What are the options for the Police/Fire project? On the one hand the project can, without further ado, go forward with its $14.1 million dollar budget. This item alone will add 9-10 cents onto the tax rate next year (beginning July 2014). On the other hand, well, anything is possible. For instance: only doing the fire station now with an extra story or two, moving the town offices there and simply making some renovations to the Municipal Bldg to get police department functions out of the basement. Postpone West Bratt for now. This would dramatically cut immediate costs. However I put this one idea out only to open the door to brainstorming. There are probably ten thousand other possibilities.
I don’t think the citizens here have ever had the opportunity to engage their minds on this project in this way. It would be quite illuminating to see what the populace is capable of. Its collective intelligence, so to speak. This kind of exercise is much more effective if ideas are not evaluated or criticized. If it devolves to that creative thinking will cease and the ideas dry up. Even if an idea is unfathomable it may contain one small element that can open a whole new way of thinking.
I’m reminded of the story, maybe true, of the entire engineer department at Hughes struggling to find a way to make a boat fly to get into remote areas. Finally a young whippersnapper just out of school suggested that maybe they could get a plane to float!