School Renovation Project And New Dunkin Donuts Shop
To The Editor:
The Town of New Lebanon is facing two major issues this month. 1) The unwelcome building of a Dunkin Donuts, Drive-Thru store in the center of town, and 2) The School Board Budget Vote.[private]
The School District is requesting 12 million dollars for the 2017-2018 year to perform expansions and upgrades to the two schools. With a mere 400 students in the entire district, and enrollment falling by a consistent 5% every year for the past decade, why would anyone need to spend this ludicrous amount of taxpayer dollars on expansion?
Would it not make more fiscal sense to expand and upgrade the high school building to accommodate all 400 students? Shut one DOWN. A mailing was sent to residents this week by the School Board, explaining and boasting about the many available programs, but nowhere is there any mention of Civic Education. Last year, a number of High School Seniors were asked to cite ONE amendment from the Bill of Rights, and NONE of them could answer. Our School Board voted two months ago to deny an infinitesimal tax exemption to our local veterans, making New Lebanon the ONLY school district in Columbia County to do so! It would seem that our school issues are much more serious than outdated, kitchen appliances. Vote NO to this 12 million dollar request!
An informal survey of residents has shown a strong, 2/3 opposition to the proposed Dunkin Donuts store. The impact on the local aesthetics, rural character, environment, and traffic are some of the main concerns, but so too are the already existing, locally-owned coffee and pastry shops that will be hurt if not destroyed by Dunkin Donuts. Only a handful of part-time jobs will be offered. There is a Dunkin Donuts 10 minutes away in Canaan, and another 15 minutes away in Pittsfield. Does New Lebanon need business? Yes. Do we NEED Fast-Food joints and Drive-Thru windows? NO. Speak now or forever hold your peace, because once it is done, there is no going back!
on behalf of the Johnson,Smith,Archambeault,and Flowers Families
New Lebanon [/private]