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Dear Town Meeting Members,
For those of you that may have missed the FinCom meeting last night, I wanted to forward on some information on what transpired in regards to Article 9 (Meadow Brook Lots) that we will be discussing. I think it is important that all Town Meeting Members are made aware of how FinCom voted.
In regards to Article 9 (Meadow Brook Lots), FinCom did NOT vote to purchase all 5 lots but did unanimously vote to buy just one of the lots (lot 5) for town use and to use free cash to purchase that lot for $450,000.
FinCom also discussed the “what ifs” Town Meeting did vote to purchase all five lots and how we would finance them. It was a mix of opinions during the discussion, but I believe they agreed on using 500k from free cash and debt for the remainder. After hearing what the Town Manager had to say on holding the debt for these lots, I believe it would be a poor choice for Town Meeting to vote yes in purchasing these lots. We have too many other expenses on the horizon and I don’t think we should be taking this on especially since we have not done enough due diligence on what can be done with the lots. I find it frustrating that some of you that pushed back on the construction at the Police Station with the reasoning that not enough town input/planning had gone into it are the same individuals that are ready to spend $2.5 million on land that we have no idea what we can or can not do with. Also, please remember that we just asked this community to support an override in 2018 because the town was struggling financially. I don’t think that it is wise now to spend $2.5 million on land we don’t know how or what we would use it for.
FinCom and the Town accountant agreed ARPA money can NOT be used to purchase these lots unless the plan was to use them in a specific, approved ARPA type of situation such as affordable housing, new broadband infrastructure, and/or some town water/sewer infrastructure, etc. Again, not enough due diligence has been done to even see if these are options. Also, in my opinion, all of these options would go against the argument to keep the space green. A VERY important note that was mentioned last night, if ARPA money is spent improperly the federal government can try to recapture that money from the Town.
I am hoping you will all join me in voting NO in purchasing the Meadow Brook Lots.
Van Norden Road