Westport project narrowly rejected

"The future is scarier after the vote than it was before the vote," said Tyler. "If people were worried about taxes, they should be really worried now."

Tyler said the outdated fire station and DPW garage were of particular concern in the near future for safety reasons.

"If [the state] comes in and shuts us down, what do we do then?" he asked. "It will be a lot more expensive in an emergency situation to replace these buildings than it would have been with all this planning."

Several public information meetings have been held throughout the past year for the project, which has been in the planning stages since 2002 when the town was awarded a $600,000 state grant to develop building plans.

"We had the $600,000 and we're fairly certain that we had another $300,000 on the way," Connell said, noting that the town was also prepared to apply for up to $500,000 in other grants after voters approved construction.

"Even though we held those informational meetings, the majority of the public didn't seem to understand what the project really was," said Connell. "I think if the public knew what the project was, the vote would have been a positive vote, but the people voted, so that's it."

When asked if the proposal could be put up for another vote, Connell said, "I don't know."

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