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To The Editor:
I think that the Flemer farmstand property would work very well as a location for the new town hall. It is in historic Waitsfield and, since it is on the road and has high visibility, would offer a stately presence.
Historically, Waitsfield never, as far as I know, has ever had a town hall that was really visible to the general public or tourist and still maintained a New England village look. Maybe because we have such a dominant looking library building.
I would like to revisit the idea of rebuilding the small barn into a modern town hall. I feel that it is the duty of the town and the state to try to maintain these historical structures (if not the town or the state, who will do it?) and rebuild them into modern structures that can be put to good use. Even if the cost is higher than a new structure, as long as in the end we can accomplish two things, saving the old building and having a modern town hall that will serve the town for 100 years. It has also been explained to me that the parking lot for the small barn would also serve the Valley Players Theater which is a huge benefit to the theater and the town.
Right now, due to Irene and the damage it has done to the Waterbury complex, the state is making changes in the location of some offices and, since the state is also interested in maintaining and using old structures, maybe we could interest them in rebuilding the large barn and turning that into some state office.
Because of the fact that it might be possible to find very good use for both buildings and the interest that the local, state and federal government seems to have in restoring historical buildings and barns, there might even be ways to find money from outside the town to help in this effort.
If one or both of these ideas ever work out, it would be a solution that not only provides modern space in a perfect location but would enhance the town by saving these beautiful barns.