The possibility of taking steps toward a new town hall in Hazelhurst was raised Tuesday night at the regular meeting of the town board.
Board supervisor Harland Lee mentioned it during the portion of the meeting devoted to supervisor’s reports.
“I’d like to say that I think sometime in this next year, we ought to initiate some type of discussions regarding maybe building a new town hall down on the property we just purchased,” he said.
The property Lee was talking about is a seven-acre parcel the town purchased in May of this year for $49,000 following approval at the spring annual meeting.
The property was once a landing site and log staging area for the old Hazelhurst lumber company and is directly adjacent to town garage.
“Let’s wait until we see what happens with the financial cliff,” town chairman Ted Cushing said, referring to the current talks in Washington, D.C.
Lee said there’s always something.
“Wait for this, wait for this, wait for that,” he said.
“There’s no reason not to have discussions,” Cushing said.
“I think at least some initial discussions,” Lee said. “Things are going to happen, they’re going to happen.”
He said people say times are tough.
“Yeah, times are tough but building costs are down, too,” he said. “I just think we ought to have some initial discussions and get the feeling of the citizens.”
Town supervisor Gilbert Kettner suggested doing a survey and Cushing said a public meeting could be held on the issue.
“I think we ought to at least have some initial discussions on what procedures we should do,” Lee said. “I think maybe a public meeting should be one of them, survey another, but those are things we should talk about.”
At the time of the vote of the town electors in April, it was mentioned that in addition to a new town hall on the site, a new town fire barn could be constructed there as well.
After Tuesday’s meeting, Cushing said the the town is outgrowing the current town hall building, which once belonged to the Yawkey Lumber Company and donated to the town.
“It costs a lot to heat it and maintain it,” he said. “We need to take the next step and see where we want to go.”
“It’s a very unique and very appropriate piece of property,” Lee said. “Now, we have to talk about doing something with it.”
Cushing said Lee is right.
“We don’t owe anything to anybody,” he said. “The town is debt-free.”
He said there was no way the town would get a state loan if the town was to go ahead with a new town hall project.
“You want to make sure the people are behind it,” he said.
Brian Jopek may be reached at email@example.com.