Groton Long Point, City Seeking Substantial Budget Increases

Groton Long Point is asking for 103 percent more than the current year; the city is seeking a 28.6 percent increase.

The town’s two subdivisions – Groton Long Point and Groton City – are seeking sizable budget increases this year, including a requested 103 percent hike for Groton Long Point.

Groton Long Point has asked for about $746,000, a budget increase of about $380,000, or 103 percent over current year's spending.

The city has asked for $5.48 million, a budget increase of about $1.2 million, or 28.6 percent. Both increases are driven mainly by the cost of paving.

“Last year we did not pave a road,” said Robert Congdon, president of the Groton Long Point Association, Inc. “The town didn’t and the city didn’t either. And you just can’t keep doing that over and over, or you’re going to create a bigger problem.”

Police Protection

Both subdivisions also want increases for police protection. Police services have been ; one in the town, in the city and in Groton Long Point.

The three have agreed to a study that would assess police services town wide, but it has not yet been completed. A request for proposals for the police assessment was recently finalized and is being sent to vendors.

Congdon said it would cost the town more, not less, to provide with police protection, so the subdivision is not costing the town anything extra.

“These are tough times. We all know that. But some line items need to be taken care of,” he said. “One of them is police. We’re citizens of the town. We’re entitled to police protection.

"Does it really matter whether we’re doing it or the town’s doing it? We’re entitled to it.”

Congdon said the community's $220,000 request for police - a 9.7 increase over this year - would not hire additional officers. Any increase is due to health insurance costs, he said.

Ridge Road

The subdivision request also includes a $361,000 increase in highway spending. Congdon said the association wants to pave Ridge Road, which runs through the center of the community and floods.

The community is also seeking $85,000 for cleanup from Tropical Storm Irene, for which it has sought help from the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

Congdon said the association completed paperwork last week for FEMA and would adjust its budget request if it received reimbursement.

City Roads

The city’s budget increase is also driven mainly by road improvements. The city is seeking $1 million more for highways, or 55 percent above the current year's spending.

The money includes about $757,000 for repaving the roads in Groton Estates.

City Mayor Marian Galbraith wrote in her budget request to Town Manager Mark Oefinger that the city would like to discuss paying for the project over two years.

“This would have the advantage of evening out funding without pushing farther into the future projects which have already been delayed too long,” she wrote.

She said she would not want to delay other projects the following year, however. The city’s highway budget also includes $190,000 to buy a payloader.

City Police

Another area of increased spending in Groton City is the police budget.

The request for police is up about $141,000, or 6.4 percent. The budget includes $65,000 to buy two vehicles and would some shift some department personnel. The department plans to reallocate money to provide for a captain and have five instead of six sergeants, Galbraith said.

Smaller items driving up the budget include salary increases, the Opsail event which requires additional police coverage, rising fuel costs and a part-time special traffic officer to accommodate additional students at West Side Middle School.

