As a resident of The Spruces, I find asking the town in a petition to take money away from the Youth Center to be an insult to a community that has been so gracious with us during this disaster. It also is an insult to the many residents who realize that it is not feasible to even consider buying this property, as it affects how townspeople will view us: as unappreciative, which is entirely not true. We are very thankful for all of the compassion shown to us. I do understand and sympathize with the residents who want to stay here but I also realize the bigger picture.
The Spruces requires so much work that will never get done due to what the cost would be to make it safe again if that is even possible with the emotional scars it has left to many. We should be thinking about what is best for the community as a whole and realize this place has too much damage from many years of neglect. I don't see any revival plan succeeding, and when the place goes bankrupt, who will be there to help us out? The opportunity will be gone.
I look at it this way:
Morgan will dump us and we'd be in court for years trying to collect.
If new owners bought it, and the park fails (which I believe it would) then what will we do?
At least with the town's offer, we will receive funds for demolition and for relocation. I'd rather the residents have a sure thing than wonder where we'll be in a few years when a group finally realizes there is no feasible way to keep the park open.
Whether or not the town or college or anyone else - which seems to be a discussion going around - wanted the park really does not matter at this point. What matters is a flood came that wiped out our community and tore it apart. We need to let the past go and start moving forward with our future. I also did not receive FEMA money for my home after the flood, and paid to bring it up to code to get back in after four months of not having occupancy of it, but we all knew that it was just a matter of time before it closed. Morgan said all along that they couldn't afford to keep it open with just 66 homes or so. But it has given us a few extra years of affordable housing. Remember, many who had to leave ended up renting places at $800 or more a month, and now with the grant we can relocate and move on. Please remember, the grant money can not be used to rebuild The Spruces at it's present location, but it can recreate our community on the Lowry property.
By working together with the town instead of trying to find fault with the grant and the debate over property, affordable housing will be reached much sooner and be ready for us when it is time.
Please support the Lowry property as a viable place to rebuild our community. Please remember that even if you do not want to relocate there, your next door neighbor may want to.
Thank you again to the Selectmen, Affordable Housing, Mr. Fohlin and all of the caring citizens of Williamstown for your support.