North Yarmouth has a one-time opportunity to create a singular town center, which will be lost forever, if voters pass the Board of Selectmen’s June referendum, selling half of the North Yarmouth Memorial School property for private development.
Numbers provided by town-hired consultants show that it could actually cost the town less to sell the present town office property than to sell the 10 acres of the NYMS property; refurbish part of the old NYMS for updated town offices, and keep town control of the full 20 acres of NYMS for future, long-term town use and growth in one central location.
The volunteer North Yarmouth Economic Development and Sustainability Committee spent many hours of work to come to the same conclusion.
Common-sense numbers also show that it will be less expensive to maintain and run one town center site that contains the Westcustogo Hall, town offices, and gym, while providing possibilities for future town center growth. Shared lighting, plowing, paving, mowing, custodial, and on-site staff, are just a few more considerations of future cost savings.
Lets give our depleted and overwhelmed selectmen a chance to reconstitute their numbers in the June elections, allow a town planner to be appointed (as decided at Town Meeting), and wait until we have a fiscally responsible plan for updating the town offices.
North Yarmouth can do better. I plan to vote no on the selectmen’s plan on June 14.