Hope reconsiders savings plan toward town hall

The Town of Hope is changing direction on a decision made last month not to save money toward a new town hall.

Last month, faced with a projected cost of about $1 to $2 million dollars for a new town hall, the Town Council voted to shelve the project altogether because money wasn’t available. Council members said they didn’t want to burden future generations with payments 30 or 40 years down the road.

At last night’s Town Council meeting, the chairman of the Town Hall committee, Tim Shoaf, urged the panel to reconsider a savings plan proposed last month by the clerk-treasurer. Under the plan rejected last month, Clerk-Treasurer Diane Burton, recommended the town try to set aside about $140,000 over the next three years. The idea would be to see if the town could handle the pinch of the estimated payment costs of a $1 million town hall loan, while saving money toward a down payment or other needs. The money saved wouldn’t be tied directly to that project, Burton said. Instead it would allow the town to build up a reserve that could be used for the town hall or other needs.

Shoaf argued that if the town does nothing now, in a few years they will be in the same boat and a future Town Council would be thankful that they had the foresight to set aside money.

The council voted to approve Burton’s proposed savings plan.