposal that includes steep cuts in state aid. 

With recent budget proposals by Schools superintendent Kevin D. Case and Chief Administrative Officer Robert H. Skinner, the town, under normal circumstances, would be looking at a very preliminary budget of  $38,264,351, an increase of 1.87 percent, which would result in a .22 mill rate increase, impacting the “average” taxpayer $53. And those numbers would likely be trimmed even more after further scrutiny by the boards of education, selectman and finance. 

However, this year is much different from most. The boards of education and selectmen are still reviewing the respective proposals but more importantly, the town is grappling with how to prepare for cuts proposed by the governor and whether the state legislature will restore some or all of the funding. At a recent “super board” meeting, Skinner told town officials from various boards that the governor’s reductions in state aid, combined with some additional expenses and other changes, would result in a revenue reduction of $2,117,067 for the fiscal year.If everything else were to stay the same, that average taxpayer, whose home is assessed at some $238,000, would be looking at an increase more along the lines of $707 under the governor’s plan.

Officials are hopeful that the state legislature will take action and, this week, will receive an update from state Sen. Kevin Witkos and state Rep. Tim LeGeyt. Both officials will be in town Wednesday night to provide updates – first at a Board of Education budget hearing and then to the Board of Selectmen. … Continue Reading

Canton Superintendent Proposes Budget with 1.84 Percent Increase

February 8, 2017 Budget, Government, Schools No Comments

Canton Schools superintendent Kevin D. Case has proposed a 2017-18 budget of $25,629,086, which would represent a $462,388 or 1.84 percent increase in spending over 2016-17 levels.

With the uncertainty whether the state will continue to fund education at its current levels, a $1-million plus increase in “fixed costs,” a state law stipulating that towns keep total budget increases under 2.5 percent and $1.6 million in administrator requests, educators said it was an especially difficult budget process. 

“This has been one of the most challenging budgets I’ve put together in my 10 and a half years in Canton,” Case said.

Among the cuts in the proposed budget would be the reduction of 12 full-time equivalent positions in non-certified staff. Case said specific positions have yet to be determined but those would include positions such as paraprofessionals and tutors.

“It’s a hard decision because we are not over-staffed by any means,” Case said. “These are valuable staff members – very, very difficult decision for me.” … Continue Reading

Canton CAO proposes budget with 2.44 percent increase

February 6, 2017 Budget, Government, Schools No Comments

By John Fitts 

Canton Chief Administrative Officer Robert H. Skinner has proposed a town 2017-18 spending plan of $10,589,284, an increase of $252,200 or 2.44 percent over approved 2016-17 spending levels. 

The operations budget is proposed at $9,467,568 while capital improvement funding is pegged at $1,121,716. 

A driving factor in the proposal is the state’s mandate that caps municipal expense increases to just 2.5 percent. (Just a few items are excluded).

“Obviously there were sacrifices that had to be made to meet the cap,” Skinner wrote in his budget introduction. “That is why almost half the departments have decreases in their bottom lines.”

Additionally there are no significant new initiatives in the plan, Skinner noted. 

While there is a special revenue funded increase in hours for the recreation coordinator, additional hours for the building official and the combination of two, part-time library positions to create a full-time one, there are no “new” positions in the budget. 

… Continue Reading

Area Businessman Looks to Renovate Maple Avenue Building

A rendering of the proposed improvements at 61 Maple Ave.

By John Fitts

CANTON – A locally based financial advisor is looking to renovate a long-deteriorating commercial building on Maple Avenue. 

Michael Chadwick, who runs Chadwick Financial Advisors, wants to completely renovated the 6,150-square-foot building at 61 Maple Ave. and create approximately four office spaces, one of which would be for his company. 

The applicant plans to make numerous building, landscaping and parking improvements. 

This application is due to go before the Canton Planning and Zoning Commission on Feb. 15. According to a memo from town planner Neil Pade, a public hearing is not required for a site plan application but the commission “may schedule one.” 

