Dismantling the community, Grantsville's proposed town hall

(06/13/2005)

Dear Editor,

I was dismayed to read that the town's swimming pool is dead, and its burial is going to cost the town $4,180. (Does it really cost that much to fill a hole with dirt?)

It's also disheartening to read that the old high school will probably be demolished as well. Grantsville is well on its way to becoming a ghost town, sad to say.

The wonderful memories I have of my youth, growing up in Grantsville, cause the sadness I feel at the demise of what were two cornerstones of our community.

During the school year, we students kept the town abuzz with the many extra-curricular activities we enjoyed and participated in.

Although building a new high school was necessary, removing it from Grantsville was a huge mistake - the town seemingly lost its spirit when these youthful activities were removed to a rural area of the county.

And now, the pool is going. What on earth are the youth of the county going to do with the long summer days? What do they have to look forward to? Swimming in a polluted river? With their parents having to travel out of the county for work, I imagine there will be much more opportunity to get themselves into trouble! That is where boredom and inactivity leads.

It's a shame that private individuals do not come forward to help the town finance the repair and maintenance of the swimming pool.

I imagine their donations would be tax deductible. I know that Calhoun County is one of the poorest counties in the United States, but I also know there are citizens of Calhoun County who have made fortunes in oil-and-gas production, real estate, law, manufacturing, and retail.

They'll jump at the chance to help the town and county as long as it benefits them, but to contribute funds to help the people of the county . . .

I guess if it doesn't increase the "bottom line," it's not worth the trouble. Ironic isn't it that the swimming pool came into being with the generosity of private individuals who wanted to provide a wonderful way for the community to spend summer days; and its demise is going to be sealed by private individuals who could very easily exhibit the same community spirit as their grand-parents.

Another question I have to ask . . . if Grantsville cannot afford to repair and maintain the swimming pool, how in heaven's name can it afford to spend $270,000 on a town hall?

The $270,000 town hall is proposed to be built on a lot that was claimed to be worth $160,000. That means the town hall would be valued at $430,000.

Calhoun County has given the town space to operate practically free in the old jail building. For a town the size of Grantsville (population approximately 500), is a new building really necessary?

I just cannot see where the town is doing what is best for the community but I live far away . . . perhaps someone "in the know" can enlighten me and the community, and justify the loss of the pool and the need to spend that kind of money for an unnecessary new town hall.

Someone needs to take a look at the big picture.

If you begin dismantling institutions that make a community, you will also dismantle the community itself. All one has to do is look at the steadily decreasing student population in the county's schools.

Families are leaving the county in droves, removing the tax base that the county needs to survive and most importantly, removing the "future" of the county itself. Someone, please, step up and show that the welfare of the community DOES matter!

Respectfully,

Robin (Beecher) Goodwin
Castleton, Vermont
rubley58@yahoo.com