Commentary: Vote Yes!


During a rough economy, the first instinct is to tighten the financial purse strings. That is to save limited money for a rainy day and wait until better times are ahead.

Yet, during a tough economy, many bargains can be had. For instance, this is an excellent time for home buyers to both find a cut-rate deal, as well as obtain some of the best interest rates in history. The Town of Wolcott is currently in that buyer’s position due to prudent fiscal planning over the past five years. Over that period of time, the mill rate has barely changed. The town has a low debt service which is shrinking more and more because the period of time since the last bonded projects – school construction and additions, a police communications center, the senior center, and other projects- are now expiring. Bond interest rates are very low and the Town’s bond rating is high.

At the same time, the town’s pipes are leaking… literally. A waterline on Woodtick Rd. servicing a handful of residents has been deemed so old that the Town has been ordered to replace it. The High School’s water system is in danger of collapse, and did so three years ago, sending students and staff home for a day. A Twenty two year old fire truck needs to be replaced and the last two winters have wreaked havoc on main and sidestreets alike. The hurricane tomorrow will likely wash away and force us to take note of drainage issues all around town. Simply put – the Town’s infrastructure is in need of repair and we have two choices. First, we could raise taxes – forcing a large tax increases upon residents who already are having trouble putting food on the table – or extending these payments out over time and lessening the burden on all taxpayers. Because the roads and fire truck should last another 20 years, bonding spreads out the cost for these expenses. Other items such as water lines and alarm systems should also last about the same period of time.

Even the investment of a walking trail at $350,000 around Scoville Reservoir will enhance the quality of life in town. In a town filled with hills and curves, it is difficult for elderly and young people alike to find safe places to recreate. The northeast is known for being all business, but there is certainly time and place for people to get back to nature and relieve their stress. Obesity rates are skyrocketing across the state, and a little excercise will go a long way. With over 16,000 residents, the growth of town has outpaced its recreational spaces which can be used by residents of all ages. Its not just a ballfield for the schools or a senior center for seniors. The walking trail is an opportunity for all generations in town to enjoy.

We urge you to vote “YES” to the bond referendum.

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