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North Canaan weighs downtown growth through partnerships

NORTH CANAAN — Having recently heard a presentation from a downtown development organization, the Board of Selectmen discussed community advancement during its regular meeting on Tuesday, Nov. 1, and decided to refer the organization’s proposal to the Economic Development Commission (EDC).

The proposal was received from the Connecticut Main Street Center Program (MSCP) based in Hartford. That program is a member of Main Street America, an arm of the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

The goal of the program is to promote economic and community development through public and private partnerships while remaining sensitive to the size and capabilities of participating communities.

First Selectman Charles Perotti reported that participation in the program would carry an annual cost to the town. The EDC is being asked to determine whether the elements of the proposed program are already represented by existing initiatives being pursued by the EDC.

The MSCP has identified six core components of a healthy downtown area including place, economic vitality, stewardship, inclusiveness, sustainability and connectivity. The four-point approach to healthy development includes economic vitality, design, promotion and organization.

Eversource is listed as a founding sponsor of the MSCP, continuing a commitment inherited from its predecessor CL&P (Connecticut Light and Power) one of the initiators of the program in the 1990s.

The selectmen will receive the EDC’s comments in the coming weeks and continue discussion at their December meeting, Perotti said.

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