Spend, spend, spend, Part 3 — Carroll A. “Bud” Ockert

Questions, comments and answers to consider before you vote Nov. 7:

The financial information is current and was obtained with the help of Peter Frankenberg, municipal finance director.

Do you know the long-term debt of Shelburne? As of June 30, 2016, the long-term debt of the Town is: $3,7671,200; the Water Dept. debt is $755,000; Sewer Dept. is $4,533,890 for a total of $8,960,090. The library bond issue will increase our long-term debt by 73 percent!

Do you know how much your taxes increased as the result of the bond for the fire truck? The estimated increase is $6 per $100,000 of property assessed value.

Do you know how much your taxes will increase with the construction of a new library? The estimated increase will be up to $35 per $100,000 of property assessed value.

Do you know what the salt shed complex appeals have cost the town of Shelburne in lawyer’s fees? Currently, $335,000 has been spent in litigation fees to date.

Do you know how much your sewer bill will increase as a result of future improvements on the wastewater system? It is estimated that the increase will be $1 per 1,000 gallons usage.

Do you know much of the $6,500,000 bond will go toward restoration of the old Town Hall? It is estimated that $1,800,000 will be required to restore the building.

How much more money for appeals and lawyers fees are you willing to spend to continue to fight the salt shed complex? The appeals should have ceased early on when it became apparent to most of us that this was a losing battle the Selectboard should also have seen.

Do you know how much your water bill will increase as the result of the bond for the Spear Street water line project? It is estimated that the increase will be $0.22 per thousand gallons of water usage.

Do you know how much the implementation of the Hazardous Materials Management Program will affect your taxes? Implementation of a local program is unnecessary. Both federal and state laws are adequate to cover hazardous situations should they occur. If implemented, there will be a cost employ someone to oversee the program.

Do you know what your stormwater fees will be for household? Projects in the six-year Capital Improvement Plan total $1,696,000 and will undoubtedly increase taxes.

Walk around the municipal building and look at the rot around windows, the holes in the fascia and edge of the roof and holes in the side of the building, to name a few problem areas. In the very near future Shelburne also will need to have a minimum of four full-time staff for both the fire department and rescue squad. Do you have any idea how this will affect your tax bill?

We in Shelburne cannot continue to spend, spend, spend, as if we had access to all the money we wanted. Yes, there are some instances when it is necessary to update infrastructure such as the 70-year-old water lines. But we need to be more efficient in how and why we spend our funds.

As a native of Shelburne, I have more of a vested interest in the town than others do. I am not opposed to the library. I am opposed to continue spending funds we don’t have that put us further and further in debt.

Due to the above comments and concerns I cannot vote for building a new library. If the bond was for restoration of the old Town Hall I could support it.

Carroll A. “Bud” Ockert
Shelburne

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