The results of the bonding referendum were split on Thursday night as the proposed new library and Town Hall renovations failed while road improvements and new fire equipment passed.
The town will appropriate $4,508,000 and issue bonds and notes for the same amount – $3,108,000 for road and drainage improvements and $1,400,000 for new fire trucks and related equipment.
The official tallies are:
- Town Hall renovations: 1,670 for, 2,027 against.
- Road and drainage improvements: 2,821 for, 886 against.
- Fire equipment: 2,005 for, 1,693 against.
- New library: 1,743 for, 1,987 against.
The members of the anti-library group who remained to hear the results cheered as the unofficial counts were announced.
The library proposal was the most contentious issue prior to the referendum and had the smallest margin of decision, 244 votes. The last referendum on a new library, held in 2008, saw a $13 million proposal defeated by 1,031 votes, with 2,556 votes against and 1,525 votes for.
Because of the library proposal's failure, the Bridge Street School building will stay standing and roof repairs will eventually be needed at Kent Memorial Library.
"It is what it is," said State Rep. Elaine O'Brien, Suffield's town clerk.
O'Brien said the failure of the library proposal will be a big dissapointment to the individuals and groups who worked on the project.
More than 3,500 voters turned out for the referendum or submitted absentee ballots.