Community Center Feasibility TBD

The Barrington Town Council approves the hiring of a consultant to determine if building a community center is financially feasible.

Barrington should know in a couple of months if it is feasible financially to build a community center.

The Town Council approved on Monday night a $23,300 contract with a consulting firm to do a financial-feasibility study.

“We want to know how much we can raise to augment a bond issue,” said Margaret Kane, chairwoman of the Community Center Task Force. The group was formed several years ago by the Town Council to explore the creation of a community center in Barrington.

The Task Force recommended a Providence firm, Hannah Street Consulting, to complete the study. The Town Council seconded the task force’s decision.

Town Manager Peter DeAngelis Jr. was charged with entering into the contract. That agreement is expected to be completed in about a week.

Kane said the decision to pick a consultant was difficult.

“We had two excellent candidates,” she said.

The task force vote was 3-1 in favor of Hanna Street, she said. Donor by Design Group, a national consulting firm out of Chicago with offices in four other cities across the country but none in the East, got the other vote.

Kane said previously that the study is expected to answer several questions: What is a realistic fundraising goal? Will individual donors with deep pockets contribute? Is building a community center really feasible?

The Bayside YMCA on West Street, which just began its own expansion project, is the preferred location for a community center because it already offers programming for the Senior Center.

But the feasibility study is not tied to any specific location, Kane said in answering a question from Town Councilor Bill DeWitt, a liaison to the task force. The study is tied only to a concept, she said.

RI GF Mom September 12, 2012 at 02:04 PM
thank you for choosing a local firm. Seems silly to choose someone who has no familiarity with our area, and nice to keep jobs here. (full disclosure, I have no connection with Hanna Street and had never heard of them before today, but I do believe in keeping business local)
Lorraine F September 12, 2012 at 02:52 PM
In Monday night's town council meeting regarding the towns proposal for a municipal court, it was suggested by Councilor Brenner to town Finance Director Dean Huff that he work the numbers a little harder to show savings to taxpayers. This was because at the start of the discussion, Director Huff admitted he has no real basis to show the Municipal Court would actually save taxpayers money. Thank you Mr. Huff for your honesty on behalf of taxpayers. The point being that this unfunded municipal court should be dead last on a list of resident priorities. So why is it being rushed through? Quite frankly, residents have little interest in political plums when other priorities remain outstanding. Let's take care of funding resident interests first, and then we can all consider taxpayer support for a municipal court.
Manifold Witness September 12, 2012 at 05:29 PM
So, what would happen with the current Senior Center space? Hey...is that where the new Municipal Court will go? Is that what the big rush to plush is really all about? Will there be gold leaf and maybe life-sized portraits of the first judge and of the Town Coucilors who voted in favor? Can you beam that up, Dean-Scotty? ;-) Will some reporter please ask Councilor Brenner if he's hoping to be the new Municipal Court Judge?


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