Union voters approve path forward to save Thompson Community Center, seek developers for senior housing

Tue, 11/07/2023 - 11:30pm

    UNION – A large majority of voters approved a path forward to find a developer to create senior housing in part of the Thompson Community Center building, adjust zoning to allow this housing, and use Tax Increment Financing for rehabilitation of the remainder of the Community Center. 

    Voters narrowly defeated an article that would have authorized the Select Board to dispose of the entire Community Center property.

    The Community Center, commonly referred to as the ‘brick building,’ was built in 1951. Reports list needed repairs to the brick building as stabilizing brick work, replacing windows and doors, new heating and ventilation systems, renovation of two unused bathrooms, stabilization of exterior walls and foundation work, well and septic system and roof replacement. The brick building is attached to the former Union School, referred to as the ‘yellow building.’ It was built in 1923, and is now targeted for redevelopment into senior housing.

    Article 2 Yes: 694, No: 368. Authorize the Select Board, with the advice of the Thompson Community Center Working Group, to enter into a development agreement with a developer(s) that will provide for the redevelopment of the Thompson  Community Center property, which would be designed to redevelop the property for senior housing and for continued community use, and would create a revenue flow to fund improvements to the Community Center property and provide an ongoing revenue stream to support the property.

    Article 3 Yes: 592, No: 456. Approve a Tax Increment Financing District for the Thompson Center to coincide generally with the location of the Thompson Community Center property and the Community Center Land Use District.

    Article 4 Yes: 600, No: 441Approve land use changes to amendments that create and locate a a Community Center District, provide for uses within that District, and establish dimensional requirements for uses in that District.

    Article 5 Yes: 656, No: 400. Authorize the Select Board to expend funds already raised and appropriated, after a development agreement has been finalized, to stabilize the  brick portion of the Community Center, and to apply for and expend redevelopment grants for the purpose of repairs and renovations.

    Article 6 Yes: 508, No: 537. Should the town vote to not authorize a Redevelopment Agreement and Program involving the Thompson Community Center property, then to authorize the Select Board to dispose of the Thompson Community Center property under terms and conditions that they deem to be in the best interests of the Town.