Please see more in this week’s edition of The Valley Press. We also plan to follow up in future editions.  

61 Maple Ave as it exists today.

Canton Annual Report Dedicated to Late, Activist Couple

January 25, 2017 Community, Government No Comments

By John Fitts 

The late Lou and Judi Friedman at Roaring Brook Nature Center.
Photo courtesy of Roaring Brook Nature Center

Assistant Editor

CANTON — The late Judi and Lou Friedman were known throughout the world for their activism but the couple also strongly believed that it started locally. 

Their actions at home included building a trend-setting energy-efficient home, instilling a love for the environment in generations of children, speaking and writing about local issues, fighting local polluters and pitching in at Roaring Brook Nature Center. 

Now, the town of Canton has dedicated its 2015-2016 annual report to the couple. The dedication was announced by First Selectman Leslee Hill at the Canton Annual town meeting Jan. 18, 2017. 

“Our sincere thanks and appreciation go out to the Friedmans for their years of continuous contributions to the Canton community – their passing has been deeply felt in the town of Canton and we appreciate and honor them through this annual report dedication,” Hill said. 

Please see more in this week’s edition of The Valley Press

 

First Selectman’s Corner: Two Important Topics at Annual Town Meeting

January 12, 2017 Community, Government No Comments

Leslee Hill

Dear Canton Residents,

Please consider this a personal invitation to attend the 2017 Annual Town Meeting. It will be held on Wednesday, January 18, 2017 at 7:00 pm at the Town Hall Auditorium. Two topics will be presented that evening.

The first will be an overview of economic development initiatives presented by the Town of Canton’s Economic Development Agency.

The second topic will be mental health issues in Canton, with a focus on the opioid epidemic in our area. This will be presented by Jennifer Kertanis, Director of the Farmington Valley Health District; Claire Cote, Canton’s Director of Senior and Social Services; and Maria Coutant Skinner, Executive Director at the McCall Center for Behavioral Health. These are topics that should be of interest to everyone in Canton, and I encourage you to come and learn more about them. That evening, the town will also honor, with the dedication of the 2016 Annual Report, the late Louis and Judith Friedman, who were well-known and highly respected members of the Canton community.  … Continue Reading

Canton Looks to Make Town Green More of a Showcase

January 12, 2017 Community, Government No Comments

CANTON – This winter the town’s Public Works Department will begin some improvements on the town green designed to make the area more visually pleasing and welcoming.

“It’s a very prominent, iconic spot for the town to welcome people to the community by having a nice, attractive green,” said Public Works Director Robert J. Martin.

For the past several years, the department, the Canton Lions Club and Cherry Brook Garden Club have made numerous improvements on the green and to the bandstand.

Now the department is looking to replace the aging, deteriorated “Welcome to Canton, Town of Champion” sign, remove some diseased and invasive trees and plant some new specimens. For the later, the department is working with town historian David K. Leff to plant specimens that most closely resemble some historic trees that once stood on the green.

“I love the approach you’ve taken,” First Selectman Leslee Hill told Public Works Director Robert J. Martin at a Board of Selectman meeting Wednesday. “There’s reasons for everything you’ve taken out and there’s reasons for everything you’re putting in . . . It would be a nice welcome into town.”

Please look out for the complete story, written by John Fitts, in the Jan. 19, 2017 edition of the Valley Press.

Letter: Remembering Raynald Bergeron

On Aug. 6, 2009, former Secretary of the State Susan Bysiewicz presented a Public Service Award to several World War II veterans, including former Canton First Selectman Raynald Bergeron. Pictured from left are state Rep. Timothy LeGeyt, Bysiewicz, Bergeron, and then Canton First Selectman Richard Barlow.

By Bill Volovski
 
With all the hustle and bustle of the holidays this past week a lot of folks probably missed the passing of Raynald Bergeron. This may not be a familiar name to newer or younger residents of Canton, but you probably experience or benefit from something that Ray did for Canton every day. Ray served on the Board of Selectmen beginning in the late 1960’s and was First Selectman for ten years during the 1970’s and early 1980’s. Ray may very well have been the most influential First Selectman in the town’s history.
 
