Fairlee — Today marks the first of two hearings to discuss the reconsideration of an $850,000 bond to renovate the Fairlee Town Hall.
The renovation bond initially was approved at a special Town Meeting in February on a 146-105 vote, but more than 90 Fairlee residents have petitioned the town to reconsider, which will happen during a townwide vote on Wednesday, April 26.
There will be two hearings in advance of the vote. The first is scheduled for 7 p.m. tonight in the Town Hall Grange Room, while the second is scheduled for 7 p.m. on Thursday, April 13, also in the Grange Room.
Supporters of the renovation project say it will cap off 20 years of efforts to modernize the building, and also will install an elevator and other accommodations that will bring it into compliance with federal handicap accessibility laws.
Opponents say the project should not be a priority over other needs in the town, particularly the replacement of a 265,000-gallon municipal water tank off Bald Top Road.
In addition to the elevator, the bond money would be used to install a fire-rated staircase leading to the second floor and handicap toilets, clearing the way for regular public use of the 350-seat performance space on the second floor.