Town officials convinced the voters and taxpayers that Town Hall was in critical need of additional municipal administrative space and in 2008 the voters approved the purchase of a large residential home at 35 Wolfe Avenue for that purpose. The home was lived in right up until the purchase date in August 2008 and was in excellent condition for an older home. Being just a block away from Town Hall it seemed ideal for a Town Hall Annex. The town has now invested about $400,000.00 in the property.
But after more than two years town officials have yet to put the spacious building to its intended use. Instead, only the separate garage building is being used by the town road crew for storage of equipment and supplies. The main structure is boarded up and the utilities shut off. Access to the building is tightly controlled by town officials and there is no plan in place as to which town activities will expand into the building.
Now that the building has been sitting idle for more than two years without any decision as to its future use there is a movement by a few people to tear it down and create one huge vacant lot. They propose to tear it down without any definitive approved plan as what to do with the vacant lot. Rumor has it that a few people want to build a brand new multi-purpose municipal building costing many millions of taxpayer dollars to build and to furnish. Tearing down this fine historical property seems like a terrible thing to do and it is unlikely that the taxpayers will approve millions of dollars to build a new modern municipal building on the same site. Tearing down the structure will only result in a neighborhood eyesore for many years to come.
Town officials should stop the procrastination and either put the building to its intended use or place it up for sale.
James W. Woodward