As the town prepares to hold a Special Town Meeting to accept a $387,000 Connecticut
Main Street Investment Fund Grant and set aside $40,000 for design, officials
say some misinformation has surrounded the project.
First is exactly what the town is doing Wednesday night. While a firm drew up a "Town Commercial Center Plan" for the grant process, people are accepting funds this week, not voting for specifics. Additionally, that drawing is a concept, not a final design, according to officials.
"It's just conceptual," said Neil S. Pade, the town's Director of Planning and Community Development. "It's an artist's rendition of general streetscape improvements."
That being said, the ideas such as signs to directing visitors to businesses, additional sidewalks, lighting, traffic calming measures, plantings, parking areas along Route 179, curbing and more are not random, Pade said, but drawn from previous public studies such as a 1997 Scenic Corridor Management Plan, a 2006-2008 Pedestrian and Vehicular Safety Committee and a 2011 Upper Mill Pond Master Plan.
But most importantly, voting at Wednesday's meeting is to accept the funds and designate $40,000 of the town's money for design, not any particular improvements, town officials emphasized.
After Wednesday, if the funds are accepted, further meetings would allow the public input as to where to spend the money before selectmen make a final decision.
"Part of the public process is honing in on where we're going to get the most bang for the buck," Pade said.
Pade also said officials are sensitive to the specific character of Collinsville and improvements will be historical appropriate.
While the plan outlays certain areas for potential improvements, Chief Administrative Officer Robert Skinner said the funds would not cover everything.
"The conceptual plan covers a much larger area than we would could do with the $387,000," Skinner said.
Officials said they also want to clarify that a Main Street group that is in the process of launching, it is not tied to the grant or acting on the town's behalf.
Forming a non-profit was one suggestion that came from the town joining the Connecticut Main Street Center program. While the group represents the early stages of the suggestion to form a non-profit, it is not an official town committee or agency.
The meeting will take place Wednesday, Oct. 9, 2013 at 7 p.m., Room F located at the Canton Public Library & Community Center, 40 Dyer Ave.
The meeting will include a presentation with more details. Officials said that while it is not a meeting to go into a lot of specifics residents will have the chance to make general statements.