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The Valley Reporter
P.O. Box 119
Waitsfield, VT 05673

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‘Costs reasonable over long term’

To The Editor:

The small, quaint villages and towns of Vermont offer a quality of life that honors natural beauty as an actual part of our daily life. You do not have to take a trip, or go to Central Park, all you have to do is be lucky enough to wake up in the morning and open your eyes to what nature provides.

Living in the Mad River Valley, we realize we inhabit an area of historical, authentic, living museums. We do not have to travel to Williamsburg, Virginia. To ensure our iconic traditions, we spend millions to rebuild old farms, restore houses, refinish furniture, rebuild old tractors, government buildings and opera houses.

We enjoy this connection to our heritage and show we understand the struggle of our own families as well as all past citizens who have contributed to what we have. We, as a community, justifiably should want to sustain and support these living symbols of our past and preserve them for the future.

If we make the decision to spend our money on a brand new building when we have a viable option, we are really guaranteeing the destruction of historical authenticity. In Waitsfield today we have at least three buildings that could provide everything a town office requires and also honor our history as we incorporate them into our present. The small historical Flemer barn, the Methodist Church and the Troll Shop will just rot away without us finding a way to rebuild and use them. It is very hard to think any private investor would spend the money and rent out these spaces and generate enough income to justify the renovation cost.

Creative financing, negotiation, sweat equity and the will of the town's citizens to find a way to continue to honor our historical authenticity is the answer—not new buildings. Vote down the bond. The building we rebuild will be the town office for the next 100 years. If you take the big cost today and divide by 100 the useful life of the project, the costs become very reasonable over the long term.

Michael Sharkey


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