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First Selectman’s Corner: A Public Works Project Update

August 2, 2016 Government, Opinion No Comments
Canton First Selectman Leslee Hill

Leslee Hill

Dear Canton Residents,

I am writing to update you on the status of the Public Works Facility issue. In the last month, a few significant events have occurred.

First, the BOS gave consideration to the possibility of relocating the Public Works facility to 674 Albany Turnpike (also known as the “Satan’s Kingdom” property), which is on the market for $1.2 million. After survey results indicated that there was support for that location, the BOS voted to obtain an appraisal of the property. Several members of the town staff and I walked the property as part of several meetings with the sellers, and we expressed our potential interest in purchasing the property. The appraisal valued the property at $670,000. Based on that appraisal, the BOS submitted an offer of $670,000. That offer was rejected by the sellers, and when asked, they stated that the property had significantly greater value to them and therefore chose not to make a counter-offer. This effectively ended negotiations on the purchase of that property.   … Continue Reading

Canton Real Estate Notes: What Credit Scores Are Needed for a Home Loan?

August 1, 2016 Opinion, Real Estate No Comments
David Sinish

David Sinish

By David Sinish 

Do you know what credit scores are needed to get a home loan?  You may not be alone.

A recent survey done by Ellie Mae found that there is some confusion as to what is necessary to qualify for a home mortgage.   Ellie Mae is a software company that processes more than a quarter of American homes.  In their new Origination Insight Report, they show the required FICO scores:

All Loans                721

Conventional         754

FHA                         687

VA                            706

Perhaps you might want to check with a lender to see if you qualify.

What is For Sale in Canton, as of August 1, 2016?

As of 8/1/2016 there were 69 Single Family Homes listed FOR SALE in Canton property increase from July 1, 2016. There is an additional, 10 homes or lots that are in the process of being built, (but listed as “Active in the Multiple Listing Service).    … Continue Reading

An Open Letter to the Wonderful People of Canton

Diane and Joe Eisenberg

Diane and Joe Eisenberg

To the Editor

It is with mixed emotions that I need to tell you that after 21 plus years, Diane and I have sold Canton Mobil.

We have been there with you through good times and bad. We have watched some be born, some pass on and the rest grow up.

We have laughed with you and cried with you, hugged you and shaken your hands.

Our two children grew up with you and our employees, who were like family to us, treated you like we did!

We have been through many holidays, heat waves and blizzards with you.

We have listen to your problems and issues and you listened to ours. Diane and I honestly considered our employee and loyal customers – extended family. … Continue Reading

Letter: The Selectmen are Not Listening

July 20, 2016 Government, Opinion No Comments

To the Editor:

Three members of the Canton Board of Selectmen – First Selectman Leslee Hill, Beth Kandrysawtz, and Larry Minichiello — are intent on trying to reconstruct the town Department of Public Works garage on its current site on the Farmington River.  They are doing this despite widespread public opposition, serious site flaws, survey data that should steer them elsewhere, the extensive analysis and recommendations of the Permanent Municipal Building Committee, and the vision of the Town Plan of Conservation and Development.

Comments at the recent town public meeting and in the town-wide survey made it abundantly clear what the public wants them to do:

  • Not re-build on the river (56% opposed in survey; 59 spoke or wrote in opposition);
  • Buy 674 Albany Turnpike (67% supported in survey);
  • Reconsider Commerce Drive (122 people stated this in the survey, despite not being asked the question; 18 wrote or spoke in favor; only 8 people spoke or wrote against this site and 6 of them live on one road somewhat near the Industrial Park).

… Continue Reading

Canton DPW Garage: How We Got to Today

Guest Commentary by Sarah Faulkner

 The purpose of this article is to clarify the work being done to develop a new Department of Public Works (DPW) facility and provide some facts and data to help folks understand the issue and sentiments in town.

For over six months the Canton Board of Selectmen has been working to develop a plan for a new town garage.  There is no debate about whether or not the town needs one.  It is the highest need of the town and every year that we don’t replace the old one we’re losing money through damage to equipment and deterioration, nevermind awful working conditions for our town crew. The town also must spent money every year to shore up the deteriorating building until a new one can be constructed, pouring “good money after bad”.  The Permanent Municipal Building Committee (PMBC) has long identified the town garage as the town’s top need and has done extensive research on over 80 properties, evaluating and ranking them.  The town has held three referendums on two different sites, turning all of them down.  Each time, the size and scope of the proposed garage has grown smaller and more efficient, but has also lost some functionality (such as drive-through bays).

The Plan to Re-Build on the River

In January, the town DPW presented the Board of Selectmen with a draft plan they developed to re-build the DPW garage on the current site at 50 Old River Road.  This site is on the Farmington River next to the sewage treatment plant.  The proposal is for a greatly scaled-back, more fundamental garage than proposed earlier, designed to fit on the current site space of 1.5 acres, approximately 15,000 sf in size.  It is more than three times the size of the current facility.  Because of site limitations the design calls for an L-shaped building, two stories high along Route 179 including a two-story-tall salt shed, and one story running east-west where the current building is located.  A new access road would be constructed just south of the salt shed and all trucks and cars would enter directly from Route 179 across from the fire station. The old building would be demolished and the new one built in its place. … Continue Reading

Canton’s DPW Garage: What did the Public Say?

