Letter: Spending Choices in Sunapee

To the Editor:

While it would require a lot of money, the new library proposed through Article 11 on the Sunapee town warrant represents many years of work and planning. It deserves our support.

Two articles on the school warrant are less deserving of your vote. Article 7 asks for $270,000 to renovate the art room at the middle-high school. Based on the presentation at the deliberative session, most of this cost involves adding a relatively small (500- to 600-square-foot) addition to the art room to make more room for the pottery wheels and kiln. While I enjoy the pottery my kids bring home from school, more than one-quarter of a million dollars is too much for taxpayers to invest in a pottery studio.

Article 8 asks for $50,000 to engineer an extension of School Street to run behind the school to the safety services building. It is difficult to see the need for a major thoroughfare in the area where children enter and exit the school. This area provides parking for the staff, a playground for the children, and the portable classroom for music and art. Any road project would disrupt all of this and would be very complicated and expensive to build. (I have been told that a similar proposed road improvement added $1 million to the budget for the elementary school renovations requested a few years ago.) If a walking path for students to the new library or an emergency access lane from the safety services building is needed, let’s build it. Just doing it — in a modest way — should cost less than the proposed $50,000 to study and design a bigger roadway. We don’t need a major highway running behind the school — which is what we are likely to get if the engineering and design work is approved.

Clayton Platt