The Road Ordinance is not a good project for the Town of Groton.
The council should send projects to referendum that they support, are essential and a proper use of the taxpayers hard earned money. The Road Ordinance Referendum is none of that. The current road project approval process includes road projects among the Capital Improvement Projects (CIP) reviewed by the Town Council and the RTM.
The reason for moving road projects to a referendum is due to the fact that road projects are routinely cut from the budget by either the Town Council or RTM. The Road Ordinance Referendum changes that process. Perhaps a “referendum” or “let the voters decide” is the best way to allocate money for roads, however there was zero discussion on the RTM regarding this change and the pros and cons moving forward. Also interestingly, the members most opposed to a budget referendum spoke in favor of the Road Ordinance Referendum.
The taxpayers cannot afford more taxes and should not accept the tax and spend status quo that is Groton. During the budget deliberations last spring there was NO effort on the part of the Town to reduce spending in any way. In fact the 2013 budget was a level services budget with a hefty tax increase.
As revenue sources are decreasing the Town continually places a greater burden on the taxpayers without any decrease in spending. This is completely unacceptable and proves that the people in positions of power in Groton are disconnected from the taxpayers, who cannot handle the never ending tax increases.
The Road Ordinance Referendum has $6.4M for town roads, $3.5M for City Roads, $1M for GLP roads, $300K to insure bonds and a staggering $2.3M in interest.
For a real cost to the taxpayers of $13.5M
Is this project worth it? I do not believe it is.
The Town of Groton must prioritize projects WITHOUT additional burden to the taxpayers. If the people in the positions of power in Groton determine that a $13.5M Road Project is an essential, worthwhile, and appropriate use of taxpayers hard earned dollars, then $13.5M needs to be decreased from the budget by eliminating and scaling back items that are nonessential or of lower priority.