Vote no on the $300,000 Hardwick bond!

To the Editor:

Last October the voters of Hardwick resoundingly defeated the bond for $750,000 to buy the Hardwick Hospital Association Building and rehab it in order to move the police department and all town offices into this building. This also included the cost of rehabbing the Memorial Building and moving the Jeudevine Library there. We found out at the time that, contrary to what was agreed at the 2011 town meeting and contrary to what was promised by the select board chair, the town had already signed a lease for the hospital building even before the bond vote took place!

Now there is another bond vote taking place on town meeting day, this time for $300,000. This time around the money would be used to buy the building and rehab only a portion of it to house the police department. Does anyone truly believe that if this bond passes there will not be another bond vote two, three or five years down the road asking for several hundred thousand dollars more to once again move all the town offices into the hospital building and the library into the Memorial Building?

Those of you who know me are aware that I was adamantly against the bond last October and I remain adamantly against this one coming up. The select board is attempting to do an end run around the voters and shove something down our throats that we made clear last October we do not want. They were less than honest with us when they signed the lease for the hospital building last fall and they are being less than upfront with us about their longer term plans for the building now.

I remain convinced that a good architect could re-design the floor layout in the basement of the Memorial Building to be more than adequate for the police department's use and that any additional storage needs for the town vault can be accommodated by moving all rarely accessed records to the Vermont Record Company in Morrisville. These actions would be far less expensive than the $300,000 cost of the current bond we are being asked to approve.

I urge all Hardwick voters to vote "no" on the bond on town meeting day. This vote will be taken via Australian ballot so you need not be present at town meeting to cast your vote on this important issue.

John Mandeville

East Hardwick, Vt.

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