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Letter to the Editor: Rebuild the Garage Where it Is But With More Environmental Safeguards

To the Editor:

I join a number of my fellow residents of Canton in urging you to consider the recent, thoughtful proposal brought forth by the Board of Selectmen which calls for the rebuilding the Town Garage at its current site.

In looking through the proposal, you will see that the costs and complexity of the project have been reduced by more than 20% from previous proposals.

In my opinion, nice but noncritical components have been eliminated. And, there is no cost associated with procuring another site. … Continue Reading

Letter to the Editor: ‘Canton’s November DPW Referendum Incomplete and Shortsighted’

To the Editor:

The Canton BOS initiated a site selection process in 2008 to relocate the DPW facility on the Farmington River based, in part, on advice from engineers that building in the flood plain would inevitably add to the cost of construction. Additional funds would be required, first to raise the site out of the flood plain, then to mitigate by excavating and lowering the adjacent little league field so it can handle flood waters, and further to disrupt operations while moving and housing equipment somewhere else during construction. The proposed referendum site at 50 Old River Road presents extra costs that do not exist elsewhere, yet the added expense has not been discussed publicly and no temporary site for DPW, or its cost, has been identified. … Continue Reading

Letter to the Editor: Supports the DPW Facility Proposal

To the Editor:

After considering the options I am writing to support the Board of Selectmen’s recommendation to locate a new DPW facility on the present River Road site.

As a member of the previous BOS this site was not believed to be an available alternative. Now viable, I believe it makes the most sense based on needs, fiscal responsibility, and the failed attempts to relocate the facility.

This may not be the ideal solution but likely is the most practical. Our Waste Water Treatment plant is going nowhere else and my own experience indicates that the DPW and enjoyment of the river can co-exist. … Continue Reading

Letter to the Editor: We Can Make Our Garage Safe and Be Fiscally Responsible

Comment: To the Editor:

Driving through Canton it’s hard to miss the “Garage yes, but not on our river” signs. They always leave me puzzled. We have a town garage, currently on our river and the river has not suffered by its proximity. In all the intense and emotional arguments I heard about the Garage I’ve never heard any facts that stated the Garage and it’s activities have done any damage to the river. It’s a testament to the commitment and skill of our Public Works Department that they have taken such good care of the river while also taking such good care of our town. The ‘not on our river’ arguments seem to revolve around the current and proposed Garage structures being unsightly as viewed from the river.   … Continue Reading

Letter to the Editor: ‘Our Town Garage Not On The River – Really!’

To the Editor:

We, the residents of Canton, are stuck in a lengthy, multi-layered imbroglio about where to build the new town garage.  There are many issues which have risen to the surface in the years that we have been struggling to find a pathway to implement this very critical upgrade, and the present one is the Farmington River – or not!

We’ve been at this for more than 10 years, with proposals and plans that have matured to ballot questions more than once.  We’ve been asked to support a new garage in three or four locations with well-developed project plans for each.  Those proposals have suffered defeat for a variety of reasons – a location near somebody’s backyard, the cost of acquiring the needed parcel of land or a design that was considered too extravagant. … Continue Reading

First Selectman’s Corner: Preliminary TIF Plan Presentation is Thursday

 

Leslee Hill

Leslee Hill

Dear Canton Residents,

This year, the Town has been looking at ways to incentivize redevelopment of the historic Collins Company property (the “Axe Factory”) in Collinsville.  At the Annual Town Meeting in January, we heard a presentation on Tax Increment Financing, which is linked here:

Since then, the Town used grant funds to hire a consultant to prepare a preliminary TIF master plan. This preliminary plan can be presented to potential developers, to describe what incentives the Town may be willing to provide them. This preliminary plan will be presented to the public by the consultant on Thursday evening, Sept. 29, at 7 p.m. in the Community Center, Room F. Below are some FAQs regarding Tax Increment Financing (“TIF”).  … Continue Reading

Letter to the Editor: Win-Win or Win-Lose

September 26, 2016 Government, Opinion, Referendum No Comments

To the Editor: 

Judging from the many comments at Town meetings and the “Not On Our River” yard signs exhibited by many residents, passage of the referendum will not produce a Win-Win result but rather a Win-Lose.  The Win will approve the construction of the much-needed garage. The Lose part of that equation will be the garage’s location.

The original study by the Town’s Permanent Municipal Building Committee (PMBC) was to identify sites that would be large enough for an approximately 20,000 sf. facility. Board of Selectmen, to address the cost factor for the garage, subsequently reduced the size to slightly less than 15,000 sf. – a reduction in size of approximately 25 percent. It is extremely noteworthy that the BOS DID NOT recharge the PMBC with finding sites for the proposed smaller garage.

On May 6, 2016 the PMBC provided a report to the BOS that listed 7 preferable sites for the garage, and strongly recommended against rebuilding at 50 River Road.  Since then, the 25% reduction in the garage’s size has opened up other potential sites – but the PMBC has not been allowed to research them. … Continue Reading

Letter to the Editor: Public Works Proposal is ‘Necessary, Practical and Achievable’

September 21, 2016 Government, Opinion, Referendum No Comments

To the Editor,

As a taxpayer I believe I have the responsibility to speak up, both for myself, and perhaps for others reluctant to speak in support of the Town’s public works facility rehabilitation proposal. As every resident well knows, there is a very vocal and public campaign to defeat the proposal, yet it is unclear that a majority of residents agree with that opposition. The upcoming referendum will hopefully settle the matter.

I support the proposal because I see it as necessary, practical and achievable. I also believe it to be inappropriate to use this issue as a vehicle to achieve other community ends, no matter how desirable such ends may be.

These are not ordinary times. The entire nation’s, and especially Connecticut’s, economy remains weak, and state and local governments struggle to provide for their needs, and responsibly must defray their wants, in the hope of better economic conditions in the future.  … Continue Reading

Letter to the Editor: Rebuilding Town Garage on River Contradicts Town’s Vision

September 19, 2016 Government, Opinion, Referendum No Comments

To the Editor:

Still on the river?

This contradicts the Town vision for enhancing our famed resource.

Yes. We need a new Town Garage.  Our fine staff works diligently to keep our roads safe.  They and their machines are currently housed in a disintegrating building which does not protect them or the Town’s investment in very expensive vehicles.

But where should we put the new facility?  Some say, Well, it has always been near the river and that hasn’t been a problem.

Just because we have not properly cared for our valuable natural resource – our river – in the past, is no excuse for continuing to encroach on it and diminish it from being used as a recreational treasure. … Continue Reading

Letter to the Editor: Not an Option

September 14, 2016 Opinion, Referendum No Comments

To the Editor

NOT an option.  The Farmington River should not be compromised because 50 Old River Road is perceived to be the only site for the town garage.

I can think of two iconic images that frame the upper Collinsville Pond.

Picture Town Bridge at dawn with the mist rising off the river as a great blue heron takes flight.  On the opposite end, picture the spillway of the dam framed by the red ax factory buildings of the Collins Company. This section of the river is what defines our village. … Continue Reading

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