Raised in Collinsville, Ray served our country proudly during World War Two. Like many of his peers, he came home and worked at the Collins Company until it closed in 1966. When the Company closed and no longer provided fire protection to the town Ray became a founding member of the new Collinsville Volunteer Fire Department, later serving  as Captain of the Canton Memorial Ambulance division.

… Continue Reading

January 2017 Events at Canton Public Library

The following events are scheduled at the Canton Public Library, located at 40 Dyer Ave. in Canton, CT. Follow the library, or check for weather updates, at  http://www.cantonpubliclibrary.org or https://www.facebook.com/cantonlibraryct/.

Saturday, Dec. 31 New Year’s holiday schedule: the library will close early on New Year’s Eve, Saturday, Dec. 31 at 3 p.m., and remain closed through Monday, January 2. The library will reopen on Tuesday, January 3 at 10:00 AM.

Tuesday, Jan. 3 — Tuesday, January 31, “Invitational Art Show,” is held over in the Canton Public Library gallery space. The diverse artists selected for the Invitational belong to the roster of prior library show artists or have a special connection to our area arts community. Some of the exhibitors are: Tom Kutz, Lisa Sharp, Sally Markey, Mary Wooten, Adriance DeGroff, Fran Hoffnagle, and Michael Patnode. Show highlight: works that portray the Canton or Collinsville area. Free and open to the public.

Tuesday, Jan. 3, 3 p.m. –“After School Smash Bros & Jackbox Gaming,” open to grades 5-12. Join us for up to 8 players playing Smash Bros on Wii U or bring a smart phone, tablet, or laptop to join in ridiculous fun with Jackbox Games. Those who are present at 3 pm on January 3rd will get to choose which we do. Free and no registration necessary; just drop in. Information: call (860) 693-5800, email tguay@cantonpubliclibrary.org , or visit www.cantonpubliclibrary.org.

Wednesday, Jan. 4, 3 p.m. –-“Games Galore for Teens.” Enjoy games like Magic the Gathering, Yu-Gi-Oh Cards, board games, and others?  Bring your Magic or Yu-Gi-Oh decks or play one of many assorted board games such as Sushi GO, Great Dalmuti, Zombie Dice, Munchkin, Tsuro, etc.!  (Note: We will teach board games, but if you’re coming to play Magic or Yu-Gi-Oh, we assume you already know how to play.) Grades 5-12 welcome. Free; drop-in. Information: call (860) 693-5800, email tguay@cantonpubliclibrary.org , or visit www.cantonpubliclibrary.org. … Continue Reading

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Upcoming Events

Sep
25
Mon
8:30 am Daily Mass @ St. Patrick Church
Daily Mass @ St. Patrick Church
Sep 25 @ 8:30 am
 
1:30 pm Wii Bowling @ Canton Community Center
Wii Bowling @ Canton Community Center
Sep 25 @ 1:30 pm
Have you ever wished you could continue to bowl without putting on bowling shoes or lugging a heavy ball?  You’re in LUCK!!  Join the Canton Senior Center Wii Bowling Team, The Canton Rollers.  Show off your bowling skills or learn new ones at the Senior Center.  Mondays at 1:30pm, Wednesdays ...
Sep
26
Tue
7:30 am Canton Food Bank @ Trinity Episcopal Church
Canton Food Bank @ Trinity Episcopal Church
Sep 26 @ 7:30 am – 9:30 am
The Canton Food Bank is accepting fresh produce (as well as non-perishables of course!) every Tuesday from 7:30am-9:30am. Please keep them, and those less fortunate in our community, in mind as your backyard gardens begin to bloom and produce a bountiful harvest!  
8:30 am Daily Mass @ St. Patrick Church
Daily Mass @ St. Patrick Church
Sep 26 @ 8:30 am