Friday, April 18, 2008

One had giveth, the other hand taketh

The Littleton Opera House is a glorious Victorian wood building, standing upon a commanding site, in the middle of town, over looking the river. It used to house the Littleton police dept, the town museum, and some town offices. Back in 2005 some humorless structural engineer declared the entire building unsafe and in danger of falling into the river. The town moved the police dept out, closed the museum and the Opera House has been standing empty for the last three years.
It will take a million or more dollars, which Littleton doesn't have, to fix the building up to modern standards. US Senator Judd Greg did whatever senators do, and a sizable Federal grant come thru to fix up the Opera House. Plans were drawn, a contractor selected and work was about to start.
Then disaster struck, by email. "The funding may be in jeopardy if the town doesn't comply with any and all requirements. " Starting with a review by the NH State Preservation Officer because the Opera House is a historic structure. Zap, project on hold till the paper work gets done. "any and all requirements" means a never ending load of paperwork. By the time the first load is accomplished, some bureaucrat will invent more paperwork.
Clearly the Opera House project has acquired some enemies from somewhere. This is surprising, 'cause I thought everyone in Littleton was in favor doing the project. Maybe someone wants the Opera House gone, so they can buy the land to erect something tasteful like a fast food place?

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