Just a guy,
I want a new DPW built just as bad as you, but if this town can not come to agreement on the cost/need then it is time to move on to the next task at hand which is a new firestation and a replacement to Balmer School. We can't sit and mope and refuse to move forward because of the DPW.
Just my opinion.
I agree the cost is high but the cost is set by the state and you have to "pay to play". If we don't want to spend the money for the study as required then we will not go any further in the process of getting state aid to build/retrofit some much needed buildings. View Comment
frog pond, like all groups in town the School Administration most likely has a "wish list" of things they would like to add to a budget. These could be new staff, new equipment etc, and there is a price tag to this wish list. Since there is a limit to what the departments can expect in the budget talks each year (the TM could tell them add 1% or stay flat) the departments then need to PRIORITIZE these items on the wish list. The truck most likely has been on that list for years and every year when it came time to prioritize these items buying a replacement truck was shelved so another item could be funded. Now we are at point where the truck HAS to be replaced so now it moves to the top of the list. View Comment
So the solution is for us to wait for a handout from the State or Federal Government through some "pork" add on to a bill versus the people of this town stepping up and investing in the town they live in? There is NO guarantee of this funding nor is this a quick solution as we could be waiting years to even find out that we can or can't get a grant.
I guess I am the minority as I would gladly take the hit in my property tax to address the needs of the town as in the end it will increase the value of my house as well as everyone else that owns a house in this town. View Comment
I agree we aren't Westborough but the reality of the situation is that if the cost to build a firestation to meet our needs is similar in size to the one built in Westborough that it will cost between $10-$12 million and they are not going to give us a "Blue Plate" special price for a similar structure in our town. So we need to understand that it costs what it costs unless we agree to "do without" and scale everything back regardless of whether we are talking about building a DPW, a Firestation or a school. View Comment
The Town Manager provided the estimate of $100 (actually he said a little under $100) when approached about the cost per avg household over 20 years for the $8 million. I am again not saying I think the $8 million dollar DPW is the best solution I am saying that the town needs to look past just seeing the large dollar amount and look at the impact per household. View Comment
Please don't take this a personal attack as that is not the intent but I am tired of being told that Northbridge is a poor town, we get most of money as a handout (first from the mills now the state) and that 99% of the town can't afford to invest in the place they live.
I realize people are on a fixed income, I am not trying to imply that I want to fill the town with Audi's vs. Chevy's, but at some point the people need to understand that you get what you pay for. Our tax rate is the lowest of the 12 surrounding towns and the conditions of our roads, schools and building show this.
So back to the DPW, "IF" the $8 million for a DPW was the best choice, I am making the argument that people in this town refuse to invest in their own town because they think that either the Whitin family will return and start covering the expenses of the town or the state will pay for them. If we look at the DPW we are talking less then $100 per year per family to fund this? What are we going to do when we need to replace Balmer or the Middle School, are we going to burry our heads in the sand and hope someone else will invest in our town because we will not?
I am not implying that a $100 increase to someone on a fixed income isn't significant but consider the impact to that persons property value if we ignore the infrastructure and the schools? Can they afford to loose $10K, $20k... in lost property value compared to surrounding towns due to our schools.
I thought Mitchell plan was a great idea and if I had $1.8 million to spend I would build the DPW just to prove to a lot of "Ney-Sayers" that it could be done but regretfully town politics do not appear to want to let the Mitchell plan have a seat at the table and thus it is not going anywhere.
Again, I am not attacking you, I am trying to throw stones at the idea that everyone in this town is poor and at the mercy of others to fund its needs. View Comment
lets throw this out there, a new DPW building gets shelved because nobody wants to spend more then $2 million will the town's people then run scared at the cost of building a new fire station? The town of Westborough is building a new one at a cost of $11.2 million (http://www.metrowestdailynews.com/news/x775168354/Westborough-to-vote-on-funding-for-new-fire-station) or will we run scared from that as well?
I am trying to understand what the priority is in this town, is it building anything BUT a DPW in this town or is it in trying NOT to spend any money in this town to improve the infrastructure? The reality is this town has neglected its infrastructure for to many years and now the needs of the town have turned into necessity. We need to accept this fact and plan on spending our money wisely to make the upgrades and maintenance needed to the town buildings.
If spending no money in this town over our current tax rate is supported then we are wasting our time looking at any of these projects. View Comment
Our schools need to spend the money to add these security features and your suggestion is to apply and wait for a handout from the state or federal government to fund this?
You don't think this is something we as a town should step up and fund?
I think this a noble idea but this could take months/years to hear if we get a grant to cover this. While we are waiting to see if someone else will fund this our schools will go without. I understand that people are on a fixed income but we need to look at INVESTING in our town and not waiting around for a handout from state/federal government to cover our bills.
