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Finding Our Way



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Finding Our Way

To the Editor:

“I get accused a lot for talking too much, but if you don’t tell people the problem, how can you expect them to solve it?” (Margie E. Richard, Time December 2005)

Thanks, Mr Joseph Borst, for your timely suggestion of convening a panel of citizens to grasp and solve the problems of a fast-growing community. “By now, it is fairly well accepted that residences cost the town money.” “…the general trend is that taxes increase with population.” (Vermont League of Cities, 1989) Newtown has grown from a population of 4,317 in 1950 to 26,300 in 2004.

All facets of government are impacted, but the construction of additional classroom space has been the most costly. We need to address municipal needs as well; our town employees at Edmond Town Hall are working in tight and inefficient spaces. We must provide for them, too. Building construction is extremely expensive so let’s consider using existing structures. Such as:

1. Move all town offices to the Kendro facility until money is truly available for a new town hall or another building is found, or

2. Renovate Woodbury and Newtown Halls for town offices, or

3. Renovate these two buildings for high school classroom space, and

4. Set aside land for the inevitable new high school at FFH, and

5. Set aside $ 2 million each year as a down payment on a future new high school, or

6. Construct a satellite high school facility now at FFH and abandon plans for economic development at FFH. “ …the general trend is the more commercial and industrial property value in a town, the higher the total tax burden.” (Vermont League Study) Concentrating instead on economic development in Commerce Park and admitting the town doesn’t have the financial resources to subsidize both economic development projects.

     Need more ideas?

7. Convert Stratford Hall (5,000 sq ft — small) into a teen center and sell the teen center on Church Hill Road, a better place for economic development.

As Mr Borst put it, that’s “thinking out of the box.”

Ruby K. Johnson

16 Chestnut Hill Road, Sandy Hook                        February 1, 2006

Comments are open. Be civil.

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