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Letter: Chelsea’s Vote on a Town Garage

To the Editor:

At the Chelsea Town Meeting, the Selectboard was requested to do something about the ongoing and divisive problem of a town garage. The Selectboard’s first choice was to put a building at the sewer plant. A nonbinding vote on June 4 was in the negative. The board then evaluated four alternate sites and chose the one board members believe is best — the Garrow property on the East Randolph Road.

There are no perfect sites, but this site can be made to work for a town garage and sandpile. It is an adequate size, has a favorable location near to most town roads, is on a paved highway, has an acceptable line of site, is located in the town industrial zone, and is not in the floodplain. The Selectboard has stated that it will work with the neighbors and do everything possible to mitigate the impact. While $162,000 for the property may seem expensive to many, the costs of waiting for a better option are also high. If the town does not secure a site within the next few months, the current facility will require substantial expenses to be usable (including mold remediation) and still will not be adequate for the town’s needs.

The current Environmental Court case may be settled out of court if the sandpile is in the process of being relocated, stopping a poor use of town funds. The Planning Commission and Recreation Committee have stated their support of the Garrow site. I support this proposal. A positive vote could lift the black cloud that is hampering the town from pursuing other important issues.

If you want a garage at this site, vote yes on Oct. 8. The vote will be by Australian ballot, and the polls will be open from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Neil H. Kennedy