Opinion: Middlebury town office deal is too good to pass up
I will be voting for the new town hall plan. I have heard the pro and con voices — many measured and thoughtful — and none of the alternatives being offered stack up financially, practically and aesthetically for me. To my pocketbook, to my reason and to my eye, this deal is a win-win-win.
Financially, this generous proposal — which will likely go away if we vote no — is too good to pass up. Regardless of what figures you look at, an adequate renovation will clearly cost me, a taxpayer, significantly more.
As a practical Vermonter, I like the idea that a new, well-designed town hall will save us energy and serve our grandkids for years to come. A new gym on Creek Road and a lovely new park where the inefficient and ugly town hall now its will serve us well into the future, too.
Which gets me to aesthetics. Frankly, I’m embarrassed that Middlebury doesn’t have a nicer town hall to serve our needs and the needs of those who work there. The current building is a crumbling eyesore that can’t be “dressed up” cheaply. And I, for one, think a gorgeous, well-designed, downtown green space on the site will be a huge visual improvement.
This problem has been discussed and analyzed for years. Yes, we need to continue to seek community input as we design our new spaces. But first we need to pass this proposal.
Our chance to act is now. It’s a win-win-win.
Mark A. Nelson of Bristol
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