Longmeadow voters to determine how to spend tax money

Taxpayers will vote on Longmeadow Shops and new firetruck.

LONGMEADOW, Mass. (WWLP) – Longmeadow residents have a special town hall meeting at Longmeadow High School Tuesday. For weeks, they’ve noticed signs on the roads and got mailings reminding them of this special meeting.

There are 18 items on the agenda. Longmeadow residents will decide on how tax money will be spent, and made, in town.

One is the future design of the Longmeadow Shops. Part-owner Steve Walker said they want to move the CVS in the plaza to a 1.82 acre piece of land next to the property, which is already owned by the Shops. He said this would eventually generate about $80,000 more in tax revenue for the town. New shops could move into the plaza, which would pay taxes to the town.

He said it would also help with parking. Right now, he said, many elderly people are parking far away from the CVS entrance to get to the pharmacy inside. He hopes a new CVS would have a drive-thru for the pharmacy as well as more parking, which would provide more room for shoppers in the plaza.

“We’re able with this project to add 139 additional parking spaces, which is a 30 percent increase over today and then restructure our parking lot so there’s no dead ends in the parking lot anymore so you can circulate better through the parking lot,” Walker told 22News.

The 1.83 acre land next to the Shops is zoned as residential land. Voters will determine if that should be changed to commercial zoning, which would allow the CVS to be built.

Walker said the only opposition he’s heard is from people who don’t want to see any change happen to this land and others who fear a CVS built right here will close down the other CVS in town.

“I’m glad that the parking is going to be expanded. Furthermore it makes us easy to do some shopping here…It’s a win-win situation,” said Harold Silver of Longmeadow.

Voters will also determine if they want their tax money spent on a new $752,000 fire truck. The truck is called a Quint Fire Truck and has an aerial firefighting apparatus and ladder capabilities. Some said the town needs it, but others disagree.

“We have so many other huge expenses right now that are very necessary…We have to be very discerning now as to what we can afford. That’s as simple as that,” Susan Altman of Longmeadow told 22News.

In all, voters will discuss 18 articles at the town hall meeting. Steve Walker said they’re still considering which shops would move into CVS’ place, but he said they have been talking with J. Crew.

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