Message from Henry Todd

Posted on
October 18, 2023
Board of Selectmen
Blog 10/16/2023
This is my last communication as First Selectman of the Town of Canaan and I wanted to personally thank all of the residents of our beautiful village for the opportunity you have given me to serve you.  The job has been a delight for me but it is time to pass the torch onto new leadership. 
Election time for town officials takes place on November 7th and we, the Board of Selectmen, encourage everyone to participate.  Your vote does count.  At the same time of the election, we will be holding a Town Meeting to vote on four separate issues.  While only registered voters can cast a ballot in the municipal election, any resident in town who pays taxes in the village can cast a ballot in the Town Meeting. 
Here are the items that will be on the Town Meeting vote:Shall the Town of Canaan approve the sale of the property at 35 Railroad Street for $300,000.Shall the Town of Canaan approve the exchange of property from Great Falls Property LLC, owner of the abutting land to the former firehouse, to the Town of Canaan, making the property a legal lot as well as giving Great Falls Property two easements being a pedestrian easement along the northern side of the property and a vehicular easement through the existing parking lot.Shall the Town of Canaan approve the appropriation of up to $10,000 from the Bridge Reserve Account #1702646689 to pay the final bill of Cardinal Engineering for the Cobble Road Culvert Project.Shall the Town of Canaan approve the appropriation of up to $10,000 for the replacement of the A/C unit at Town Hall with a heat pump from the 107/108 Property Reserve Account #170263056.The rationale for doing this simultaneously with the election is that by doing so we will garner greater public participation than we do in normal Town Meetings. Both votes will be in Town Hall.  The election voting will be held in the main room where it is always held and the Town Meeting vote will be in section of Town Hall where the Town Clerk presides.  The vote will be by ballot and counted by the Town Clerk after the polls close at 8 PM with two appointed checkers.  The Town Meeting will be adjourned automatically when the tabulation is complete.
Last night, we had the final regular meeting of the Board of Finance and the Board of Selectmen as currently constituted.  During the meeting of the Board of Finance they gave tentative approval of the solar project at our Town Farm.  The total project cost would be $600,000 of which the federal government would reimburse us 30% of the cost or $180,000.  This would leave a balance of $420,000 to be either paid for by using the general fund of the town or by bank borrowing or a combination of both.  The consensus of the BOF was that we should take $200,000 from the general fund and finance the balance of $220,000 over four years.  Their approval was subject to obtaining the actual maintenance agreement, finalizing a firm offer from the bank for financing, estimated any auxiliary town costs for preparation of the site and final approval of the sale of the 35 Railroad Street property by the vote at Town Meeting on November 7th.  The estimated savings to the town over a 25- year period, would exceed $1 million. 
We are proceeding to get all the documentation done this week and would have a Special Meeting of the Board of Finance to approve sending this to a Town Meeting.  Because this deserves thorough discussion with the residents, this will not be on the ballot on November 7th.
Tim Downs and I spent this morning viewing the two prospective sites and he prefers the alternate spot down the hill from where the old house was on the town farm property but could work with moving the chips from the land just north of the pool driveway to utilize that site if necessary.  In either case, the public works personnel could fell the trees that would have to be removed to ensure that there is unimpeded sunlight to the solar panels.
Henry W. Todd
First Selectman