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Town Meeting on $3.1 Million Field Project

The meeting will be adjourned to a referendum on Aug. 16.

A town meeting to discuss a proposed $3.1 million bonding package to build a new multipurpose athletic field and track at will be held tonight.

The meeting will be held at 7 p.m. at the high school, 61 Quaker Farms Road. Town officials will move to send the project to a referendum, which will be held from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Thursday, Aug. 16, at Quaker Farms School, 30 Great Oak Road. 

The would bring an eight-lane rubberized track, an artificial turf field that can be used for multiple sports, bleachers, a press box and lights to the high school, which opened to students in 2007 without adequate athletic fields.

The project would be bonded for a maximum of 20 years at an interest rate between 2 percent and 2.5 percent. If approved by voters, the cost of the project would add about .16 mills to the tax rate, meaning that a homeowner with a house assessed at $250,000 could see an increase of about $35 a year, based on the current budget and grand list, both of which change year-to-year.

If the bond proposal passes by a simple majority at the Aug. 16 referendum, construction can begin shortly thereafter.

The Board of Finance said it anticipates receiving between $575,000 and $625,000 reimbursement from the state for this project.

Joe Blow July 18, 2012 at 04:10 AM
Like I said, ya can lead a horse to water but ya can't make em' drink. You are a shining example, thank you. BTW- You are doing an excellent job of making all my points for me.
Citizen X July 18, 2012 at 05:39 AM
Me, you've made some good comments (I'd ignore the childish responses you've received). Shelton is a great example of a small city doing quite well, but as you've pointed out Oxford can't really compare to or compete with Shelton, & may not ever be able to. You're 100% correct; if people in Oxford don't like being taxed for developments in town (a library, a school, roads, etc.) then they've picked the wrong town. There are limited businesses & probably limited business opportunities (at the moment). This is highly related to the long-term interests of the town, & if economic development is a priority then it seems obvious that Oxford needs to employ more than one person, & preferably one who has economic development experience. It is a highly specialized field & it is obviously quite competitive to attract businesses. Without questioning the man's qualifications (I don't see how retail management qualifies anyone for economic development, however) I'd like to know how the current Economic Director is doing, whether any plans have been put in front of town leadership, & what metrics are being used to measure progress. Or are we just making this up as we go along, hoping that we find businesses that residents will accept? Investing money in a true Economic Development Consultant might not be a bad idea, or we could hire someone away from Shelton.
James Property LLC July 18, 2012 at 03:58 PM
Citizen X : I understand that a lot of ppl have moved into Oxford. Oxford was a quint neighborhood farm community ( my mother, father Mother's mother and other family members are from Oxford, so I did not just move here or PICKED HERE. I was raised here and so was my family). We had some mills and such... everyone knew everyone and helped each other. ( At that time it was considered neighborly not a hand out or embarrassing!!!!!) As to"ME" 's comment @ roc how else do you bond a project? With no interest? 2.5% is pretty darn good. In 2008 it was 4.3% Why not let the PPL that want this to pay the bond. The bond could be offered to the community. LOL...... right ( sarcasm ) I bet not ONE of the supports will offer to but the $$ down.
Carol Kirby July 18, 2012 at 05:09 PM
At last night's meeting there was some discussion about the fact that the field won't only be used as a football field but would actually be a five sport field- football, soccer, track, field hockey and lacrosse- even though at this point we don't have a lacrosse team. Wouldn't the east/west placement of the field affect a playing schedule for soccer, field hockey and potential lacrosse games as well ? Would they all also have to be played at night ? Between the sports OHS already fields- are there enough students to field additional sports the proposed "sports complex" would host ?
Dad in Oxford July 18, 2012 at 05:14 PM
EXACTLY!!! The "Coach" is only addressing football, which will be played at night. The east/west direction will affect all other sports played during the day, something that keeps getting ignored. They are rushing this and "making it work" for football at night!
Roc July 18, 2012 at 05:21 PM
Vote no. The coach can say what he wants. He has hi s own agenda. I am an athlete and we make every opportunity work to play.
Carol Kirby July 18, 2012 at 05:46 PM
