Establishing the Department of Public Works facility at Tabor has consumed an unnecessary amount of time, energy, and money because it has been delayed and politicized. It is long past time for us to act to bring this plan to fruition.
A review of the timeline shows how long this decision has been in the making. As far back as 1997, the Town Plan of Conservation and Development noted the town's need for a larger Public Works facility. In 1999, a feasibility study supported the idea that Public Works needed to be relocated. This need was reinforced in August 2007, when an independent study concluded that the Public Works facility needed double the space that it had.
When the town gained possession of what's called the Tabor property, the Board of Finance authorized funds to pursue relocation of the Public Works facility to Tabor Drive. In that same year, the Plan of Conservation and Development, a non partisan document, reaffirmed that "the current Department of Public Works facility is inadequate for community needs" and noted that "plans are underway to move this facility to the town's 77-acre Tabor Drive property."
Unfortunately, plans take time to put together. When the new Fire Headquarters was built, Public Works was forced to relocate temporarily to its present rented and inadequate location on Route 139. Following due process, the town appointed a Public Works Building Committee, which carefully and thoroughly studied all alternative sites and recommended the Tabor property as the most appropriate site. Only at this point was the decision to locate at Tabor challenged.
We know the need, the town owns the land, and studies indicate that Tabor is the best site. I urge forward momentum in making it happen for the sake of the people of Branford.
Elizabeth M. Dock