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Canton Superintendent Proposes Budget with 1.84 Percent Increase

February 8, 2017 Budget, Government, Schools No Comments

Canton Schools superintendent Kevin D. Case has proposed a 2017-18 budget of $25,629,086, which would represent a $462,388 or 1.84 percent increase in spending over 2016-17 levels.

With the uncertainty whether the state will continue to fund education at its current levels, a $1-million plus increase in “fixed costs,” a state law stipulating that towns keep total budget increases under 2.5 percent and $1.6 million in administrator requests, educators said it was an especially difficult budget process. 

“This has been one of the most challenging budgets I’ve put together in my 10 and a half years in Canton,” Case said.

Among the cuts in the proposed budget would be the reduction of 12 full-time equivalent positions in non-certified staff. Case said specific positions have yet to be determined but those would include positions such as paraprofessionals and tutors.

“It’s a hard decision because we are not over-staffed by any means,” Case said. “These are valuable staff members – very, very difficult decision for me.” … Continue Reading

Canton CAO proposes budget with 2.44 percent increase

February 6, 2017 Budget, Government, Schools No Comments

By John Fitts 

Canton Chief Administrative Officer Robert H. Skinner has proposed a town 2017-18 spending plan of $10,589,284, an increase of $252,200 or 2.44 percent over approved 2016-17 spending levels. 

The operations budget is proposed at $9,467,568 while capital improvement funding is pegged at $1,121,716. 

A driving factor in the proposal is the state’s mandate that caps municipal expense increases to just 2.5 percent. (Just a few items are excluded).

“Obviously there were sacrifices that had to be made to meet the cap,” Skinner wrote in his budget introduction. “That is why almost half the departments have decreases in their bottom lines.”

Additionally there are no significant new initiatives in the plan, Skinner noted. 

While there is a special revenue funded increase in hours for the recreation coordinator, additional hours for the building official and the combination of two, part-time library positions to create a full-time one, there are no “new” positions in the budget. 

… Continue Reading

Images of Canton: Focus Wine Tasting

February 3, 2017 Community, Health No Comments

More than three dozen people came out to Cherry Brook Health Care Center for the Focus on Canton Winter Wine Tasting Thursday, Jan. 26. 

The event benefited Focus on Canton, an organization which supports several initiatives in town, including the Canton Fuel and Food banks. 

See more in this week’s edition of the Valley Press

Your Silent Neighbors: Ulrich Haury

February 1, 2017 Community, History No Comments

By David K. Leff 
Canton Town Historian 

Ulrich Haury (1834-1903) was born in Reinpfalz, Germany, one of seven children.  He attended public school in his native country and served six years in its army.  He is one of many immigrants who made Collinsville a vibrant, and even somewhat cosmopolitan community, in the second half of the nineteenth century.

Haury came to this country in 1862 and almost immediately found work in the plow stocking department of The Collins Company.  In 1871 he started in the grocery business with another resident of the village and became quite prosperous.  Eventually, his son William joined the firm.  He later became vice president of the Collinsville Savings Society, served eight years on the town “board of relief,” and was nominated as a Democrat for state representative, although he was defeated at the polls.  In his later years, he was much sought after for business advice.

Haury was a stern looking man with a long goatee.  He was described as having “a jovial disposition, generous nature and Christian character, and was held in respect by all his townsmen.”  His means enabled him to dispense charity, which he did without fanfare.  He was a “most indulgent father and kind husband, ever devoted to his family circle.” … Continue Reading

Images of Canton: A Sweet Sendoff

January 28, 2017 Business, Community No Comments

COLLINSVILLE — On Saturday, as  Shirley Scarpino opened the doors to the Village Sweet Shoppe for the final time, a group of musically gifted area residents visited the store and sang a personalized rendition of the famous pop song, “I Want Candy.”

Late last year Scarpino announced she would be closing the store, which had been in business for 30 years. She initially operated in Riverton, and in 2004 moved to River Street in Collinsville. 

