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Pace increases for city officials


Our View

If elected municipal officials in White Hall and Redfield appear more hard-pressed than usual during the upcoming year, residents might keep in mind they are facing agendas moving at a faster pace.

White Hall Mayor Noel Foster supervised construction of a new records storage building this year, then started work on the city’s first fire substation.

A community center and an aquatic park should be coming out of the ground later this year and he is recommending construction of a new municipal museum in the 2013 budget, with the city’s 50th anniversary on the 2014 calendar.

Foster recently quipped that he has felt more like a contractor this year than a mayor, touring a number of cities for research on a community center and aquatic park.

Redfield Mayor Tony Lawhon has learned that Charles River, a Massachusetts research firm, has expressed interested in donating the company’s 87,600 square foot laboratory, shuttered in 2009, and 40 acres to Redfield.

Negotiations are in the early stage and no firm agreement has been reached on the property.

Lawhon, who beat back a recall referendum in November, said a Redfield residential property developer, has offered to donate 7 acres in Cabot to the municipality, with the mayor eyeing a potential buyer for the tract.

City officials have discussed relocating cramped municipal offices to a new city hall, and the first floor of the three-story lab might solve the need for more space.

An ad hoc task force has been established at Redfield to oppose the proposed closure of Redfield Middle School and the laboratory building has been championed as a possible replacement site.

With work on 2013 municipal budgets underway and the 89th General Assembly convening a three-month session Jan. 14 and bill filing already started, expect municipal officials to have their hands full.