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.


Dick Burke

OHS Football 2010 August 13, 2012 at 04:11 PM
I am not sure who paid for those signs, but I bet they did not intend for other people to use them and change it to their liking.
Jerry Schwab August 13, 2012 at 05:21 PM
I'm not arguing your point about whether or not the field is suitable. All I am saying is those specific incidents you are speaking of were not related to the condition of the field and it is very misleading to try to make people think they were.
Dave August 13, 2012 at 06:33 PM
Maybe it's the same people that defaced all the stops signs a few years back,But whatever the case, the field effort is done in a complete bipartisan effort by all who support the new fields. All Oxford High students and residence will be able to enjoy the new field complex. Just like the OH student said it will give OUR community a sense of pride. I remember going to FB games on Thanks Giving Day before dinner and watching as the teams played their best to win. I enjoyed when visiting neighbors near by and hearing the marching bands. Let's get this done and we can root for our home team and boo our rivals together as a community in a 21st century field instead of standing in the mud.
Someone August 13, 2012 at 06:48 PM
Sounds great dave...but at whose expense...does the town have the funds to do so & if so, how about a hockey rink to boot?
Dave August 13, 2012 at 07:08 PM
If you can get the support for a rink, it would be great.I also enjoyed going to our HS rink and skating. If you have a plan let's hear it. Put in the effort and time it will take to get it done,But for now let's focus on the field complex as it's their plan that is up in front right now.
Coach Carb August 13, 2012 at 07:37 PM
Hello OHS Football 2010. I remember the bee incident well. I was stung several times myself that day. Do you remember the giant, black watersnake that I chased off the mud in the middle of the field with a big stick? If the community could see what we have experienced, everyone from Dick Burke to Carol Georgette would support this project. And yes, Jerry, many injuries have occured due to the awful condition of the current field. When you step on a clump of grass next to a patch of mud, ankles & knees twist. I have rolled my own ankles several times over the years on our field, and carried many kids off of the field with knee and ankle injuries. Safe, new turf will certainly cut down on our most common leg injuries.
carol August 13, 2012 at 08:30 PM
Hey coach! Who said I don't support the fields? What I really don't like is having to vote on an emotional level rather than voting based upon reason. Without the full picture, it's difficult to make an informed decision. I always support kids. Always. But this isn't about the kids or the fields for me. It's about the lack of or obscure direction for this town. You guys are asking residents to vote their feelings which I find quite risky on your part.
Coach Carb August 13, 2012 at 08:57 PM
Hi Carol. And a Welcome Aboard to you too! With both you and Dick Burke supporting this project, how can it fail? I assumed you were against the project based on what you wrote last night. You made several assertions that, sadly, had no basis in fact. The plans for this project have been discussed a great deal, at public meetings and even on the Patch. The bids are firm. They already include a significant contingency. The project will cost the average homeowner appx $35. per year, worst case. I say worst case because we are seeking State reimbursement. Since we don't know how much we will get, we don't include it. Also, there is significant progress being made in bringing businesses to town, so our taxes are likely to be cut next year. Let's leave the politics out of this and get these kids something they need and deserve, at a very reasonable cost. Plenty of time for politics later...
carol August 13, 2012 at 09:21 PM
Coach. Lol! No politics on this issue. Just common sense or the lack thereof. :).
Richard Burke August 13, 2012 at 10:47 PM
Mr Carbonaro, I realize you believe you're this funny light-hearted guy loved by all ... children and adults alike, but I see a different person. A piece of advice ... you'd do wonders for the Temple administration and this project if you'd drop the sarcasm. My letter was simply about clarifying potential added expense beyond your simplistic view, and more important ... the need for planning to help cover future costs and drive the character of the Town of Oxford. As for these most recent posts involving bees, snakes, and injuries ... I have difficulty believing that God's creatures won't invade your new athletic kingdom, and that injuries will be greatly lessened. I read all these posts, just as I have listened to your speaches, and I say to myself ... what did we do in the 50s, 60s and 70s. Playing on grass fields all those years, I can't recall an enormous amount of injuries. And what injuries there were, they were caused by hard tackles, not running on bumpy grass. I respect the sport, but it's somewhat ironic that you worry about a sprained ankle, and then you instruct our youth to go out and hit hard. This letter was mainly about the need for long range planning.
