Words do matter. At last weeks BoS meeting, members of the Heritage Commission reminded us of that fact. I just watched the December 22nd BoS worksession about the Taylor property, as it was referenced a number of times by Mark Borrin who spoke in favor of slowing down the process and getting much more information before making a decision on the disposition of the property. I have to agree that the BoS discussion on December 22nd would be concerning to anyone interested in preserving the building. However, the video is not the official position of the BoS, the minutes we approved are:
Taylor Property: After discussion, the Board agreed by Unanimous Consensus not to
sell the property, to develop ideas for use of the land as a park and open space, and hold a
public hearing in April regarding selling, preserving, or razing the building.
That may not bring comfort to those that feel passionately about not razing the building, but that was my intent when I spoke of going through a number of channels before we ever got to the point of voting whether or not to raze the building.
What many people probably don't realize is that what you see from the road that is cleared, is only about half of the acreage. There is almost 2.5 acres in the back bordering the school property that is heavily wooded. Even with the Taylor building in its current location, there is a lot of useable land for a park and green. That is important information to be clear about as it moves forward. I did suggest and the BoS agreed, that funds be found this year to engage a landscape architect to draw a conceptual picture of what a park with the existing Taylor property could look like.
I believe we can find a middle ground and make improvements to the village that will greatly enhance its curb appeal. The Heritage Commission spoke of possible grant funding to help with a possible project and that would certainly be factored into any decisions the town makes.
There are four buildings in the village that the Heritage Commission is focusing on in the near term: the Taylor property, the Grange Hall, the Country Fare building ( which was recently purchased by the New Woodshed family under the name BP Corner,LLC ) and finally the old school house/ State Police barracks now owned by the Methodist church.