Dannyboy March 20, 2012 at 10:43 AM
How can this happen in a town this size. Combine the departments now because this is absolutely crazy. With one department there is no need for new Captains, moving people around like a shell game. What a joke. Taxpayers in this town are like sheep. Following along like always. There would be one administration. Which means one Chief, one Deputy Chief some line supervisors and cops. That is the only answer. Instead of increasing budgets we would decrease a huge portion of the police costs in the town and hey, maybe decrease taxes with all the savings. What a novelty. But the City won't give up there personal security protection will they. What ever it costs to the rest of us really doesn't matter I guess. WOW with the casinos getting ready to get real small, the big companies leaving town and we still have three police departments. UNBELIEVABLE.
WOW!! March 20, 2012 at 11:48 AM
Old Aunty B March 20, 2012 at 12:46 PM
What is Groton thinking. I have to stay within my budget. So should the town., We're no all wealthy here.
Old Aunty B March 20, 2012 at 12:47 PM
I know --I spelled NOT wrong. I'm a little angry.
Rick McDonald March 20, 2012 at 12:57 PM
Dannyboy, just remember that out of over 30 million a year the Town gets in tax revenue form the City all the City is requesting is 5.48 million. In my opinion it is time for the City to divorce itself from the Town and strip the Town of 30% of its budget
David Irons March 20, 2012 at 01:25 PM
If I lived in Groton, would this be something that would be pre-printed on my calendar every year? It does seem that this subject pops up every year without fail. I have to come down on the side of those who say "consolidate". The time for these little fiefdoms has long passed. Groton leaders need to wise up and pay attention to fiscal realities.
John C. Higgins Sr March 20, 2012 at 01:27 PM
Isnt it amazing "we cant afford to pay more" was the call when the school phase was up for a vote . However we "needed" a lavish senior center. Which I agree is nice and was fine with it However it seems in this town there is a serious need for us to work together as a whole. If the town asked for a 100% increase would that be ok? No! Why cant projects from all three areas be considerd important. Why cant things be spread out a bit. So far all I see is mine is more important than yours. Sounds like something a parent deals with daily.
LegacyMom March 20, 2012 at 01:31 PM
I'd like to see where the Town and City have cut spending? Do we really need snow removal all night long for a dusting of snow? Do we really need three men on a truck for garbage removal? Do we need two trucks to plant flowers down at Eastern Point Beach? Does the City really need a Police Captain (sargents, overpaid Chief)? More police officers? Spend, spend, spend and overtax, this is what BIG Government at work! Tax the people to death, so they're dependent on Government services! Huge school budget got passed, and now the Town and City have their hands out? Property Values are down, traffic for Pfizer is down and will continue to go down? EB is hiring, however has moved a substantial amount of employees over to New London. Schools have closed over the years, so PLEASE don't tell us that more people have to be PROTECTED. The STATE gives money towards OPSAIL, which a part of that money should be allocated for increased security for THAT weekend only. Don't give us a BS story that taxes have to be raised, over-all, for one weekend!!!! Groton City just replaced STREET SIGNS!!! There was nothing wrong with the old signs!!! Sure, looks nice, BUT now GOVERNMENT is crying for more money!!! And don't say that $$ was from prior "allocated" funds. Re-allocate the funds!! ....Stree Signs...what a joke!
B.R.E.E. March 20, 2012 at 02:37 PM
Richard, I would agree. I also believe that the City constitutes just about 25% of the residents for the town and represent about the same for the school population. If the two towns split it will be better for the schools as well and we won't hear all of this chatter about racial balancing. The city of Groton could then pay to send its students to Fitch, New London, Ledyard, maybe even NFA.
LegacyMom March 20, 2012 at 03:08 PM
To Bree, Exactly. It's part of the Town's plan. It's no secret that the Town's intent is to consolidate. This is why all of the schools, except for West Side, are located in the Town. Yes, return School Tax money to the City's Citizens, and they can send their kids to their "school of choice!"
Jennifer Sim March 20, 2012 at 08:28 PM
Well said John. This town really needs a vision instead of gut reaction.
Dannyboy March 21, 2012 at 10:50 AM
Richard. It doesn't matter where the tax money is coming from, the problem is where it is spent. It is foolish to have three departments in any town. The City of Groton has major management issues. The management is so poor there that they had to bring in two x-state police Colonels (paying both of them) to try and fix it. Where does this happen, anywere. They are being sued by numerous employees and are spending thousands upon thousands trying to defend a class action law suit aimed at management. There are more problems there than anyone can even imagine. This is just the tip of the iceberg. What about a susicide in the workplace? That place is a total disaster and everyone knows it. Time to merge.
Rick McDonald March 21, 2012 at 02:16 PM
Time to secede. The town receives a lagre portion of its operating budget from the city yet town residents and the town council continue to try to lay blame for financial problems on the City. The town cannot even meet its responsibility for upkeep of city roads as it is required to do in return for receiving and keeping all vehicle and non real estate property taxes and most of the real estate tax from city business and residents. To me it matters very much where the money comes from. If the city were to secede my taxes would be considerably less
Liz Conlon April 09, 2012 at 01:25 PM
Delete Liz Conlon 9:23 am on Monday, April 9, 2012 Groton Long Point should NOT get one penny from the budget until the public is given equal access to the GLP beaches & parking is made available to all Groton residents. If challenged in court, GLP's illegal claim and enforcement of "private" beaches would be struck down as it was in Greenwich and parking would need to be provided to allow all residents reasonable access to the beaches. If GLP wants to be "private", it should not get get ANY public money from the Town. You can't have it both ways.
Full Right to beaches as Taxpayers April 09, 2012 at 03:07 PM
Another topic that has been pushed under the carpet. Maybe as taxpayers (and some some that pay city and town tax) this should be addressed by out town management/courts/ and news teams. Groton Patch have you done a article about Groton long point beaches?????
Bikeguy April 09, 2012 at 03:42 PM
One town-wide police department should be a "no-brainer". Westerly patrols both the town AND Watch Hill AND Misquamicut, which is similar to GLP. As for roads, All road maintenance should be considered town-wide. All potential road projects in the entire town should be listed and then prioritized by a single public works department. Surely the traffic load on Ridge Road in GLP is less than that on other town roads in a similar state of disrepair.


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