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Whately selectman says project support there

WHATELY — Despite some concerns raised by some residents about the town hall expansion project, the Whately Municipal Building Committee says the majority of townspeople support the project they will be asked to vote on Tuesday.

The Municipal Building Committee believes there is a lot of misinformation being shared with voters across the town by opponents of the project, Selectman and Committee Chairman Jonathan Edwards said in a statement Friday.

“I don’t believe that people who oppose this project have fully thought through the complexity of the issues we face or the importance of addressing our town’s needs,” Edwards said.

Last week, two Finance Committee members, Joseph Zewinski and Robert Fydenkevez, and a town resident, John Wroblewski, in an open letter asked, their neighbors to vote “no” to Question 1 (That letter can be found on today’s editorial page).Their main protests revolved around the $3.9 million price tag.

On Tuesday, residents will be asked to vote on a debt exclusion to pay for the rehabilitation and expansion of the 1844 historic town hall on Chestnut Plain Road. Polls open from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Edwards said many residents support the project and have created a video talking about why they will vote “yes.” The video can be viewed on the Frontier Community Access Television’s website, FCAT.tv.

“There are a lot of people in town who care deeply about this project,” Edwards said. “In this video, they show their passion for the project and for important project elements such as handicap accessibility, town office consolidation, historic preservation, efficient delivery of town services and the importance of a cohesive community center.”

Tuesday’s vote means life or death to the project that has been in the works for 2 1/ 2 years and approved by annual town meeting.

Townspeople supported the creation of a town government and office needs assessment at the 2011 town meeting. In a straw poll at the November 2012 elections, residents supported moving ahead with the historic preservation and expansion of the town hall. In 2013, residents again supported the funding of design and bid ready architectural documents. In May, town meeting voters supported the financing of the project plans.

You can reach Kathleen McKiernan at: kmckiernan@recorder.com or 413-772-0261 ext. 268

On Twitter follow @RecorderKatMcK

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