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.