I am voting yes for the proposed permanent Town Hall addition at the July 24 referendum and urge others to do the same. I have attended three of the public hearings on the proposal and have been impressed with the comprehensive presentations by the Town Office Building Committee. Some of its members are in the building and engineering fields and their thorough knowledge of various aspects of the proposal is evident. It was also evident to me that fiscal responsibility was part of the package. These are conservative people.
This proposal is not a “behemoth” nor will it “double” the size of Town Hall. You can add up the square footage in the mailing we all received recently. You can also approximate the yearly cost to you based on the value of your house as explained in the same mailing. Some of the accusations against the Board of Selectmen in general and the First Selectwoman in particular over this issue have, in my opinion, been nothing short of slander. I know we live in a general climate of distrust and economic stress, but that doesn’t mean all government projects are suspect or that all progress should be put on hold.
Chatfield Hollow, enjoyed by most of us today, is one of the most beautiful spots in Killingworth. It was shaped out of wilderness during the worst depression this country ever experienced. Yes, it was part of a federal program, but it was still paid for by tax dollars when the unemployment rate was around 19%. It was part of a vision of what this country could be. On a much smaller scale, of course, this Town Hall project is also a vision, a realistic one, of who we are as a town and our optimism about the future. An improving economy bringing in more residents and businesses over the next decade will bring more people to a Town Office Campus that is a credit to the Killingworth community. That is what we are really talking about here.
Twice, in 1967 and again in 1998, the tough decisions of building a real Town Hall were put off. We now have a convergence of favorable factors. We have a highly professional Town Office Building Committee, low bond rates, and lower than usual construction costs. We also have a seriously compromised Town Hall addition that is way passed its use-by date and a proposed building that is a graceful fit for this town. Let’s do it!