Baie d’Urfé pulls plug on town hall expansion

Tutino plans to reintroduce contentious project later

By Robert Frank

Town council will announce at its Dec. 10 meeting that it has officially abandoned a controversial plan to expand Baie d’Urfé town hall, Mayor Maria Tutino told The Suburban in an interview.

“Last week, council agreed to reverse the town hall project and unanimously decided not to proceed,” she said.

“There was so much anxiety and misinformation,” Tutino complained, calling opponents’ claims “totally unjust and irresponsible.”

“We had been discussing the project for more than two years,” she said. “When the municipal elections came, even though we said that we would defer the project at the time, it became an election issue. Going door-to-door there was so much misinformation as to what the project would imply. Half of dealing with it was correcting the misinformation. Many citizens expressed interest in a new [round of] public information sessions to review the needs assessment analysis and the proposed project.”

“We had 90 days to accept the lowest bid or let the project lapse totally,” she explained. “We unanimously decided that the best thing to do was to let the time lapse.”

Tutino said that she has written her reasons for the decision in an article that will appear in the town’s newsletter next week.

The newly elected mayor added that she plans to reintroduce the project at a later date.

“It was always my and former council’s desire to have the town hall expansion revisited by the 2013-2017 council,” she said. “If the project comes back, we will start anew with public information sessions.”

“We have already waited eight years, and we can wait nine years,” she concluded.

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