Dear Select Board,
While sitting in on Select Board meetings for the last three plus years I have watched the Board struggle with numerous difficult issues due to lack of financial resources. Decisions are often delayed while the Board tries to explore all available options for immediate needs while keeping a long-range view, and tries to do the best by the Town. One of these difficult issues identified as a priority by the Facilities Task Force (FTF) in 2020 was repair or replacement of the Salt Shed.
Fixing the Salt Shed is not straightforward, or it would likely be done by now. The Board continues to grapple with the best “fix”: (1) should it be replaced in the current position, (2) should it be replaced in the current location, but repositioned per the Cudnohfsky report, (3) should it be located at Bray Road, and (4) how do the other space issues at the current location get resolved in relation to decisions around the Salt Shed?
In a perfect financial world, Heath might already have a new Safety Complex at Bray Road. But that is not our reality. The Town must seek the best practical solution that can be managed and that will last the test of time. The Select Board has deliberated on the best long-term plan for our facilities and initiated a study that was extremely well done, which used third party reports (previously initiated by the Town) for analysis. The Facilities Task Force report provided financial information to facilitate decisions related to our Town buildings. Based on all the effort by the Select Board to take everything into consideration and data provided by the Facilities Task Force, it seems we should be at the point where the Town can implement a 5- or even 10-year plan based on the options already evaluated.
A. Commit to having the Salt Shed at the current location by the winter of 2024.
I recognize the difficulty of this type of decision and the desire to “get it right” but it has been 3 plus years since the FTF identified the Salt Shed as critical. Please move forward with a plan for the Salt Shed at the current location to present at the next ATM.