Taxpayers vote Tuesday on a referendum that asks if they want to spend $11.2 million over five years to repave and maintain Groton’s roads.
Of the total, $3.54 million would be spent on roads in Groton City; $986,000 would be spent roads in Groton Long Point; $6.36 million would be spent on roads in the town; and about $300,000 would be spent on financing costs.
The ordinance would appropriate the money from 2013 until 2017.
Supporters of the measure say Groton has neglected roads for years, sometimes to the point they must be rebuilt at a higher cost.
Opponents say roads should be paid for a year at a time and the town should cut elsewhere if must invest in highway maintenance.
“The Town of Groton must prioritize projects WITHOUT additional burden to the taxpayers,” Representative Town Meeting Member Rosanne Kotowski wrote in a blog on Groton Patch.
“If the Town Manager determines that a $13.5 (million) road project is essential, worthwhile, and an appropriate use of taxpayers hard earned dollars, then $13.5 (million) needs to be decreased from the budget by eliminating and scaling back items that are nonessential or of lower priority.”
According to an explanatory text of the referendum, the debt would have the most impact on taxpayers during the 2017-18 fiscal year.
In that year, taxpayers would see an increase in the tax rate rise of .37 mills. On a median home assessment of $170,170, this would translate into a tax bill increase of $62.88.
In other years, taxpayers would see little impact from the bond. In its lowest year, or least impact in 2026-27, the road ordinance would push the mill rate up by .03, adding $4.66 to taxes on a median-priced home.
The referendum question on the ballot reads like this: Shall the Ordinance Appropriating $11,200,000 and Authorizing Bonds and Notes in the Same Amount for the Calendar Years 2013 Through 2017 Road Maintenance and Rehabilitation Program be Approved?