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Stanley Fil: Raises questions about Hadley senior center

  • jacoblund


Tuesday, March 13, 2018
Raises questions about Hadley senior center

Supporters of the proposed Hadley senior center need to answer some important questions (“Senior center meetings scheduled,” March 13).

How can this vote be legal when the location of the building was changed after the Town Meeting and ballot voting? How can this project continue without enough legal parking on this site?

Hadley voters should be outraged at the way this project has been mismanaged. Voters need to speak before more money is spent and construction is begun. Our voices can fix a wrong and stop a $7 million mistake. Originally I wanted a new senior center, but to be sure for Hadley to get its money’s worth.

Now we’ve learned that this project is too big for the lot. Is this why planners have pushed it onto the American Legion parking lot? The new center also expects to use a right of way through the Legion’s main parking area, creating a true hardship for the Legion post.

The new senior center and library need to show their plan of buildings, roads and parking, crammed in the center of town with asphalt covering the field and little “green space.” Hadley is not an urban area. Why build so densely? Fortunately, the Planning Board has the power to deny this project for its lack of legal parking.

Town officials try to rationalize that voters backed their project with 61 percent in favor, but that is just over 600 people who wanted to do a good thing for the seniors. How many people who voted in favor realized it was going to be moved and affect the Legion?

For $7 million, we should have options like buying another building on Route 9, with the same square footage, for $1.8 million, and enough land for the required parking.

Make your voices heard. Thursday’s forum at 6 p.m. at Hopkins Academy to discuss the interior design instead should ask why such haste, waste, and secretive planning.

Tell the Select Board that voters support the Legion. Sign the petition for articles on the warrant to stop and rethink this project. Make your voice heard at the annual Town Meeting on May 3. We can do better than this.

Stanley Fil

Hadley

The writer is an active 73-year member and past commander of the American Legion.