On Wednesday, March 22, 2023, the Canton Board of Selectmen took the following actions at their regular meeting:
- The Board received an update on the Cherry Brook Elementary School PFAS containment and remediation project. The Town's consulting environmental engineer, GZA GeoEvironmental Inc, reported that PFAS concentrations have not been detected in potable water supply wells in the local area. PFAS concentrations in the groundwater directly at the release location have decreased somewhat; however concentrations have spread to the south and east. The full PowerPoint presentation can be found HERE.
- The Board approved three grant submittals. The first was for a Historical Documentation Preservation grant for $6,000. The second was submitted by the Council on Aging to the Canton Greater Together Community Fund for $6,989 to purchase a commercial dishwasher for the Canton Community Center. The third grant was submitted by the Parks and Recreation Department to the Canton Community Health Fund for $5,000 for Automatic External Defibrillators for Town recreational fields.
- The Selectmen reviewed Board of Finance recommendations for $115,000 in spending cuts to the proposed FY2024 Board of Selectmen budget. The Selectmen received a list of possible cuts from Chief Administrative Officer, Bob Skinner, and agreed in principle to those cuts. These cuts will be reported to the Board of Finance at their meeting on Monday, April 3. Final budget cuts will not be determined until the budget is approved by referendum on May 9. The public is encouraged to attend the April 3 meeting and the Town budget hearing on April 24.
- The Selectmen reviewed a report from the public works department regarding the large sycamore tree growing in the intersection of West Mountain and Cherry Brook Roads. The public works report can be found HERE.
- A member of the public asked the Selectmen to consider a Town-wide ordinance that would govern public consumption of cannabis in Canton. The Selectmen agreed to review similar ordinances at work in other towns during a future meeting.
On Wednesday, March 8, 2023, Board of Selectmen took the following actions at their Regular meeting:
- Canton Fire Marshall, Tim Tharau, presented the Town of Canton Fire Prevention Poster Contest Award to Angelina Lu. Angelina is a fifth-grade student of art teacher Mrs. Costello at Canton Intermediate School. Angelina's poster was selected as the best in portraying a positive fire safety message. The Town is grateful to the Shoppes at Farmington Valley for their generous prize donation.
-The Board heard a presentation by the Capitol Region Council of Governments (CRCOG) on the services and benefits it provides to its municipal government members. Canton is a current member of CRCOG.
- The owner of property at 18 Albany Turnpike asked if the Selectmen would entertain a request that the Town abandon a portion of Old Route 44 abutting this property. The Selectmen indicated that their openness to hearing the request. The eventual decision to convey will require Board of Selectmen, Board of Finance, and/or Town Meeting approval depending on the value of the property.
-The Board set March 22, 2023 at 7:00 pm in Room F of the Canton Community Center as the date, time, and location for a Special Town Meeting to approve an appropriation to pay this year's debt service.
On Thursday, February 23, 2023, the Canton Board of Selectmen (BOS) took the following actions:
- Approved a$130,247 reduction in the proposed BOS budget for fiscal year 2023-2024. The revised BOS budget that will be forwarded to the Board of Finance for review is $13,095,264. This amount is $732,524 more than the current BOS budget and would represent a 5.93% increase if approved by the Board of Finance and the Town. Without the reduction, the recommended increase would have been 6.98%.
- Recommended that the Board of Finance authorize a Town Meeting to consider a special appropriation of $273,283 to fund the balance of interest owed on the bond to construct the new Fire and EMS House.
- Transferred $43,750 from unexpended American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds to enhance the Canton Volunteer Fire and EMS Department’s Pay-Per-Call program to attract and retain volunteers.
The week of February 13, 2023 the Board of Selectmen spent much of the week reviewing the FY2023-2024 Town Budget. The Selectmen are responsible for the Town Hall/Town Government portion of the overall Town of Canton Budget. The Board of Education contributes the Town Schools portion of the budget. The Board of Finance is responsible for assembling the entire overall Canton Town Budget and setting the tax rate. The Selectmen will vote on their portion of the budget at a special meeting on February 23.
At its special meeting on Wednesday Feb 15, the Board of Selectmen took the following actions:
- Approved an application for a $5,000 Rural Roads Speed enforcement grant.
- Approved an application for a $60,000 Recreational Trails grant to design the extension of the Canton Rail Trail bike path through the Shoppes.
- Re-allocated $80,581 from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) Trail Improvement project to the ARPA Splash Pad at the Mills Pond Pool. This will help cover the higher than expected cost for this project. The Trail Improvement project is already complete.
- Agreed to join Simsbury, Avon, and Farmington in a regional Juneteenth event at Simsbury Meadows Performing Arts Center on June 17. The Selectmen approved $2000 as seed money for the event.
