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First Selectman Messages

Town of Canton >> Boards and Commissions >> Board of Selectmen >> First Selectman >> First Selectman Messages

3/11/2020 - 03/11/2020

Dear Canton Residents, 

Here is the latest news...

Governor Ned Lamont held a conference call with leaders from area towns on Monday, March 9 on state preparations for COVID-19. The Governor recommends that all public gatherings where more than 100 people will be in close proximity be postponed. He urges private citizens to restrict visits to nursing homes where populations most vulnerable to the virus reside.

The bottom line: the virus is highly contagious and could send 15-20% of those infected to the hospital. Each citizen has a responsibility to take this seriously and follow travel, hygiene and self-quarantine procedures. The advice given by governors from other states is: “Do more sooner to prevent the spread of COVID-19.”

Canton is monitoring the situation, following the latest guidelines for cleaning town facilities and planning additional measures in accordance with the town’s emergency management plan. Should there be a need to cancel events in town, an announcement will be broadcast via Q-Notify and posted on the town website. To sign up for Q-Notify, please click here. For the latest information about COVID-19, please visit the CDC website by clicking here

@Collinsville, LLC has received several offers to buy the factory. General manager James “Rusty” Tilney has not announced the identity of the bidders or the bid amounts. Bids of at least $1.2 million accompanied by a refundable 5% deposit were due on March 3. 

Bidders have until April 3, 2020 to perform due diligence on the site. On April 3, all deposits go to @Collinsville, and final negotiations commence.  On May 3, 2020, the factory will transfer to the winning bidder who has amassed the full offer price. 

The Boards of Education and Selectmen have officially presented their budget requests to the Board of Finance. This follows months of preparation and review of town programs, staffing and equipment. The Board of Finance will next review the proposed budgets with a focus on affordability.

Three nights have been scheduled for Board of Finance budget review:
March 16, 6 pm – Board of Selectmen Budget 
March 18, 6 pm – Board of Education Budget
March 23, 7 pm – Board of Finance Public Hearing
March 30 – Time TBD - Board of Finance Budget Workshop

You are encouraged to attend. 

For years, the Hartford Courant has published opinion pieces about residents leaving Connecticut – many shaking their fist at traffic, cold weather and taxes. Imagine our surprise to read in the March 8 Hartford Courant an article written by Beth Brett, who moved with her family from Southern California to Canton, CT. 

In her article, Ms. Brett extols the virtues of Connecticut and singles out Canton as a “scenic small town brimming with outdoor activities, including hiking, canoeing, kayaking and fly-fishing.” More importantly, she writes about “this authentic community where the neighbors genuinely look out for each other.” 

We all know this place – it has captured our hearts just as it captured the Bretts. Thanks to Beth and the Courant, many more people will learn about the special place we call home. To read the complete article, please click here.  


Best Regards,
Bob Bessel
First Selectman




Kevin Witkos
First Selectman
Phone: (860) 693-7847

Office Hours:
-Thursdays 10am-12pm  
-If I am not in the office, click here to make an appointment

Canton Town Hall
P.O. Box 168
4 Market Street
Collinsville, CT 06022