I am sure when we see how much the tax rate increases to fund these safety upgrades the cost will not be a significant amount (pennies per $1000). Worse case you have to skip a coffee to cover the safety of the kids in this town. View Comment
So everyone is outraged about the work being done by an understaffed DPW, I am sure the next time there is a budget increase request by the DPW to hire more staff the same people will be outraged that we are spending money and increase our property tax on wasteful spending such as the DPW. You get what you pay for folks, if our property tax rate is 30% less then the 11 surrounding towns then we have less money to spend on services such as road maintance and plowing. If you want to have our roads look like Uxbridge, Sutton or Grafton look at their tax rates, there budget for DPW and other services and stand up and vote for better services funded by the town through higher tax rates. If you are fine with what you pay in taxes now then enjoy the roads and stop your complaining. View Comment
We had an Asst Supt position in the past, this isn't a NEW position and it is a position that is needed and budgeted for. The responsibilities of the Asst Supt have been absorbed by the current administration through a lot of multitasking and support from all members of the administration. I don't want to generalize but most Asst Supt are striving for the Supt position so the fact that our current Supt is not planning on staying 3-7 years in this role will most likely be a drawing point for us to find the right canidate, one that has the skill and experience to move from the Asst to the Supt. No nobody can predict the future and the Asst Supt could quit, win the lottery etc and not want to move up but I think it is wise to plan on this. I also want to call out that I don't believe the town is paying any "Grooming Pay" scale, they are paying the prevaling wage that an Asst Supt is budgeted for in this town, they are going to pay the amount that is ALREADY accounted for in the budget and has been in the prior years. This is not an attempt to add anything to the budget it is to replace a current opening. View Comment
The current Superintendent is not planning on being in this role for a large amount of time as she is looking to retire after a great carear. Thus the smart thing to do would be to hire a QUALIFIED Assistant Superintendent who can be groomed to be her replacement at a later date. Taking this approach makes the most sense for the town. View Comment
So federal politics will dictate our local decision to improve the conditions of the buildings in our town that support the needs of the town?
Sorry, I disagree with the logic.
When you send money to the IRS or to the MA DOR you have little control of where and how it is spent. When you send more money to the town in the form of property tax you know where that money is spent and you can see the results. Thus, regardless of who is office in Boston or Washington, D.C. investing in OUR town is still a wise investment regardless of the what political party is in office outside our town borders. View Comment
People, please stop this rant. I agree with Mr. Marzec that going to vote on an issue that didn't pass the 2/3 requirement at the Town Meeting makes no sense but trying to justify this argument by linking the DPW to the state of the US makes no sense. We pay property tax and that tax funds town expenses along with federal and state aid. The increase in food stamps usage has nothing to do with funding a DPW. The real argument is the town of Northbridge finding the best solution to build a DPW that meets the needs of the town at a fair price and us taxpayers stepping up to PAY MORE in tax to cover this expense. So call me slow, but how does the increase in food stamps or extreme Tea Party politics factor into building this? View Comment
Just a quick note to my fellow towns people. In case you missed the memo, the Whitin Machine Works closed in the late 70's and the Whitin Family has stopped subsidizing this town.
Thus we as a town need to step up and realize that we need to start investing in OUR town because nobody else will. If we want better schools, roads, fire, safety and services WE need to be willing to pay more to fund these improvements. Heck, forget about building new things, we need to fund maintaining our existing building. If you don't want to pay any more in property taxes then don't complain when your home values decrease because buyers prefer to buy houses in towns with better schools and infrastructure. In my opinion if the DPW flops tonight then we need to shelve this project and move on to building a new firestation.
I am really tired of people being so proud of our town having the lowest tax rates of the 12 neighboring towns. This low rate would be great if the town had adequate schools, roads, buildings and infrastructure to be proud of, but when you town lacks these needs and it has such a low rate then there is nothing to be proud off. All we are doing is being proud of being "cheap" as we hold on to a dream that the Whitin family will ride back into town and start subsidizing our town budget again. People looking to move to our town will love the cheap taxes but it will not take them long to pass on the town in favor of spending $500-$700 more in property tax to move to Upton or Sutton in favor of better services etc. When they do this the laws of supply and demand dictate that we all need to lower our property value to compete with these towns.
Ok, off my soapbox let the lashing begin because I state the obvious. View Comment
Did the FinCom give a reason for not supporting the $1.8 million dollar proposal from the Concerned Citizen group. They have stamped plans, legitimate estimates backed by real bids they should deserve a seat at the table with the other options? If we leave politics aside if any proposal can be backed up with legitimate cost estimates they deserve the support of the FinCom and or at least the right to be voted on. View Comment