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Voices / Letters from readers

We need affordable units, but there must be a better site

RE: “With friends like these...” [Response, Mar. 8]:

This is kind of a response to a response, but I just wanted to say that I am not pleased at the location of the new Windham & Windsor Housing Trust project. I do, however, support the goals and think that most of their projects are well done.

I moved up to Putney in 1976 and for many years often lived in substandard housing, because as a low-wage worker that was all I could afford.

When my son was born in 1983, we lived in an uninsulated two-room cabin, where the pipes froze all the time. (I blew in insulation that spring.)

When I was new in my building career, I was working renovating an old house in the village and creating apartments that I couldn’t afford to live in. When I asked the owner where people in my income bracket were supposed to live, his reply was, “They should move to Bellows Falls!”

So I definitely understand the need for affordable units.

I just feel that having the entry to the village guarded on one side by the fire station and on the other side of the road by a housing development detracts from the overall eclectic charm of the village, as well as taking away some of the last green space in town.

There is an ugly, unused area where Basketville had some factory shops, as well as an unused old orchard on Old Route 5. Those would seem like better locations to me. There may be others I’m not aware of.

I generally read posters about community events and such, and I read The Commons every week, but I somehow missed hearing about this whole process, until it’s essentially a done deal.

I have no idea who Friends of Putney are, and I’m about as right wing as Karl Marx, so I don’t necessarily think everyone who has concerns about this project is a NIMBY racist. I’m certainly not.

Joseph A. Valaske

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Originally published in The Commons issue #706 (Wednesday, March 15, 2023). This story appeared on page B2.

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