On Wednesday, January 25, 2023, the Canton Board of Selectmen took the following actions:
- The Selectmen authorized the Town's Chief Administrative Officer to execute a contract with Millennium Builders to construct the new Canton Fire and EMS House for a cost not to exceed $4,950,000.
- The Selectmen approved the transfer of $360,000 from the Fire/EMS Air Packs line of the Town's American Rescue Plan (ARPA) funding to the undesignated line of the ARPA funds. The Fire/EMS department expects to pay for the Air Packs with a grant to be submitted in February. If the grant is approved, the ARPA money can be transferred to other Town projects.
- The Selectmen appointed Len Dunston as a regular member of the Canton Housing Authority.
On Wednesday, January 11, 2023, the Canton Board of Selectmen took the following actions at their regular meeting:
-Accepted a donation from Logan DeLoureiro of three new play structures for the Canton Dog Park. Logan built these structures as part of his Eagle Scout project for Troop 77 in Canton.
-The Selectmen approved an agreement with Canton Hydro LLC to set the rate of its municipal property tax at $30,000 per year. This tax will increase by the same rate as the mil increase each year, and will not decrease in reevaluation years. The agreement is part of the stipulated judgement in the matter of Canton Hydro LLC vs. the Town of Canton.
-The Chief Administrative Officer reviewed the latest proposed design of the new Canton Fire and EMS House. The design incorporates a number of changes intended to hold the cost to the $5.4 million approved by referendum in 2021 and bonded in 2022. It is anticipated that the Board of Selectmen will approve the proposed changes at its next regular meeting on January 25, 2023.
At its final meeting of 2022 (Dec 28, 2022), the Canton Board of Selectmen set the date for the Annual Town Meeting for January 25, 2023 at 7:00 PM in the Canton Community Center. The Selectmen set the following topics for this meeting:
• Receipt and dedication of the Town Annual Report;
• Discussion of the Town's response to speeding and reckless driving; and,
• A presentation of the Farmington Valley Health District's Community Health Assessment.
The Board also authorized the Chief Administrative Officer to transfer $64,000 to the Canton Youth Soccer Association for improvements at Memorial Field. These funds were part of the Town’s portion of American Rescue Plan Act funding. Transfer of these funds was contingent on a long term lease between the Canton Youth Soccer Association and the Collinsville Fire Corporation. This arrangement was reviewed and approved by Town Meeting on July 27, 2022. The lease was finalized on December 9, 2022.
On Wednesday, December 14, 2022, the Canton Board of Selectmen took the following actions at their regular meeting:
-The Canton Energy Committee presented a proposal to add solar panels to the Canton High School plus four solar-powered Electric Vehicle charging stations in the school parking lot. Following the presentation and discussion, the Board authorized the Canton Chief Administrative Officer to enter into an agreement with Earthlight Technologies to plan and execute the project.
-The Board authorized the Canton Fire/EMS to spend an additional $5,000 to complete the installation of lights, radios, and sirens on the new department “duty vehicle.”
-The Board set the date and time for a public hearing on a proposed tax agreement with Canton Hydro. The public hearing is set for January 11, 2023 at 7:00PM.
On Tuesday, November 22, 2022, the Board of Selectmen took the following actions at their regular meeting:
- The Selectmen re-appointed John Gotaski to be Chief of the Canton Volunteer Fire and EMS Department for a four year term beginning January 1, 2023 and ending on December 31, 2026.
- The Board appointed all five members of the new Temporary Committee on Senior Tax Relief. The members are: Richard Barlow, Brian First, Barbara Schori, Gail Deutsch, and Linda Spiers. The Committee is charged with studying current tax policies and recommending new policies that provide tax relief for seniors. The Committee is expected to report back to the Selectmen in mid-April.
- The Selectmen reviewed the current cost estimate for the new Collinsville Firehouse. One year ago, the Town approved bonding for $5.4 million to design and construct the new firehouse. The current design bears a cost of $8.1 million - $2.7 million above the bond. The Board tasked the Permanent Municipal Building Committee to determine what can be built for the $5.4 million appropriated.
- The Selectmen accepted a donation from Northwest Community Bank Foundation of $3,000 for funding the Senior Meal Program.
On Wednesday, Nov 8, 2022, the Board of Selectmen took the following actions at their regular meeting:
- The Selectmen approved a contract with Mutch Nicer Enterprises for the construction of a concession stand and dug outs at the new girls’ softball field in the amount of $76,655.8.
- The Board re-appointed Kathy Taylor as the Town Historian and appointed Carolyn Woodard and Christopher Hager as Deputy Town Historians. The Board also appointed Virginia Shreve as the Town Poet Laureate.
- The Selectmen appointed Jodie Enriquez as new Town Tax Collector starting November 28, 2022.
- The Board accepted a donation from the Canton Food Bank in the amount of $2500 to help support Thanksgiving meals.