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Hotel proposal would bring needed jobs, tax revenues

In his letter to the editor, Patrick Fennell writes: “It is time to end this nightmare and embrace a positive change and a chance to upgrade Bridge Street and give the community a positive shot in the arm.”

 To the Editor:

Since talks of new schools took place in the late 1990s, many people have let the citizens of Great Barrington down. The voters were constantly deceived and taken advantage of.

During the early talks of the two new BHRSD schools many people asked, “What about Searles/Bryant and Housatonic schools?” We were informed the Searles/Bryant complex would quickly be sold and be the Berkshire County version of Boston’s Fanueil Hall. That never happened and after a few tries finally got Iredale Mineral Cosmetics to buy Bryant, and they did a remarkable job fixing it up.

Meanwhile, the BHRSD and the sleepy town of Great Barrington allowed the Superintendent’s Offices to go from Housatonic School to the new Stockbridge Town Hall and stick Great Barrington with 70 percent of the rent and stuck with an empty old building, which is now in terrible shape.

Many people have looked at the Searles High School but because of many laws and regulations it cannot remodel the building in a cost-effective manner. BHRSD could not even do this, thus the two new schools and still two pieces of expensive real estate tossed on the already overburdened Great Barrington taxpayers.

Vijay Mahida is our last hope. He has made a good and fair proposal and if it goes through a lot of people and groups will benefit, like Riverwalk, Iredale Mineral Cosmetics, and cultural centers. It will also add much needed jobs and $450,000 in property tax money, which BHRSD can’t wait to grab.

It is time to end this nightmare and embrace a positive change and a chance to upgrade Bridge Street and give the community a positive shot in the arm.

This building will be tastefully done, and will be one positive step forward to improve Bridge Street unlike the parcel of land on the other side of the street.

Too bad the Log Home Site looks so bad, but when the government helps out this is what happens. At least, a bunch of bureaucrats will have job security with that blight in town.

Patrick Fennell

Great Barrington

 

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