Town Council Decision on the Renovation of Town Hall

At the Town Council meeting of Monday, March 25th, Council members voted in favor of Option #1, the full build out of the 80 Boston Neck Road Town Hall building with the goal of bringing most, if not all town offices and departments back to a renovated and modernized building.

The choice of this option, at an estimated total cost of $12.5 million, will require a referendum later this year. The referendum will ask voters to approve up to $7.5 million in additional funding to go along with the $5 million that was approved for the purpose at the last referendum. Option #1 was the recommendation of the architects who in 2018 analyzed the options at the behest of the former Town Council. The council vote on the referendum was 4 to 1; the council member voting against strongly supported preserving the building in some fashion, but did not agree on the referendum. The others agreed that a referendum was needed to make the decision making process transparent.

All audience members who spoke last evening and Town Council members were united on the need to save this iconic building. Many pointed out that it should be used for town purposes, since its history and intent was that of a town hall. Yet, there were differences of opinion as to the extent of the renovation and future reuse of the facility. One council member shared that their mailboxes “have been flooded”  by correspondence from residents about the issue. One audience member stated, “a town that remembers and honors its history, honors itself”. Several people pointed out that as the inscription over Town Hall’s door indicates, Town Hall is our town hall—and should be nothing less.

Information regarding the timing of the referendum will be available in coming weeks, however the general thought was that the referendum will occur in the fall of 2019 to encourage full voter participation on this issue.

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