The town of Canton has received nine proposals from firms
interested in helping design improvements for Main Street and if all goes well
town officials hope to see shovels in the ground by mid 2014.
A total of nine firms have submitted bids to help the town finalize designs for downtown Collinsville.
Earlier this year the state awarded the town a $387,000 Connecticut Main Street Investment Fund Grant. In October, voters accepted the grant as well as a plan to set aside an additional $40,000 of town funds toward design.
The town recently sent out a request for proposal for that design work, resulting in the nine proposals, which range from $32,500 to $225,000, with several falling right around that $40,000 mark.
Officials said the design work will finalize ideas set forth in the grant application, which include "wayfinding" signs, additional sidewalks, lighting, traffic calming measures, plantings, parking areas along Route 179, curbing and much more throughout downtown Collinsville.
Officials said the $387,000 will not cover everything but that formal designs will allow the work to begin and provide other "shovel ready" projects that could even open up the door to future grants. Selectmen have the final approval as to how the funds are spent, officials have said.
Neil Pade, Director of Planning and Community Development, recently told the Collinsville Historic District Commission that the goal was to select a consultant by January.
Kent McCoy, a historic district member, Collinsville resident and professional architect will be helping town officials with the process of selecting a design firm. He will work with Pade and Project Administrator Jeff Shea.
Chief Administrative Officer Robert Skinner will pick a firm, considering
the panel's recommendations.
The town hopes that after a series of meetings and a public input process that it can advertise for construction by April or May of 2014.
Pade said it was clear from the October meeting about the grant that people want to see action sooner than later.
"There's a lot of pressure, I think, from the town meeting that we not let this sit," Pade said.