CAMBRIDGE — Intensive work to restore the historic Hearn Building in Cambridge has finally begun, and the Dorchester County Council recently voted to put some “skin in the game.”
Local contractors are working to save as much of the historic structure as they can, but a considerable amount of debris needs to be removed from the roof’s collapse. During the March 21 meeting, the county council considered a landfill tipping fee waiver of $48,000 to help subsidize the project.
Besides helping to obtain grants for the restoration, the county has yet to financially invest in the project.
“My personal opinion here is it is reasonable for the county to have some skin in this,” County Manager Jeremy Goldman said upon introducing the waiver request at the meeting. “How you choose to put that skin in is up to you.”
Councilman Tom Bradshaw moved to approve the full $48,000 waiver.
“It’s going to be a huge return on investment once this building is up and done,” Mr. Bradshaw said. “I think we should have a little bit of skin in the game.”
Council President Ricky Travers and Councilman Don Satterfield expressed reservations about approving the full amount. Mr. Bradshaw then amended his motion to approve half of the request, $24,000. The council voted 4-1 to approve the $24,000 waiver. Councilman Rick
Price voted against the waiver, citing concerns about approving funds for municipal projects.
Stan Keyser, a developer who owns the building and specializes in historic restoration, said he is satisfied with the council’s commitment.
Bob Zimberoff is editor of the Dorchester Banner. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.