My family and I moved to Suffield in late 1984. By the time we arrived in town, residents had attended many town meetings and participated in many discussions regarding installing sewer lines on the East side of town. At one time, the federal government would have paid 80% of the installation costs. Ultimately the taxpayers had to pay 80% of the costs rather than the Feds. This decision cost the town considerable dollars and prevented us from being able to afford future bonding. Municipal and school projects were put on hold for many years.
More recently, the town twice had the chance to bond for a new library, but twice voted down the referendums. Some of the thinking was libraries were becoming passé and we could renovate Kent Memorial Library for much less money. The result of this decision was the town has spent close to $8 million dollars including private donations to renovate an older building. This number is about what it would have cost to build a new library on the Bridge School site. A new library would have been more spacious and been finished two to three years ago.
In the upcoming months, residents will have the opportunity to approve a new highway building and renovations to town hall. Please attend all the information and town meetings regarding these projects. It is important that the town reviews these projects and takes positive action. We must maintain our municipal facilities and take care of them for reasonable costs.
The town also approved at a referendum vote to convert Bridge Street School into a community center. For reasons that are not clear this project has been stalled. Citizens spoke and it is necessary to move forward on the approved project.
In the past, we have made decisions that have proven costly, prevented us from moving forward on other projects, and delayed projects from being completed in a timely fashion. Let’s not put our heads in the sand regarding the highway building, town hall renovations, and a community center.