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Why spend money to tear down Belmont’s most valuable building?

To The Daily Sun,

Belmont voters have three questions on the Ballot related to our historic Belmont Mill. I recommend voting:

• Question 6: YES, to save the Belmont Mill.

• Question 7: NO, to tearing Belmont Mill down.

• Question 8: YES to selling the Belmont Mill.

Let's keep it simple. The real need is for a comprehensive facility plan for Belmont's town buildings, not a decision that looks at only the Mill. Why vote to demolish Belmont's most iconic feature which engineering studies identify as structurally sound (2013 H.L. Turner Report)? The Belmont Mill is a valuable economic asset and core to Belmont's historic identity and sense of place. Why spend tax money to tear down the town's most valuable building?

Is the real question what's the best way to house our town staff in the future and what will it cost? Then we need a basic facility assessment of town-owned buildings that can be compared with repairs and modernization assessment on the Belmont Mill. We need to consider space needs for all town employees (including the Police Department), to get the big picture. Let's not jump the gun and assume that the 2015 Belmont Mill proposal, which voters turned down, is the only solution.

At the Deliberative Session, I proposed a broad-based Citizen Committee including engineering, design, office planning, real estate and economic development experience be created to address this issue in a comprehensive fashion. There have been numerous past efforts like the PlanNH Charette in 2010, Study Committees and the Mill architectural assessment that we can build from. With a basic engineering/building estimate of all these buildings for repair and reconstruction long-term and a estimate of office space needs based on accepted engineering standards, we have time to look at the big picture and present a clear and well-thought-out range of choices for taxpayers.

Donna Hepp



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It’s wrong to make tax payers pay for Year Round Library

To The Daily Sun,

I'm not quite understanding the Gilmanton library issue? I was under the impression that it was a tax-free addition to the town of Gilmanton as it was built by folks and we would not need to worry about a tax burden? I have an opinion and it is: I didn't build it, so with Gilmanton's taxes so high why should I have to pay more for something that I never asked for? My taxes were high enough. Then we were given an added three percent per 1,000 per year two years ago (which most Gilmanton homeowners couldn't afford). So why must we need to support more?

I believe that we have more than our share to carry. Why not build the new library into a new high school and save the cost of traveling out of town and the safety of Gilmanton's children?

I didn't retire to pay higher taxes. When I worked 20 years I was to have health insurance from my employer — the county — and they took that away, so don't tell me that they can't do whatever they need to do to make it work for them. It's wrong to make the Gilmanton taxpayers pay for this.

Charlene Houle


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