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Ruminations

Topic Number One: It's "Reeferendum Madness" Part II on March 6, as the town gets to vote yet again on whether to ban retail marijuana operations of any kind – but "grandfathers" two existing businesses, Sage and ProVerde, allowing them to expand from just the medical marijuana market to the recreational market.

By voting "Yes" on March 6, you end it all. A "Yes" vote next month gives you the October Special Town Meeting vote and a ballot vote with languages that matches it – which is what state laws require.

But, if you vote "No" on March 6, this ballot vote/Town Meeting vote process could go on forever – because Milford will be left with an approved ballot vote from last September and an October Special Town Meeting vote with different wording – which is not what the state laws require.

Once again, "Yes" means no retail marijuana, grandfathering in Sage and ProVerde, and no more votes needed. "No" means you become just like Bill Murray in the Groundhog Day movie – reliving this over and over and over.

Topic Number Two: People already are sounding off about the $115,000 sale price for the former Middle School East/St. Mary's High School building. They think the price is way too low, especially since Assessors have the land and building valued at $3,858,100.

But, a study committee hired an outside consultant to determine uses for the building. The town learned it would cost several million dollars to bring the building up to today's building codes. The town then advertised the land and building for sale. About a dozen people took out the bidding paperwork. Only one responded.

That response was the "market" speaking about what the property's worth.

You may have an antique in your attic that you think is worth $1,000. You put it up for sale. You might get offered more or you might get offered less. It's no different with this building and land.

The sole bid had two options: The first is to tear down the existing building and replace it with a new office building and parking. The second is to tear down the newer portion at the rear of the building and replace it with parking. The main school building fronting on Main Street would then be renovated into 30 market-rate (not subsidized or "affordable") apartments for people ages 55 and older.

The second option preserves the "memories" people have of the building – like the re-use of the Draper office building in Hopedale does. It would provide housing that is needed as a wave of baby boomers retire and look to "downsize" from their existing homes. It would have enough off-street parking. It also would puts people living in the downtown area, making it less of a ghost town at night and hopefully creating "foot traffic" for downtown businesses.




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