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Town Garage Dominates Local Political Discussions but Races Certain to Boost Participation On the Issue

For election day coverage visit http://cantoncompass.com/2014/140824/november-2014-election-coverage-canton/

By John Fitts 

The current Public Works Facility viewed from Old River Road parking lot.

The current Public Works Facility viewed from Old River Road parking lot.

There’s no doubt that debate over the proposed Public Works facility has largely dominated town politics over the past several weeks — at least in public discussions, letters to the editor, lawn signs, social media and web sites.

It’s the political races, however, including the 8th Senate District, governor, U.S Representative and others, that could result in a greater number weighing in on the garage issue. Some say the garage issue could even help boost participation in those races as well.

In May of 2013, town voters, by a tally of 814 to 454, defeated a proposal to bond up to $5.4 million for a garage and related site work and costs at 325 Commerce Drive. … Continue Reading

Images of Canton: November 2014 Sample Ballot

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Alternate Garage Proposal: Legitimate Concept or Red Herring? With Documents

October 10, 2014 Government, Referendum No Comments
The current Public Works Facility viewed from Old River Road parking lot.

The current Public Works Facility viewed from Old River Road parking lot.

An alternate proposal recently introduced outside of the public bid process has created a rift about a Town Public Works Project that is headed to referendum next month.

Some are saying it’s an idea that should be explored while others have labeled it as a carefully timed move to torpedo the town’s current proposal.

On Nov. 4, Canton voters will decide whether to spend $4.78 million on a new 19,000 square-foot public works facility at 325 Commerce Drive to replace the town’s current facility near the Farmington River. The price is for construction, site work, land purchase as well as $50,000 for re-use of the current garage site. After the defeat of a $5.4 million public works project in May of 2013, town officials sent out an RFP earlier this year. They said it was done to specifically get bids prior to the vote and to allow bidders to propose alternate sites. (One company proposed a Route 44 location, an issue covered in previous Compass stories).

The alternate plan, as presented, includes a site drawing, building elevations and a cover sheet, with the names whited out, stating a price of $4,735 million for a 19,000 +/- square-foot design-build garage/fire station at 51 River Road, removal of the existing fire station, removal of the existing town garage and two new baseball fields. An accompanying drawing shows a slightly larger footprint with a T-shaped building with a 12,000 square foot public works garage, a 9,000 square-foot fire station and a 3,000 square foot mezzanine. (A newer drawing submitted to Compass this week shows an altered site and a larger second floor that the designer said that was not part of the original price). … Continue Reading

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