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To The Editor:
My thoughts on the new town hall: I am in favor of rebuilding the historical church. In a small town like Waitsfield, only the town has the need for this space and the financial ability to rebuild a historical church and turn it into an efficient town hall. We have plenty of vacant retail space and thus no private entity would be willing to buy the building and rebuild it (even if someone did rebuild it, the total cost of the project would drive the rental rates up so high that no potential tenant could afford the rent).
As residents of the town, in my humble opinion, we are stewards of its history and historical buildings and must do everything to honor and protect our heritage. Right now the town needs a new town hall and the building needs a new owner that could upgrade it and make very good use of the space.
For sure cost is important. Right now based on what I read there is a $800,000 differential. I am told this equates to a difference in all property taxpayers of approximately $6 a year or 50 cents a month. I realize these numbers are far from solid; the differential could go down if we could get a grant which I understand is very possible and has been done in other small towns in Vermont and other states.
The meeting December 11 at 7 p.m. at the Waitsfield School should be attended by all, as it is a stepping stone to being part of making a decision about a building that was built in 1894 and if we find a way could remain in good use until at least 100 years after the rebuilding is complete. If we cannot find a way to do this, I am afraid we will end up with a new town hall while this historical building just rots.