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To The Editor:
This letter is addressed to Waitsfield voters.
The Waitsfield Select Board's soon-to-be-delivered-to-your-mailbox, large format, color marketing brochure only makes mention of “borrowing costs” to inflate the cost difference between the two town office options from $600,000 to now $1 million. How about the additional $500,000 of borrowing costs that we need to add to the $1.6 million for new construction at the Farm Stand site? That brings its cost in the range of $2.1 million.
And the continued jargon about the site being a “gateway” is really getting old. It is a visual gateway into the site right now. Simple construction of a path or sidewalk section with a crosswalk could allow for better pedestrian access. We need not gum up this perfectly lovely and productive piece of farmland for the proposed town office program and use. There are many other, better sites.
A long time ago, and for many months, I asked people in the community what they thought about adaptive re-use of the old Methodist church for town offices. The most common response I got was, "I think it is a great idea but I was told that you can't put a vault in that building." This, of course, is hogwash...but much time and energy still had to be spent to refute it. The mistruths, half-truths and riddle speak (thanks for that one D.K.) started early and often.
Now the TOTF has a few new marketing messages based on half-truths – like we are somehow protecting the residents and business owners who rent there? Hogwash again. They could be much better protected and cared for by the municipality than if someone buys the place tomorrow and doesn't want them there.
So the only option we have on the ballot is a new building at the Farm Stand site. It is not a good proposal and there has yet to be any effective leadership within town government to pursue many good adaptive re-use options, including the old Methodist church. Your vote is your voice.
Please join me in voting no to the town office project. Thank you for your consideration.