Letter: Courthouse Needs an Upgrade

To the Editor:

For too long the Windsor County Courthouse and its services have been inaccessible to anyone with a physical disability. Windsor County voters finally have an opportunity to fix this inequity. Built in 1855, our beautiful and historic courthouse has been renovated several times but never to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act. Whether you have a temporary disability (hip or knee surgery) or a permanent one, you cannot serve on a jury, participate in a trial or access the courthouse for any of its services.

The proposed $2 million bond will not only help make this treasured centerpiece accessible, but also vastly improve the security of the building with updated metal detectors and an integrated security system. This will cost about one-quarter of one cent per $100 of property value for 10 years. For example, every owner of a property valued at $200,000 would pay $5 per year to support this project. A million-dollar property would pay $25 per year for 10 years. This is a cost-effective use of our tax dollars as a new courthouse would cost a great deal more than this thoughtful renovation. We urge all Windsor County residents to vote and support the proposed bond on the ballot at Town Meeting.

Alison Clarkson

For the Woodstock Area Accessibility Task Force