New hope for the Charlemont Inn


Published: 8/13/2019 9:31:25 AM

As members of a small group that has been actively encouraging a resolution to the long impasse over the long-closed Charlemont Inn, we were pleased with the Recorder’s coverage [July 27 “Local developer gets chance to save long-vacant inn”] of the appointment of a capable receiver to oversee the rehabilitation of this important community resource.

We also were pleased to read an editorial on July 30 [“New hope for Charlemont Inn”] that recognized the strong negative effect on the inn’s owners of the vandalism that occurred during the period when the Charlemont Sewer District took control of the property over unpaid sewer fees. We do not challenge the rationale behind the district’s seizure of the property. However, the effect that removal of critical plumbing infrastructure had on the ability of Ms. Dewey and the other owners to even hope to re-open, should not be overlooked when considering how long the inn has remained shuttered. So too, the fact that, while past-due sewage fees have been paid, the owners received no compensation at all for the damage done when they lost control of the property, even though they ultimately were required to cover the full cost of repairs.

Furthermore, Ms. Dewey has, in our opinion, at least partly, been unfairly blamed for the eight-year term of the closure, including the fact that, within the past year alone, the Housing Court granted four delays in the process of finding a resolution. While it can be argued that Charlotte’s hopes for financing to complete needed renovations and re-open the failed business were perhaps unattainable, it is important to note that it was the Town of Charlemont that requested the last four extensions, not the owners. It is also noteworthy that Charlotte has been very cooperative with Mr. Gilchrest as he looks for a feasible future for the Inn property.

What has happened over the past eight years, whatever one’s perspective, is past. Looking forward, we eagerly await Mr. Gilchrest’s development and execution of a carefully-considered plan to fully renovate and bring this cherished resource back to operation. Now is the time for everyone in town to pull together on this, wish him well and help make this happen in any way they can.

William and Norma Coli are residents of Charlemont.

Greenfield Recorder

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Greenfield, MA 01302-1367
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