Letter: Colrain Center musings
Years ago, Colrain Center was prosperous. Both churches were sanctuaries, people shopped locally, walking place to place, so two stores were busy, too. Also, the houses were large, which provided space for family businesses.
Times change! People shop Wal-Mart! Recently, someone said, “The town center isn’t attracting people.” Well, who do they want to attract to my neighborhood and what are they doing to make the center attractive?
The common is the central focus for people driving through Colrain Center. Years ago, I took on the responsibility of mowing the common and tending the garden. I am a volunteer. Since then, I have put in two more gardens. Lots of people have stopped to say “Thank You!”
I hope the people of Colrain want that common and all those flowers to remain the focus of Colrain Center because it will be destroyed by the upcoming re-configuration of that intersection in conjunction with the bridge project.
I hope someone buys the old Congo church, opens a combination pizzeria and small store downstairs, and uses the performance space upstairs in the church. The first floor is wheelchair accessible and there is a large parking lot. Chandler Store could become a store again. The Brick store, recently apartments, is for sale, too.
Zoning: I think Colrain Center should be zoned RESIDENTIAL, with four sites retaining commercial status, but not grandfathered. Also, permits available for small family businesses. Colrain needs an industrial/commercial area, close to Greenfield, not in the center.
Sewer: How much tax money will we, all the residents of Colrain, be paying? Unknown millions? Shouldn’t everyone keep their septic system up to existing standards? The Recorder says seven of 54 septic tanks in the center are being pumped. The tanks must be pumped because these small house lots do not have space for a leach field. Please research gray water recycling systems. I think it would cost farsightedly less for individual gray water systems at those few homes by making loans available, if needed.
MURIEL E. RUSSELL