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Letter to the Editor: Congratulations to BOS, DPW

To the Editor:

I offer my congratulations to the Board of Selectmen and the members of the DPW on the successful passage of the Canton DPW Facility referendum.

There is finally a plan that produced a resoundingly clear approval from our citizens and now town officials must deliver the advertised project within the allotted budget. … Continue Reading

Election Day 2016: Town Public Works Facility Plan Approved

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

Letter to the Editor: How Canton Finally Proposed A DPW Facility Voters Liked

To the Editor:

What appears below is a brief political history of the recently-approved garage proposal that is based upon available source documents and conversations. It may be inaccurate in some details but arguably presents an accurate take on the feelings of many of those cited.

… Continue Reading

Opponents, Proponents Continue Focus on Tuesday’s Public Works Facility Vote

November 7, 2016 Government, Referendum No Comments

By John Fitts

CANTON – Despite the temperatures in the 30s, a group of representatives from those fighting the town’s proposed Public Works Facility huddled on the site of Route 44 early Monday morning.

“A lot of people are giving us really positive indications,” said David Sinish, who is treasurer of Not on Our River, a Political Action Committee formed around the issue. “There are thumbs up, great smiles waves, horn honking. We really believe that people are getting the message that maybe 50, 60 years ago, it was a good idea to build a garage next to the river. Now we’re a lot more sophisticated in our environmental thinking and it makes no sense whatsoever to put a garage next to the river.”

The group is fighting the town’s plan to build 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 project is for $3.825 million.

Strongly supporting the measure has been a second PAC, Canton GOES (Garage on Existing Site).

Canton GOES PAC chairman Brian D. First said he also feels the group has used a variety of methods to reach voters. Like NOOR, supporters have sent letters to the editor, run a web site and facebook page and posted numerous signs around time. Canton GOES has also funded several direct mailings.

“I think we have certainly demonstrated a strong effort to reach the voters with the facts about the merits of this garage project,” First said.

First said the plan addresses concerns such as cost and includes areas for recreation while providing an adequate facility designed with input from the Public Works Department.

“This meets all of our needs and still allows us to address the concerns that people are seeking for recreation,” he said. “It really provides an area that is set aside for recreation.”

… Continue Reading

Letter to the Editor: The Garage by the River

To the Editor:

There have been many strong arguments and opinions presented regarding the upcoming Canton Department of Public Works Facility replacement referendum. Regardless of which side of the issue people choose to support, my hope is that everyone who votes has done their homework, read the proposals, and has considered the many thoughtful letters both for and against the proposal. This is an issue that has been ongoing for numerous years and multiple referendums, and it would be nice to arrive with a solution that is reinforced by voters who are well informed. The information about this proposal is plentiful, and with good voter turnout, should give us an accurate idea about how the public truly feels. That said I’d like to offer a few observations. … Continue Reading

Letter to the Editor: Vote No on a Sketchy Project

To the Editor:

What are we being asked to vote for on Election Day? To approve spending $3.8 million to construct a facility with only a conceptual layout – not final blueprints.  The plan calls for a building that just meets current needs, on a site with no room for expansion. The way the question is worded, if $3.8 million is not enough, Selectmen can make any alterations to keep the project within that budget. This would necessitate reducing the size of a building that is already barely adequate to accommodate present needs. … Continue Reading

Financial Filings for Canton GOES

November 7, 2016 Government, Referendum No Comments

Below are the financial filings for the Political Action Committee Canton Garage on Existing Site in relation to the town’s $3.82 Million proposal to rebuild the Public Works facility at 50 Old River Road.  The next filing is due Jan. 1, 2017 and we will post information on Not on Our River in another post.

The documents can also be viewed at https://www.scribd.com/collections/17154615/Public-Works-2016

… Continue Reading

Financial Filings for Not on Our River

November 7, 2016 Government, Referendum No Comments

Below are the financial filings for the Political Action Committee Not on Our River in relation to the town’s $3.82 Million proposal to rebuild the Public Works facility at 50 Old River Road. The next filing is due Jan. 1, 2017 and we will post the Canton GOES information in another post.

The documents can also be viewed at https://www.scribd.com/collections/17154615/Public-Works-2016 … Continue Reading

Letter to the Editor: Riverfront Recapture or Riverfront Disaster?

To the Editor:

Remember all the excitement, fireworks, and jubilation in 1999, as Hartford’s Riverfront Recapture celebrated opening night on the city’s new bridge not over – but to – the Connecticut River?  Can you remember that in 1999, we too were excitedly looking at our own Riverfront Recapture initiative towards removing our crumbling garage off the Farmington River at a fraction of today’s cost? Today Hartford’s Riverfront Recapture generates millions in business and tax revenue as their Riverfront Recapture also benefits the city in so many additional ways that can’t be measured simply by money.  … Continue Reading

Letter to the Editor: The Time is Now

To the Editor:

The time is now, vote YES to rebuild the town garage on the existing site.

A rebuilt garage at the existing site will provide a safe place for our DPW workers.

A rebuilt garage at the existing site is the most cost effective option ever presented to voters. … Continue Reading

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