Public-Private Redefined

At tonight’s BOS meeting, Mr. Owen presented a third party financing plan for Brewster Hall.  With a straight face he billed it as a Public-Private partnership, implying that this was similar the much hyped relationship with the Friends of Town Hall that was supposed to produce private donations and grant money to defray the cost of restoration.  The idea is to sell the building to a company that would improve it and lease it back to us for up to 30 years. At the end of the lease, ownership would revert back to the town.

When pressed, Owen admitted that this would probably not result in a net savings for the town. What was not suggested or discussed was the potential to get the restoration done without the approval of 60% of the voters, even though the net result would be equal or greater indebtedness to the taxpayers in the form of lease payments.

Mr. Owen was asked to solicit proposals from the company for $1, $2.8, and $4 million. Mrs. Murray called for due-diligence in checking out the company.

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