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Letter to the Editor: Finance Board Member Discusses Field Proposal

Richard Burke states his case.

Long Range Planning and $35

After voting, with slight reservation, to send the HS Field & Track to referendum, I’ve remained quiet on this Oxford project … until now.   Mr. Carbonaro’s insertion that the cost to each household is only $35 requires rebuttal.

This may truly prove a field of dreams.  As the saying goes … build it and they will come.  In Oxford’s case, this could become reality.  Completion of this project may well serve as a catalyst for growth.  Not the economic development type, but rather … the residential type, and I’m not referring to active 55.   I’m speaking families with school age children … average 2 per family.   I’m not degrading the family unit here.  I simply suggest that without proper planning, the affordable community we enjoy today could well become a very costly community which no longer has an ability to attract good investment to share the tax burden we create driven by our needs and wants.

The average annual $5,000, which each family based household contributes today, doesn’t come close to covering the financial drain it creates.  Based on a family of 4 (2 children), approximate education cost per student of $12,500, and a general cost to the town of $2,500 per house … each new house represents a $22,500 drain; a bill to be distributed amongst those of us who call Oxford home today.

Now, let’s expand this thinking …

  • 50 new homes = $1,125,000 increase to our annual budget = $225 per existing household (basis being an approx 5,000 homes today) … on top of MrC’s $35, which the BoF rec’d little detailed support for.
  • 75 new homes = $1,688K = $338 …
  • 100 new home = $2,250K = $450 …

… and so on.    It’s easily conceivable, should this bad economy improve, that within 5 years … we’ll be beyond the 100 mark.  The cost of it all to each of us here today will be a questionable unknown, because we have done no planning.   It will certainly be expensive.

… and this is only the beginning.  Once this growth begins, expansion of the school facilities and other town services will quickly become a necessary reality.

As a side note, add in the impact of potential projects such as Garden Homes.

My point here is twofold … 1) don’t be misled by MrC’s limited $35 view of the big picture, and 2) we have an urgent need to push our BoS back towards the concept of long range planning.

Should we approve this project, I urge each of you to encourage our BoS to begin that process immediately.  Our neighbor Southbury has developed a nice village.  It was initiated 40 years ago with a small group of people who believed in and initiated a planning process.  As did Southbury, we can grow by choice, or we can do nothing … let each administration have its own specific agenda … and leave Oxford’s growth to chance.

Whereas some have forgotten … this neighbor still maintains the desire of keeping Oxford GREEN, and growing it into a charming community that we can all be proud of … in a well-rounded sense.

Respectfully,

Dick Burke

bob August 14, 2012 at 07:21 PM
No you cannot remove injuries completely, but a turf field is going to be softer than current field, which can reduce the severity of some head injuries. Additionally it will greatly reduce injuries to ankles, knees, and other joints and bones. A hard uneven surface is not suitable to activities and increases the chance of injuries.
Carol Kirby August 14, 2012 at 09:40 PM
So Bob, are you saying we need a new turf field to replace the original grass field that was not correctly completed ? Why don't we just address the drainage issues and correct this field ? I'm sure it would certainly cost less than the 3.1 million dollar field proposed.
T-Bone August 15, 2012 at 01:23 AM
Please, did you see the difference in CAPT scores between the 2 towns? Creating OHS was one of the smartest things this town has done.
lila ferrillo August 15, 2012 at 12:00 PM
Re: Aug 16 referendum ( High School Athletic Field) I urge everyone to come out and support this project. I believe as many people in our community do, that the high school needs to be finished. Not by building a grand stadium, but by building a good solid basic multiuse field and track that will serve not only our athletes but the whole community. This field will be built, if not today sometime in the future. This will be our final opportunity to build it and apply for reimbursement. Once the books are closed on the high school, the project will then become a stand alone project and the entire cost will fall on Oxford tax payers. So I urge you to come out and vote yes. Lets finish the high school Let us also urge the BOS to reinstate a Long range planning committee as there are many projects that will be coming before us and only when we see the entire picture can we make good solid decisions. But this project ( the high school) needs to be finished. Please vote yes along with me. Lila Ferrillo
T-Bone August 15, 2012 at 01:26 PM
I wish I could support this project, the kids in this town need a quality athletic field. But when this town is once again going to do something to "get it done" and build a field in the wrong direction (East to West) which will affect the play of our soccer, freshmen and JV football teams and the only thing it won't affect is, as Coach Carb said, 5 evening football games a year for (at least) $3.1 million, I'm sorry, I have to vote no.

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