More low-income housing is not needed in Bennington and to think of building some on the top of Silver Street where there are only homeowners would be ludicrous.
The proposed name "Monument View Apartments" after a main street in Old Bennington doesn’t make it any more appealing. Besides, on a good day you can only see the tip of the Monument. You would have to be in a hot air balloon to get a good view.
At what point did the town give the Affordable Housing Corp. permission to switch from fixing up old structures to building new when there Mission Statement has always been to "fix up the old, not build new." Their exact Mission Statement reads " ... rehabilitation and protection of Bennington’s aging housing stock has been and will remain a primary mission of Shires Housing."
Every year we are now losing more businesses and manufacturing companies and new ones are not coming because we have very little workforce to meet their needs. Creating more housing for those who can’t and or won’t work only makes the situation worse. Another example of this dilemma is the huge number of houses for sale in Bennington. People who can afford these homes that are already on the market are either not here or are not moving here.
Not too many years ago, when hi-tech industry was developing in the Capital District (Albany/Schenectady/Troy) area, the talk around Bennington was that we might become a bedroom community for these hi-tech people.
Bennington has a good reputation for providing for the needy and underprivileged, and that will always be. Some of the people moving to Bennington who require public assistance are not coming from third world countries or from living under bridges in one of our neighboring states. These individuals were already provided for with a roof over their head and public assistance elsewhere.
Just recently I was talking to a friend who works in the Boston area and is an executive with a large nationally well-known insurance company. We were discussing the possibility of more affordable housing here. He made the statement that "when an area is overrun with people on public assistance -- the local hospital also suffers." "The reason being is that Medicaid pays so little for their services." That, along with overcrowding of our schools, will devastate Bennington.
Please, do not allow this Grant! The developer of Appleridge -- a rotten apple -- who came here from out-of-town -- is losing everything -- and now wants to sell out just so he can pay back taxes to the town. In addition, isn’t this considered a Conflict of Interest?
This would further degenerate our pristine, historic community. A community we all live in, appreciate and love.