Town House Building Committee wants to study VFW option

By Georgia Sparling | Mar 07, 2017

Marion — The Town House Building Committee returned to Selectmen on Tuesday seeking $34,300 to study the feasibility of constructing a new Town House at the VFW property. The committee requested that Selectmen OK the proposal for the Town Meeting agenda.

If you’re keeping count, this makes two Town Meeting proposals to explore the “new build” option. In February, several residents submitted a citizen petition requesting $35,000 and the establishment of a new committee.

Many in town felt that the VFW option was not properly evaluated, but the THBC’s funding was earmarked solely for Town House renovation options.

Many, including Selectman Steve Gonsalves, felt that it would be helpful to have the VFW option so they could make an educated decision.

THBC member Wayne Mattson said his committee already has a base plan and an architect, which would “mitigate any additional expenses” and save time as opposed to a new committee that would be starting from scratch.

He added, “We’ll accept whichever plan works out to be the best for the town. We’ve been looking at this objectively.”

On Tuesday, Selectmen asked if both groups could work together.

“We see enough factions in Washington,” said Dickerson.

Planning Board member Rob Lane said he would like to see the two groups combine, with a minimum of three new members appointed by Selectmen.

John Waterman, one of the citizen petitioners, said it ultimately comes down to who is on the committee, which is at the discretion of the Selectmen.

Selectmen voted to send the new agenda item to Town Meeting but also said one could be withdrawn on the floor.

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