Wind: 9 mph
To The Editor:
As a longtime Waitsfield resident I have followed the discussion regarding a new town office closely. I have attended two of the special town meetings to discuss the various locations where a new town office should be placed. I have also attended several select board meetings where a major part of the time involved was spent on the subject.
It's my feeling that the vast majority of residents agree that we must have a new town office. A substantial amount of time was invested in the process. The town has won a grant of $750,000 for the Farm Stand location provided a bond issue is positively voted by the residents. It is highly unlikely that the town could receive this money for another location.
A small but highly vocal group of residents has proposed that the town buy the Methodist Church, relocate the present tenants and rebuild this building for our new town office. The hopes for the Methodist Church option are that (1) we can reapply for the $750,000 grant and receive it and (2) the costs of rebuilding the Methodist Church would be less than a new energy-efficient building. Neither of these expectations is realistic.
I strongly urge the Waitsfield residents to vote for the bond issue, which is scheduled for July 30. If we turn down the bond issue because we prefer the Methodist Church option there is no guarantee that our application for the $750,000 grant will be accepted. In fact, receiving this grant is quite unlikely. It is my experience that remodeling an old building and converting it to an energy-efficient building is far more costly.
Turning down the bond issue without the assurance of receiving the $750,000 grant is not rational.
Please remember to vote yes on July 30 or vote early by getting an absentee ballot from the town hall.