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LETTER: Should Central Fire Station Have been Delayed?

Dear Editor,

Once again the school system is seeking funds not available under the levy limit and the discussion revolves around the impact on the tax rate, not what the increase will deliver to the students or what impact the new firehouse had on the tax rate.

The amount of the one-year increase is very close to the 22-year annual cost of the firehouse. If you look back to the proposed FY 2014 budget, there is a $500,000 surplus including the firehouse debt cost. If the firehouse debt was not included, there would be a $1,000,000 surplus which would have triggered calls to lower the tax rate, probably a rate closely resembling the proposed increase for the school request. It is clear that while there was no increase in the rate for the firehouse, there was also no decrease that would have been available had we not authorized the debt through Town Meeting.

If the debt had been excluded at Town Meeting, then the discussion would have been equal to the discussion for this school project, except it would have been for 22 years.

Another reflection would be if the firehouse project had been delayed for two years, then the school project would have been available under the levy limit for one year, and funds available under the levy limit in two years for the firehouse. What was the rush for the firehouse?

Isn't there a fourth option not mentioned by the Town Manager? At the Special Town Meeting, it was said that if the budget was in trouble, the firehouse debt could be excluded at any time, freeing up the levy limit for other projects. Therefore, a fourth option is to ask for debt exclusion for the firehouse debt, and pay for the school request without any impact on the tax rate.

What town resource enjoys second class tax rate status in this town?

A copy of this letter is being forwarded to the Town Manager to allow a response by Town Hall in the same issue of The Groton Herald.


Rule Loving

Townsend Road

West Groton

Groton Herald

Mailing Address
P.O. Box 610, Groton, Massachusetts 01450

145 Main Street, Groton, Massachusetts 014510
[Prescott Community Center]

Telephone: 978-448-6061

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