The mention of supplementing the funding with grants and possible member items has been missing from the last two handouts (January 17, 2007 & February 28, 2007). According to the handout at the Feb. 28 informational meeting the benefits of this update are:
- New, more efficient heating system
- Updating of highway communications
- Provide training rooms for new codes
- Will allow the ability to respond more quickly in emergencies.
Slightly different and expanded from the original slide (above) presented on November 1, 2006.
Now, they are also going to install a new heating system. Either they know how to stretch the dollar or not everything is going to be done without securing additional funds either through those grants and member items or by additional bonding or budget increases further adding to the property tax burden of residents.
So we asked the logical questions, "If you don't get the grants and member items, what will you do with the $45,000 that you plan to bond?" "Will you continue with your plans to renovate the Highway Building?" The town board's answer--they will do as much of the work as they can with $45,000.
So then we asked, "Do you have any information regarding the individual costs for each of the projects listed in the handout." Their answer---Well, they do, but one of the councilmen seemed to recall that they didn't list them because it would have been too confusing to put the information in the handout. Frankly Councilman, we are actually more confused as to why you haven't given us detailed costs for the entire project that is planned and what the $45,000 will cover and how you plan on getting the remaining monies and just what are the remaining monies that you need for your "elusive" plans? We would hate to find out that part way into the project you run out of money and need more. Before you ask us to vote on bonding for $45,000 we deserve to know the facts regarding any additional needed spending that could increase the tax rate in 2008 and beyond.
The other troubling part is that you are even planning to bond for $45,000 when it wouldn't even make a dent in the tax rate if you took it out of the 2007 budget. What are you thinking? Is the Town of New Hartford in such dire straits that they can't afford to pay $45,000 out of the budget? Or is there some other reason you would choose to bond for a piddling $45,000? (to be continued)