The town’s application for state money to get plans for a hydroelectric facility underway has been rejected.
The grant, under the Small Town Economic Assistance Program, would have allowed the town to perform engineering studies needed in preparation for the program.
According to a Hartford Courant post, a spokesperson for the state Office of Policy and Management said the grant was denied because the project was not ready to move forward as quickly as some other projects.
Canton has had made some progress on the project, which would allow the town to produce electricity using dams previously used by the Collins Company on the Farmington River, but still needs to obtain licenses and financing. The Collins Company closed in the 1960s and the dams have not been operated since well before then. Still, a feasibility study found "no fatal flaws" with the project.
Canton First Selectman Richard Barlow told Patch that while he feels the effort would have created some jobs, he acknowledges the state was looking for projects with completed plans that are more "shovel ready."
"I don' think it's a reflection on whether or not the hydro project is a worthy project," he said.
Barlow said the Congressional effort that could result in the town getting permanent licenses is in a better place than it ever has been. That has cleared the house and Sen. Chris Murphy has told the town the chairman of the Energy and Natural Resources Committee has indicated he will move it forward, something that did not happen last time around.
If the measure were to be attached to another bill and pass, it would not automatically give the town the licenses but rather allow the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to update its environmental assessments and determine if its appropriate to grant the town permanent licenses, Barlow said.
This decision will likely influence what Canton does seek in STEAP funding for the next round, Barlow said.