By John Fitts
By a tally of 3,219 to 2,550, Canton voters approved the proposal to build a $3.825 million Public Works facility at the present 50 Old River Road site near the Farmington River.
The plan had been a controversial, and often polarizing one in town, and two Political Action Committees, Not on Our River and Canton GOES (Garage on Existing Site) had formed around the issue.
The proposal was a 14,100 square-foot facility, salt shed and new fueling station at 50 Old River Road, where the town’s current, approximate 600-square foot Public Works garage sits today.
The town has struggled with the issue for years. In 2010, voters rejected a plan to purchase property at 5 Cherry Brook Road for $900,000. Two years later a $6 million plus plan for that property never made it to referendum after property appraisals came in well below the purchase price for the parcel. In May of 2013 and November of 2014, rejected $5.4. million and $4.78 million plans for a facility at 325 Commerce Drive.
This project was also controversial. Some called it a sound economic proposal that would provide safer work conditions and further protection for the river. Opponents said it is a negative for the river to keep the garage at the site, diminishes recreational opportunities and was too much of a compromise and negated all possibility of future expansion. … Continue Reading