T-Bone August 14, 2012 at 01:11 AM
So, I see they've changed the location of the referendum to the Oxford High School Field Complex? Really? Since when do we vote there? What’s next, stuffing the ballot box? What a disingenuous move.
carol August 14, 2012 at 01:26 AM
Where did you get this info from? I don't want to believe it. If this is really true, we are in deep trouble with this administration, worse than we dared to fear.
Coach Carb August 14, 2012 at 01:30 AM
Come on you guys, really? The voting has been moved from Quaker Farms School gym to the Quaker Farms School cafeteria because the gym floor is being worked on. School starts again in a couple of weeks. Please get a grip!
carol August 14, 2012 at 01:39 AM
Thanks for the relief, coach!
T-Bone August 14, 2012 at 01:46 AM
Got a "all call" from the First Selectman's office, but the message was cut off. When I looked on the town website I thought it said one thing, but it does appear that the voting is at Quaker Farms. Why the Selectman's office is calling to say the voting is being moved if the move is simply from one part of the school to another is beyond me, but like I said, the message wasn't complete so who knows what the whole thing said.
Dave August 14, 2012 at 01:52 AM
Carol you didn't know that voting in the Democratic Primary and for the field for all Democrat voters was changed to Friday. That way all Democrat voters would only have to drive to Town Hall one time. with the price of gas that was a smart move on your party's part.LOL
carol August 14, 2012 at 01:56 AM
I know you, Dave, and you definitely are a joke. Lol!!
Dave August 14, 2012 at 02:09 AM
Now Carol that was not very nice.
Me August 14, 2012 at 02:21 AM
You were just being playful, Dave and she was being spiteful. She is just acting like an immature juvenile and it shows. Scary part, and not knowing her, she should probably be far removed from acting like this.
Me August 14, 2012 at 02:23 AM
I can't begin to conceive what you "dared to fear" because the venue went from the gym to the cafeteria of the same school. I think we build a new theater for the drama for some of the people on here. Mountains out of mole hills some people are making right now, by blowing things way out of proportion. Sit down, catch your breathe, get a glass of water before you get a panic attack. My goodness.
Dave August 14, 2012 at 03:34 AM
She just can't help herself that's just the way she is.
bob August 14, 2012 at 02:01 PM
Just so people understand, the issue with injuries on the current field is not because its a grass field. The issue is there is no real grass and no topsoil. The contractor seems to have skipped putting top soil on the current field, it is rock hard. Therefore no grass actually grows on it. Go look at the field, it is nothing but clumps of crabgrass and dirt. There is no grass. When players hit a field this hard there is a huge increase in the potential for injury both in football and soccer. The number one cause for concussions in soccer is due to players hitting their head on the ground, and hitting your head on a field like this surely increases that risk. Ankles are rolled when a player steps half on dirt and half on a big clump of crabgrass. There is a reason teams refuse to play on the field, it is an absolute embarrassment and it is dangerous. Additionally the track team must practice in the parking lot? So while football and soccer and cheer have substandard, dangerous "facilities", our track team has NO facilities. None, zero. Off the top of my head I can not think of any towns that have no track at their HS. I am sure there are a few out there, but I cant think of any. We as a town should be better than that. We should be able to provide our children with a safe environment to participate in activities.
Someone August 14, 2012 at 02:17 PM
Bob, you had a safe environment...it's called seymour hs...you missed the boat on that one and now you must pay the heafty price
Carol Kirby August 14, 2012 at 02:45 PM
If in fact the contractor didn't complete the field by not putting top soil down, then why didn't anyone follow up on this ? It would seem to me to be the most logical thing to do.
T-Bone August 14, 2012 at 06:28 PM
There is no doubt that the current field is awful. Why the contractor who did the work wasn't called to task, I don't know, but an artificial turf field (which is what this plan calls for) is not going to cut down on concussions. In that respect, a properly laid grass field is the best bet.
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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