The people have spoken, and spending $15.2 million on two projects was something taxpayers didn’t want to do.
The RTM seems like it was truly representative of the people’s wishes in this case. It was essentially split on the issue but narrowly agreed that it was something voters should decide.
The Town Council held hearings and was ultimately unanimous in its decision, despite the fact that many people said the sewer and water line project amounting to $9.9 million was too much of a gamble. The project to spend $5.34 million on updating the police station was probably doomed by its association.
In regard to the sewer and water line extension, this isn’t the movies where a voice comes out of the corn field urging the town “to build it and they will come.” Because in this case taxpayers didn’t believe there was going to be a happy ending, just more debt and a hike in taxes.
Taxpayers know that the grand list is shrinking and the economic climate is not exactly conducive to job growth and investments by companies seeking to relocate or expand. One could make the argument that that is the main reason the project should have been approved, but without some glimmer of hope, taxpayers weren’t buying it.
The vote on the water and sewer plan was 3,606 to 1,229 and the vote on the police station was 3,167 to 1,669.
Those tallies are a solid rejection.
The problem is that the police station plan has merit and should have been approved. The council should try again because the problems with the building are not going away. The officers that put their lives on the line each to protect us deserve better.
Just try not to pair it with the water and sewer line extension.