DRACUT FORUM WILL UPDATE RESIDENTS ON BUILDINGS-UPGRADE MANDATE

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On Nov. 1 at 7 p.m. there will be an informal meeting at the Dracut senior center. Information on the warrant article regarding the Town Hall and the Sewer Department will be presented.

The Nov. 6 Town Meeting is going to be very important. As many of you know, we are now under a court order to upgrade three Dracut town buildings to conform with the American with Disabilities Act. Two of these buildings, the Town Hall itself and the Town Hall Annex, are wood structures close to 100 years old.

If you own a home, you know what happens when you open an old wall — just to add/subtract something. Renovations are not the answer. By the time we break down walls, add elevators, remove doorways and basically redesign the interior of these old buildings will we have three ADA compliant old buildings that cost a lot to maintain that are very susceptible to fire. None of the funding will go toward upgrading the electrical system, already overloaded to the point that no more computers can be added. Also not included are upgrades to allow for things to be done from home; a new roof, painting or exterior work that unfortunately will have to be done to preserve the interiors at additional expense.

No one questions the need to replace these buildings and put all the town offices under one roof, but would you be willing to forgo a cup of coffee a week to insure that this will happen? If you have any questions, this forum is the place to go. Be informed before Town Meeting. You know there will be the naysayers who will say what was good enough for my grandfather is good enough for everyone. But stop and think. A wood building housing all the records of the community? I know, store the records somewhere else in a safe environment.

Want to wait a few days or a week to get your birth certificate? Now, you can walk in, ask and you have it. Think about it. In one stop, you could park, get the plot plan of your property, learn the history of it, get a building permit, get your child registered for sports, pick up the flu shot schedule, get whatever licenses you want, and then walk over to visit the library. I know many of you will have other things to do at this time, but information can easily be obtained by contacting members of the Citizens for a Better Dracut. Ask at the library or contact the Town Hall.

We work hard at the library to insure that our data bases, links and print materials are up to date and pretty reliable. We will do our best to have all the printed information available on the Town Hall project for any of you who visit and want to ask questions. However, you must realize that you have to ask us for the information. We are not going to greet you at the door with it.

We must comply and do it in a short period of time. The only question that remains is how we comply. Please, attend the meeting, ask for information or even more meetings. We will all do the best we can to make Dracut the best community in the valley.

Susan Schwarz is the director of Dracut’s Moses Greeley Parker Library.