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Letter to the Editor: Restoring Collinsville’s Riverfront

To the Editor:

Last week I sent a letter that documented the fact that only one member of the public was cited in the Upper Collinsville Mill Pond Master Plan as asking for the DPW Garage to be moved. It was part of comment #53 by an anonymous Survey Monkey participant who listed an abundance of creative ideas to improve recreation in the area.

This week—in the spirit of #53– I follow up with an innovative concept to restore some of Collinsville’s riverfront and make life more wonderful for active people in Collinsville.

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Reminder: Special Town Meeting on Public Works Facility is Wednesday Night (Oct. 26, 2016)

October 25, 2016 Government, Referendum No Comments

screen-shot-2016-09-21-at-11-10-01-amBy John Fitts

The town will hold a special town meeting Wednesday night to let people share their opinions on the proposal for a new $3.825 million public works facility at the current site.

The town is looking to bond the funds for a facility of approximately 14,217 square feet facility. The plan calls for more than 11,000 square feet of storage with a maintenance area, lift and dedicated wash bay. It also includes lowering the ballfield for floodplain mitigation, a new salt storage shed, partial demolition of the existing facility and a public restroom.

The proposal to rebuild the facility at its current site, 50 Old River Road, was first presented in January of 2016 and has been a controversial one. Two political action committees have formed around the issue and it’s been a heated discussion in town. … Continue Reading

Letter to the Editor: Canton Garage Proposal Is Shortsighted

To the Editor,
I am writing to tell you why I am voting no on the referendum for the new town garage. I think that I agree with most residents that we must address this vital need, but i am very concerned that the plan proposed will not meet the long term needs of the town.
In full disclosure, I am not a member of the “Not on our river”organization, nor have I spoken to any of their members in any detail. Ihave voted yes on all three of the previous garage referendums. I voted for the first one  (Cherry Brook Rd.) with some trepidation about the price, but I strongly supported the two votes on the Commerce Drive location. I felt that they were right sized and priced appropriately.

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Letter to the Editor: Let’s Rebuild the Garage Right – Where it Already Is

To the Editor:

Acting as concerned, private citizens, a non-partisan group recently formed a PAC called Canton GOES (Garage On Existing Site).  Our website is www.CantonGOES.org and our Facebook page is Facebook.com/CantonGOES.  We provide factual information for voters interested in learning more about why we support a Yes vote on Nov. 8th to re-build the town public works facility at its current location with important site enhancements.  To be specific and factual – these enhancements include protecting the environment by constructing the garage, office area, salt shed and fuel pumps above the 100 year flood plain.  Public restrooms and improved parking are also included and the potential remains to further develop river access and site entry. … Continue Reading

Letter to the Editor: Current Proposal is a Lose/Lose Proposition

To the Editor:

Our town needs a new garage.  The current proposal puts price ahead of value and is a lose / lose proposition with an inferior building, and a poor land use that forgoes a major opportunity to improve the town.  The cost savings of $900,000 do not offset the shortcomings.

At 14,200 sq.ft. this garage is 25% smaller than it was in 2014 (18,900 sq.ft.), which only saves 20% ($3.8 vs. $4.7million).  The original space assessment recommended a 25,000 sq. ft. building.  The river site does not permit the building to be expanded, so for the next 40 years the town will operate out of a facility that is 55% of the size recommended.  The town has presented a “storage area” graphic showing all the vehicles stacked three to six deep without snow plows and sanders.  Getting the vehicles in the garage as shown will take time, planning and careful maneuvering.  Getting them out will be more difficult.  The Barkhamsted garage and the previous Canton garage designs have doors on both sides which makes those buildings more efficient to use.  Site constraints make this configuration impossible.  … Continue Reading

Letter to the Editor: Public Works Union Encourages a Yes Vote

Letter to the Editor:
Hello my name is Chris Davis, President of NAGE R1-198, which represents the Canton Department of Public Works. At this time I would like to mention a few items on behalf of the Public Works Employees, in support of the towns plan to rebuild the existing town garage at 50 Old River Road. 
1. Every Day the Public Works Employees report to work facing a further deteriorating building and equipment fleet,  but we continue to serve the town and all its residents as professionals.  The DPW staff has to work in an environment that nobody should have to work in.  The building condition is deplorable with chipmunks, mice and birds inhabiting our work areas. 

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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.

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Letter to the Editor: Town Has Done Its Due Diligence

To the Editor:

1. Flood zone mapping in my opinion is not 100 perecent accurate;
a. It is an overview of the area without actual boots on the ground measurements.
b. It does not take into account all the new flood control measures and regulations that control run off from properties. (When I see Canton Valley Circle needing flood insurance, the homes behind Bank of America on Rt. 44; I question the true accuracy.) I believe when they do the remapping it will actually decrease the zone coverage. … Continue Reading

Letter to the Editor: Garage Vote – It’s Time to Get This Done

To the Editor:

Those opposed to rebuilding the garage claim that it is being built on the River. While that may sound like an ecological nightmare, it is not the truth. The actual proposed garage is 190 feet from the Farmington River. Compare this to 41 Bridge Street which is 60 feet from the River or Collinsville Canoe and Kayak at 150 feet from the River. How about the Collins Axe Factory and Riverside Nursery which have buildings that are less than 50 feet from the River. The DentFix Express garage at the corner of River Street (route 179) and Maple Avenue is closer to the River than the proposed DPW garage will be. You don’t have to take my word for it, go on the Town website and use the GIS maps for yourself – here’s the link: http://www.townofcantonct.org/content/19178/19210/. Are the same people that demand the garage be removed now going to demand all these other buildings and businesses be removed too?

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Letter to the Editor: Rebuilding the Town Garage Near the River is a Risky Expense

To the Editor:
Having just returned from North Carolina in the wake of Hurricane Matthew, and having  been in Vermont’s Mad River Valley as Hurricane Irene ripped through with incredible devastation, I feel compelled to respond to the idea of rebuilding the town garage on the banks of the Farmington River. 
This area flooded just five years ago. Building a new garage barley ( 1 foot ) above the 100 year floodplain is a risky expense. And access to the facility will remain in the floodplain so all equipment will need to be removed during extreme weather. The fueling station for the garage will also be in the floodplain. This will cut access to refueling during a flood and raises the possibility of fuel leakage.

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