Barnet Town Clerk’s New Location
To the Editor:
The town of Barnet is in the process of determining what should happenwith the town clerk’s office. Our building committee has spent countless hours over five years researching options. After considering several ideas they found that moving the town clerk’s office to the McIndoe Academy building would be the most beneficial for the town. This historic building would provide a place for the town clerk and ample room for secure storage of records and documents. On top of that the building would accommodate the Barnet Historical Society, a library and a post office.
Town meetings could be held in the beautiful hall on the second floor. The capacity allowed for this space is more than needed to accommodate the largest number of people to have attended a town meeting in the last ten years. Voting could occur in the same building and polling stations would not have to be transported different locations, as they are now.
The upstairs hall, for which there would be an elevator, could also be a venue for musical or dramatic performances among other things. The space could serve a source of revenue from private events such as receptions or family reunions. McIndoe Academy is perfect as community center for the town, which is something I believe this community deserves.
There are those in town who feel that a constructing a utilitarian building that will serve only to house the town clerk and to store records is a better solution. This is a shortsighted solution.
In the long run saving and using a fine building we already have will give the town a better return for its money.
I find it sad that a small group of vocal individuals appear to distrust the work, over five years, of a Building Committee that is comprised of competent, dedicated citizens. I am also dismayed that this small group appears to distrust the ability of the rest of us in the community to make a decision by effectively denying us an opportunity to vote in a timely way.
The McIndoe Academy is a jewel of a building with a rich history. It was built by community members to provide education for the youth of Barnet. It is a solid building the like of which could not be built now.
Grants are available to significantly help fund the work that is needed.
The McIndoe Academy Association is offering the building, along with $100,000 to the town as an incredible gift. The value of McIndoe Academy to the town far outweighs the benefits of a small, utilitarian, single use, new building. Other towns in Vermont that have made the effort to save and maintain their historic buildings are attractive to visitors and are thriving.
I hope, in the end, that the voters of Barnet will have the opportunity to make a choice that demonstrates pride in our town and our history. A choice that will serve our community well, for years to come.