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Blocking A Key To The Success of Prescott

Last year the citizens of Groton voted at Spring Town Meeting for a $275,000 CPA grant for a sprinkler system at the Prescott School. They knew that this system was key to make the building accessible for children’s programming and for expanded rental space on the second floor. And they knew that a sprinkler system was necessary to protect this historic building no matter who used it....even if it sat in mothballs waiting for a new tenant or owner.
     Now the Select Board and the Town Manager are holding hostage the construction bid that would make this possible.
Why? Because of a technicality that has been found in the bid documents of the lowest bidder. The company did not submit a copy of its State Certification, and now our Town Manager and at least two Select Board members are saying this is enough to reject the bid outright.
     They expressed these opinions at this week’s Board meeting, even though they knew from their own legal counsel that a ruling from the State Attorney General says that such a technicality can be waived, and can be upheld by the Town in any case of a bid dispute.
     The Select Board and Town Manager are not operating in the best interest of the town as voted at Town Meeting. They are blocking a bid that they know is key to the success of Prescott. They are even undermining the very Business Plan that they approved for the lease of the building!
     Without a sprinkler and alarm system installed this summer, Prescott cannot achieve its mission of becoming a multi- generational center for the community, for nonprofits, and for small businesses. We will have to walk away from all of the good programs and building care that we have done these past years, and terminate our lease.
     Remember the nursery rhyme, where a battle for a kingdom was lost“all for the want of a horseshoe nail”? This bid technicality if that `nail” and we need to show our public administration and representatives that their failure to see the bigger picture is not our picture.
     Let them know that we want this bid to come to Spring Town Meeting. They are voting on this at this Monday’s Select Board meeting, April 27. Let your voice be heard.
Thank you,
Mary Jennings
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