LETTER: "Let the Education Process Begin, Immediately" by Rule Loving
Fire House contracts are awarded so it must be time to move on to planning for the next project to be presented to Town Meeting. It was stated that the plan was always to fund the Fire House under the levy limit, although I did not see any public commitment to this, and thus prevent all the voters from being allowed to vote on the project.
I think it is time to publically state what the plan is for the Lost Lake Sewer project. Is the plan to fund it under the levy limit as well?
The estimate is for the project to cost $12 million plus interest and the taxpayers to fund 40 percent and the rate payers to pay 60 percent. That would make $4.8 million the direct responsibility of the taxpayer and about $275,000 the annual debit expense cost. This amount has the potential to fit under the levy limit.
Of course the entire $12 million would be the liability of taxpayers if the ratepayers did not pay their projected percentage. One of the Lost Lake Sewer Committee's responsibilities is to work with Town Manager to come up with a funding plan. I believe it is equally important for Town Manager to present all options to taxpayers and voters.
The status quo would say the Sewer Committee would work with the Town Manager to plan a funding method and that would be put on the warrant and presented to Town Meeting. Now that we have this new Charter, I believe the taxpayers need to be aware of all the alternatives starting immediately, and that Selectmen detail which of the alternatives they will commit to prior to any election activity.
I suggest that the Town Manager present alternatives to Selectmen at one of their Monday meetings within the next four weeks in order for the taxpayers begin to understand these options and to be prepared for all the consequences of undertaking this project. When candidates' night arrives, all those who seek the position can present their commitment to the various options.
If there truly is a goal to encourage voter participation, then let the education process begin, immediately.