Editorial: A good bang for the buck
Middlebury residents will face a sweetheart deal when asked to support a $5.35 million bond to finance three distinct projects. That’s because the majority of that $5.35 million will be raised without increasing local taxes.
The bonds deal with infrastructure projects that will hopefully tap into federal and state grants, along with excess funds in the town’s local options tax, to keep the tax impact close to nil — well, not nothing, but not very much.
The three projects (see story) include: water main improvements to Court Square amounting to $2.5 million; up to $2 million in flood relief measures on the Middlebury River in East Middlebury; and $850,000 converting new storage space at the Middlebury Police Department from the former sewer treatment plant.
Of the $2.5 million for the Court Square project, the project would be paid with $1.5 million in potential grants, $1 million from the local options tax surplus fund, and phased in water rate increases; of the $2 million in flood relief measures, the Federal Emergency Management Agency has agreed to pick up $1.5 million of the tab, and the town is searching for other grants that would help reduce the remaining $500,000; that leaves the $850,000 for upgraded heating at the police station and improved storage facilities at $850,000 to be retired by taxpayers.
It’s not nothing, but it’s a good bang for the buck and deserves voters’ support.