See our previous story here. Additionally a partially video clip from the musical treat can be found on the Canton Compass facebook page

Collinsville Property Owner Moves Forward with Used Dealership Application but Leaves Options Open

January 27, 2017 Business No Comments

5 River Road.

By John Fitts 

COLLINSVILLE – The owner of 5 River Road has filed an application for a used car dealership but said he continues to market the property for other potential uses.  

Stephen Roberto has filed an application at the land use office, proposing the use of a used car dealership  with 30 spaces for vehicles, 7 parking spaces, two dark-sky compliant light fixtures and the ability to use two existing bays for limited repair and inspection. 
 
The application comes after a Burlington resident seeking to run a used car dealership decided not to pursue the business. The proposed use was already controversy but the withdrawal came amidst a flurry of controversy. (See this week’s Valley Press for more details). 
 
Now Roberto is pursuing a special exception that would allow the use on the property, The proposal is slated for a public hearing on Feb. 15. However, Roberto is also entertaining other proposals for the property, which is “offered for lease.” Currently Dentfix Express operates at the site. 
 
 See more details in a future edition of the Valley Press. 
 

Images of Canton: Francesca’s Reopens its Doors

Francesca’s Wine Bar and Bistro officially reopened its doors on Wednesday, Jan. 25. 

The Nadeau family, which originally opened the restaurant in the fall of 2012, reopened the doors Wednesday.

In August of 2015, the family had sold the business to a different partnership, and the doors closed in October of 2016. 

However, the Nadeaus have opened the restaurant again with original owners Francesca and Don taking a more minor role and their son Jonathan, who is also executive chef, as the primary owner. 

However, Francesca and Don will still be a presence at the restaurant, especially for the next year. 

“I feel like we never left, like it was yesterday,” Francesca Nadeau said Wednesday evening. “It feels so natural. It’s wonderful. It really is.” 

See more at https://www.francescaswinebar.com or https://www.facebook.com/FrancescasWineBarAndBistro/

Images of Canton: Aladdin Jr. Comes to Middle School Stage

The Canton Middle School Drama Club presents Disney’s Aladdin Jr. at 7 p.m. Friday Jan. 27 and Friday, Jan. 28. Tickets are $5 for seniors, children and students and $8 for adults. 

The show takes place in the auditorium of the Canton Middle/High School campus at 76 Simonds Ave. Buy tickets at the door or via www.brownpapertickets.com/event/2811936.

See more in this week’s edition of The Valley Press

Mental Health, Opioid Addiction to Be Year-Long Discussion in Canton

January 25, 2017 Community, Health No Comments

Jennifer C. Kertanis, director of Farmington Valley Health District, speaks at the annual town meeting.
Photo by John Fitts

By John Fitts 

CANTON – When one is struggling with mental health or addiction, it is often kept quiet. 

Family members often don’t talk of it and neighbors and friends, if they are even aware, hesitate to bring it up. 

But those leading a recent discussion on mental wellness and the opioid epidemic had a surprising suggestion. If you know someone going through such a struggle, break the ice by bringing the family a casserole, just as you would for a cancer patient. 

“Addiction thrives in isolation and we know that connectedness extinguishes it,” said Maria Coutant Skinner, Canton resident and executive director of the Torrington-based McCall Center for Behavioral Health.  … Continue Reading

Area Businessman Looks to Renovate Maple Avenue Building

A rendering of the proposed improvements at 61 Maple Ave.

By John Fitts

CANTON – A locally based financial advisor is looking to renovate a long-deteriorating commercial building on Maple Avenue. 

Michael Chadwick, who runs Chadwick Financial Advisors, wants to completely renovated the 6,150-square-foot building at 61 Maple Ave. and create approximately four office spaces, one of which would be for his company. 

The applicant plans to make numerous building, landscaping and parking improvements. 

This application is due to go before the Canton Planning and Zoning Commission on Feb. 15. According to a memo from town planner Neil Pade, a public hearing is not required for a site plan application but the commission “may schedule one.” 

Please see more in this week’s edition of The Valley Press. We also plan to follow up in future editions.  

61 Maple Ave as it exists today.

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