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Letter to the Editor: Cut Our Losses and Surrender Ownership of Grange Building

October 15, 2016 Opinion No Comments

To the Editor:

The current Board of Selectmen finds itself struggling with a financial quagmire created when the previous board voted 3-2 to accept the North Canton Grange Hall as a gift.

As a member of that previous board I was presented with an estimate of some $30,000 to perform repairs necessary for returning the building to a usable condition.

I ultimately thanked the grange representatives for their offer but voted against accepting the gift, citing the expense of repairs vs. existing municipal buildings in need of repairs and pressing maintenance priorities.

As quoted in the February 28, 2013 issue of The Hartford Courant, “This could be the gift that keeps on taking”, Humphrey said.

Unfortunately my concern became reality. Three years later the building still sits unused and a new estimate for repairs is a stunning $144,000, some five times the initial estimate.

This does not include town funds expended to maintain the building for the last three years, or to maintain a restored building going forward.

Though I commend the Boy Scouts for their initiative and offer of financial assistance this gift has proven to be a continuing drain on town funds.

I trust the selectmen will take this opportunity to cut our losses and promptly surrender ownership to the State Grange.

Respectfully,
Lowell F. Humphrey

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