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Letter to the Editor: Cannot Support Compromised Facility at Existing Site

October 31, 2016 Government, Opinion, Referendum No Comments

To the Editor:  

I have been a member of the Permanent Municipal Building Committee for the past seventeen years. The past eight to ten years have been primarily devoted to finding the best solution/location for a new Town Garage. I find it numbing that the Selectmen would totally ignore and circumvent the recommendations of the PMBC primarily “to put this issue to bed”.  Although I understand the desperate need for a new Town Garage, I cannot support building a compromised facility at the existing site. There are better solutions available.

I hope residents will visualize how intrusive a larger DPW garage and larger salt storage shed will be at the present location. As others have noted, this is the gateway to our community. The potential recreation aspect of the site will be greatly diminished.

There are numerous other reasons not to re-construct the facility at the present location. Some of which are as follows:

The facility proposed for the existing site hasn’t been thoroughly vetted.

We really don’t know the entire cost for the project or what we will get for the reduced cost that was presented. Cost projections have not included (among other items) relocation of staff and equipment while construction takes place. In the past, residents were extremely vocal wanting to know the actual cost for the “entire project”.

One primary DPW programming requirement has been to ensure all equipment is stored inside. I can’t fathom how the proposed facility will allow for efficient storage of all the equipment. The Town of Burlington uses storage containers on their site due to lack of space built into their newer facility. I don’t think Canton residents want to see storage containers at the site.

A new garage should be located and designed to serve the needs of the community for the next fifty years and beyond. Why not build the facility (even if undersized for budget purposes) in a location that will accommodate future expansion.

There have been some misleading statements floating around the community such as:

  1. Re-building at the present location meets all environmental land use standards. This is not true. A final design hasn’t been developed and submitted to land use boards or other regulatory agencies for review and approval.
  2. The $337,000 spent on the project to date has not been spent solely for past referenda. This money was used for the new fueling station, removing contaminated soil, accessing programming needs for the DPW, educating the public and exploring other possibilities for the DPW. This was all paid for with a STEAP grant the Town received, not tax dollars.
  3. Rebuilding at the present location doesn’t cause neighborhood issues. The existing DPW site is actually closer to many residents than was the 100 Commerce Dr. location previously proposed.

I understand we need to reduce the scope and size of the facility to bring the budget within acceptable limits. However re-building at the present location is shortsighted. Given the reduced scope and size of the proposed garage there are other properties in Town that “in the long term” can be less costly, allow for future expansion and will address the riverfront and recreation needs we all cherish in our Town.

Ron Dymicki
Canton 

 

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