The following speakers will be featured during a discussion about the Connecticut Main Street Center Program at Wednesday night's annual town meeting.
- Kimberly Parsons Whitaker, from CT Main Street will summarize the program.
- Eric Jackson of the Collinsville Historic District Commission and member of the former Temporary Study Committee on Pedestrian and Vehicular Safety will discuss the historical and neighborhood significance of Collinsville.
- Kevin Jackson from the Canton Economic Development Agency will provide background on the EDA’s mission leading to the town's recent pursuit of the CT Main Street Program
- Amy Parchen from the Canton EDA will provide examples from her past experience with the Main Street Program and how it can be applied to Canton.
- Town Planner Neil Pade will provide a summary of the “Town Commercial Center Plan” which provides for streetscape and other improvements to Collinsville to stimulate activity for local businesses.
The annual town meeting, which is non binding and involves no votes, will take place Jan. 16, 2013 at 7 p.m. in the Town Hall Auditorium, 4 Market St., Collinsville.
At the end of November, the Board of Selectmen agreed to pay an annual $750 fee to join the Connecticut Main Street Center program, a program which provides “expertise, resources and support so that local coalitions can revitalize their main street districts.”
The commitment also includes a one-time $2,000 summary report that involves an assessment of current conditions, business mix, structures and a recommended course of action
First Selectman Richard Barlow said including the topic for the annual meeting was a natural choice since given the recent action. And while it does not deal exclusively with Collinsville, efforts in the village have been a focus of much attention.
"Connecticut Main Street is an obvious way to try and expand the infrastructure in the Collinsville area," Barlow said.
In a recent press release, EDA Chairman Kevin Jackson stated, “Working with the Main Street Project will help us enhance the residential experience and commercial viability of Canton while preserving its unique character and charm.”
The town has also applied for the The Main Street Investment Fund Program, a state initiative that awards towns up to $500,000 to improve commercial centers. While the town has not yet heard if it will receive the funds, Barlow said he is optomistic about its chances. More about what Canton could possibly do with those funds can be viewed here.