Guest Article/Commentary by Sarah Faulkner

The purpose of this article is to summarize and clarify the current status of the Town of Canton’s work toward constructing a new Department of Public Works (DPW) garage.

The last six months have seen an upwelling of urgency to move the town forward in building a new DPW facility.  The Board of Selectmen has identified the need to reconstruct our garage as our top priority, and has solicited public and commission comments to guide selecting a location and design plan.  There have been many meetings, research by the Permanent Municipal Building Committee (PMBC), a public comment meeting, and a public online survey to gather information.

On July 13 the Board of Selectmen voted to make an offer to purchase 674 Albany Turnpike for the new garage.  There are conditions for the purchase and if this site does not proceed, they voted to move forward with the current river location instead.

What did the Public Say?

Comments received from the public came from three sources: written comments to the Selectmen from March through July 2nd; comments; and town-wide electronic survey data and comments which closed on July 7th. … Continue Reading

Letter: Building Committee Chairman Forwards Message Sent to Officials in Advance of Town Garage Survey

To the Editor:

Upon request for input for the town-wide survey about building a new facility for the DPW, I offered the following suggestions.

A survey could be used to get information, and it may also serve as a means of educating, leading and building consensus.

The survey needs to include clear information on all of the various alternatives. Commerce Drive is the town’s industrial zone.  It’s not unreasonable to locate a town DPW facility there.  It’s been zoned industrial for approximately 20 years, so people living in that area must or should have known what could be built there.  Should the public’s support for a much-needed municipal facility on in the industrial zone (if it exists) prevail over a neighborhood’s personal preference against it? … Continue Reading

Orlando Reflections, Two Weeks Later

June 25, 2016 Community, Opinion No Comments
True Colors & American Muslim Peace Initiative vigil True Colors via twitter

True Colors & American Muslim Peace Initiative vigil
True Colors via twitter

By Jane Latus

Canton, CT – June 25, 2016

Yesterday the President named the Stonewall Inn a National Monument. Tomorrow is NYC’s big annual Pride March. But two weeks ago, I went to the vigil at the Capitol in Hartford to mourn those killed in the Orlando massacre – and left realizing we are all victims.

“Being gay is so passé.”

So wrote my now-23-year-old son Ian on his Facebook page a couple of years back.

It made me laugh, although I knew there was a lot more to that seemingly flip statement.

It was to a great extent accurate:  how the world has changed in just a generation. Ian hasn’t felt he has to hide who he is – unlike my older gay brother, whose life was disproportionally impacted by just this one aspect of his identity.

I liked its optimism, its sense of celebratory glee.

But of course I knew it isn’t quite true.

And if it ever crossed your mind to wonder about the risk of being gay in the U.S. today, mid-backlash against recent LGBTQ civil rights gains, contemplate being someone else in that letter group – for instance, the “T.” … Continue Reading

First Selectman’s Corner: Public Invited to Hear More on Idea that Could Help Spur Collins Company Complex Redevelopment

Canton First Selectman Leslee Hill

Canton First Selectman Leslee Hill

Redevelopment of the Collins Company property has been an ongoing topic in Canton for many years. As you may know, the town is considering whether to pursue a program of Tax Increment Financing (TIF) to encourage such redevelopment.

On Tuesday, June 28, 2016, representatives from our retained TIF consultant, Camoin Associates, will be visiting in order to tour the Collins Company complex, meet with local merchants and interested developers, as well as speak with town leaders and staff in order to begin the process of developing a TIF Master Plan.

That evening, Camoin Associates will be hosting a public workshop in order to discuss Tax Increment Financing and how the Town of Canton may be able to utilize this development tool. The presentation will provide an overview of TIF, as well as how it could be used to spur redevelopment of the Collins Company complex. It will be held in Room F of the Community Center, from 7:00 to 8:30 pm. I encourage you to attend and become better informed on a topic that is relevant to both our economic development and preservation of this historic asset.

Best Regards, 
Leslee B. Hill
First Selectman

Letter: Cherry Brook Children’s Fair a Success

DSC_0182To the Editor:

The 55th Annual Children’s Fair was held at Cherry Brook Primary School on Friday, June 3rd. The fair was a HUGE success! The event was well-attended by Cherry Brook families and the Canton community. Fairgoers enjoyed food, music (provided by Cherry Brook principal, Andy Robbin), games, prizes, bounce houses, a bike race and more. For the Touch-A-Truck portion of the fair, various vehicles were offered by the Canton Fire & EMS and Police Departments, the Department of Public Works, Lippincott Vans and Precision Tree Service. … Continue Reading

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