Dear Suffield Residents,
I am canceling the January 31, 2018 Special Meeting of the Board of Selectmen scheduled as a public forum to present and discuss the Town Hall renovation plans. In recent weeks, several have reached out to me with insightful and valid feedback and concerns regarding the project. That feedback, in conjunction with the work done this week to present the plans in a meaningful way, unearthed issues that still need to be considered further before holding this public forum.
To be clear, I share concerns expressed regarding the $11.0M plan that accommodates the majority of our town employees under "one roof." My overriding goal of "one roof", however, remains unchanged. Not only does this goal eliminate the need to pay approximately $100,000 annually in leased space (230C Mountain Road), it frees up limited commercial space in the Town Center that can contribute to the real and personal property tax rolls. In addition, it will facilitate greater collaboration among employees as well as improve customer service and ease of use for residents and those doing business with the town. That being said, the current Town Hall Space Needs Study (on which the $11.0M plan was based), while reflecting the valuable input and requests from town employees as well as incorporating industry guidelines on space needs, will be revised further to assume a more space efficient and cost conservative approach.
I value your time and plan to ask the public to come together only once I have a plan that I can confidently support. A new date for the public forum will be set shortly. I am thankful for everybody's patience, and willingness to speak with me and work together towards the best possible outcome for our Taxpayers.
Melissa M. Mack