EDITORIAL: If The Tax Burden Matters At All . . .
If the tax burden of building a Senior Center matters, Prescott School is the hands-down winner. Prescott is classified as a historic structure. Therefore, a large portion of renovating Prescott could come from CPC funds. CPC Funds are not eligible for building a new Senior Center, only for historic renovation.
Since, CPC assessments are already levied along with Groton property taxes, CPC funds directed to renovate Prescott would not increase current taxes. This approach would keep taxes largely where they are now and leave more taxing capacity for other crucial needs – primarily schools and public safety. About $5.6 million of CPC funds were used to secure the Surrenden Farm land. An equivalent or even larger amount of funding could be directed to renovate Prescott School.
Another significant advantage of renovating Prescott School is that only slightly more than half of the Prescott building would be needed for a Senior Center, according to Kathy Shelp, COA Director. The rest of Prescott could be used for any number of great ideas including a Groton museum, shared conference rooms for local businesses, a business incubator, education – any number of creative ideas.
By renovating Prescott largely with CPC funds, the town would get many benefits:
1. Lower tax burden
2. A Senior Center
3. Space for other community activities
4. Restored, historic building on Main Street
5. Outdoor public space and parking in the Center.