"It's been an ongoing discussion with the new and old town boards on how downtown is going to take shape and how to still have a small-town feel. It doesn't surprise me that the supervisor wants to revisit the master plan," said Thomas. "Changes need to be evaluated, and a year and a half ago when he brought the same discussion, I was in support of downsizing the plan."
Sausville was unavailable to comment by press time as he was out of the office until Friday. In response to an e-mail asking him to clarify his position, he referred to a letter he wrote to the Spotlight several months ago that addressed the ongoing downtown battle.
In it he wrote, "Malta's downtown projects currently planned by developers call for three-, four- and five-story buildings with one project having 330 apartment/condo units and 70,000 square feet of retail on 10 acres of land if each of the 30 suburban towns surrounding our urban centers planned a city-like downtown with these population densities, it would take the problem of sprawl to a new level."
He also said that creating a city-like downtown in Malta would just cause it to resemble the cities that it borders, taking away from the small-town character it's known for.
Both Miller and Schnitz said they want to emphasize that this is not developer versus town, and the bigger picture is that Sausville didn't consult the people that should have been consulted before proposing changes.
Representatives of No More Sprawlta plan to sit in on the next public workshop on the matter Tuesday, Jan. 26, to share their concerns.