For the past few years, the unofficial word from various town department heads has been that everything is on hold until BMH is resolved. That extends to action on the Library and was involved in the decision to do temporary repairs to the Public Service Building. It would be an understatement to say that our municipal infrastructure of buildings is at or beyond end-of-useful-life.
So why have we wasted five years with the pet project of a few misinformed people? I say misinformed because the original premise was that BMH could be completely restored for less than three million dollars. When that bubble expanded to $6.8 million and burst with only 44% public support, you might think we could get back on track with productive and rational decisions to rebuild the town. Wrong.
We embarked on a new mission, to see the dream through with utter disregard for the decisive defeat (it’s the economy stupid), and the obvious complete underestimation of the scope of problems and expense.
When some concerned citizens decided to take it on themselves to have an independent survey conducted to try and put the train back on the tracks, the effort was marginalized and largely ignored. Fast forward four years and we now have yet another huge signpost telling us that we are going in the wrong direction and ought to turn back. Instead, I predict we will just slow the pace to baby steps.
It’s not that BMH will continue to be used for Town Offices. I’ve always recognized that there were several practical paths to that end. What I lament are the lost opportunities: Blowing half million on useless plans; losing the voter momentum after the initial purchase; the opportunity to open up to the public to explore alternatives; and the precious years during which we could have addressed other pressing infrastructure issues.
The newspaper is already declaring victory and spouting that BMH is now safe and healthy. You heard it here first – next year they will want $200,000 more to make it safer and healthier. And the year after……
I’ll be the first to admit there are few alternatives at this point. The credibility of the BOS with respect to rational action on BMH is non-existant. It would take some serious crow-eating to regain respect and support. Not gonna happen. Instead, I predict the ostrich will stick it’s head back in the hole and wait as the world goes by.
But that new carpeting sure will be nice.