COMMUNITY COMMENTARY: An opinion on emergency building

by Wayne Chadwick
China resident

I would like to offer up some insight on the proposed warrant articles for the upcoming June 11, 2019 Municipal and RSU #18 election.

You will be asked to vote on whether or not you want the town to spend $25,000 for an engineering and cost study for an emergency services building and a community building. Where is the justification for such an expense? There appears to be a “build it and they will come” mentality with our present town leadership. The town manager stated that there is no town building to meet in that holds 200 people. When asked how often there was such a requirement he gave the annual town meeting and voting as an example. This has historically been done at the school which your tax dollars already pay to maintain. So why do we need another building for a few occurrences per year at best.

Everything we build, even if it is originally provided fully or in part by grant money, still has a tax dollar requirement for maintaining it. You are being asked to pay for an engineering study without being given any estimated cost for maintaining it after the fact. Consider the cost of plowing, mowing, heating, cooling, repairs and preventative maintenance and utilities.

You will also be asked to approve the purchase of land for a potential beach/swimming area and boat ramp. The parcel in question is located slightly north of and opposite the town office. This site is steep, steep enough that it has to be protected by guardrail for the entire length of its road frontage. Here are some potential issues to consider: It was stated at the May 26 select board meeting that DOT did not want to issue a permit for a driveway for the property. The Four Seasons Club has agreed to discuss potentially allowing access across their property for the sole purpose of accessing a boat launch, no swimming area. Additionally, to my knowledge, to date there has been no discussion with the DEP to determine if this site meets requirements for permitting. And last but certainly not least, there is the cost. The extreme grade to this property is unequivocally going to increase the cost of development and maintenance. Issues such as erosion, storm water, etc. These are continuous maintenance requirements that will never decrease in cost.

Here again we are looking at the purchase separate from the potential cost.

I offer this in hope that it will provide a more informed voting public.

 
 

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