So maybe there'll be a sub-project coming down the line in a year or two that will include a dome, the fieldhouse and concession stand I'm sure they're waiting for as well as restrooms for the fans. Just think, a domed field in Oxford- what a coup ! (If you're going to dream, dream big.)
James Property LLC July 18, 2012 at 06:05 PM
Agree Vote NO!!
Ed Rowland July 18, 2012 at 07:39 PM
James Property LLC.I remember the Oxford of many years ago.My family has farmed in Oxford since 1900 and continues but at a much smaller scale today.I'm thankful for the memories of 50 years ago when Oxford still had a few farms.Christian St. had a number of farms that I remember.Moving forward to this date,Oxford has a much more diverse population than in the past.Many from out of town have chosen to live here for many reasons.We have many oldtimers that are involved with town affairs as well as many new people.Oxford is lucky to have the people that step out of there comfort zone to serve on the many boards and commisions.I disagree with Mr.Carb. when he says $3.1 million is small potatoes.It is a lot of money.There has been no real economic developement due to the bad economy.In real time it takes a company anywhere from 6 months to a year to get through land use boards.Hopefully things will turn around so that economic developement will resume to a healthy pace.We can't depend on housing to be the answer.I would rather see other things in town taken care of before the field project.Roads need to be repaired,schools need repair and our existing parks and fields need work.I also do not believe this field project will bring the town together as stated by a few.Coming together and being respectful comes from within.Remember to vote at the referendum.
James Property LLC July 18, 2012 at 08:02 PM
Ed Very nicely said.
Janis Hardy July 18, 2012 at 11:29 PM
@ Citizen X: Re hiring someone away from Shelton: Believe it or not, been there, done that. I believe the individual we hired succeeded Joe Andreana back when we still had the OEDC.
Janis Hardy July 18, 2012 at 11:31 PM
To Citizen X: Re hiring someone away from Shelton: believe it or not, been there, done that! I believe the individual we hired succeeded Joe Andreana back when we still had the OEDC.
John M. Joy July 18, 2012 at 11:36 PM
The other side of the "cash is fungible" coin is the simple fact that you cannot spend the same dollar twice. Since taxpayers have a VERY finite tolerance for taxation, money spent for project X means it cannot be spent for project Y, and when project Y comes up for consideration, X having passed would make Y's passage less probable.
Citizen X July 19, 2012 at 01:24 AM
I didn't know that we'd hired someone from Shelton, but from your comment I'm not sure who that was (from what I read, it's not the current person who's employed by the town). Either way, since you seem to be up to date on this subject, do you have any info on what plans the Economic Development Director has put forward, what progress has been made, or what metrics are being used to measure how he's doing?
Citizen X July 19, 2012 at 01:27 AM
Yes, & while we're at it we could give up electricity & all of these other newfangled inventions. But you're correct, farming subsidies are ridiculous, unless of course you're receiving them. In that case, they are great.
Oxford Resident July 19, 2012 at 03:20 AM
I don't think this Carbanarro character has the guts to answer the questions because he knows he's in it for only football and the project is being rushed and will ultimately cost US more money down the road to get it right. I think what this administration is doing is a shame and no matter what they say, it's about THEIR kids having a football field. Yes, others will benefit, but that is not the driving force here, it's about giving THEIR sons a football field to play on.
Me July 19, 2012 at 09:35 AM
@James, if life was just that simple that you can just pick and choose what bond you want to pay for with your taxes. For example, we passed a referendum, recently, to repair some roads. I have no issues with the roads leading to my house, they're fine. I don't want to pay any monies for a subpar road leading to someone else's house. But I'm going too. How about those people who want their roads fixed pay for it themselves, and those people who want their library pay for it themselves, and those who want the fields pay for it themselves, and etc. What are we running an ala carte menu for residents to select which projects to pay with for with their taxes? Well, we aren't, unfortunately, that's why we are a "commmunity" and as a member of the community you have a chance to vote your feelings next month, and let the chips fall out where they may. I would love not to pay a dollar for the roads, doesn't benefit me one bit, but like I said before on a previous forum, life doesn't stop at my doorstep, and being part of a community I am going to have to expect to pay for things that may benefit the community as a whole and not necessarily me. The roads for example & the fields as well. The fields won't benefit my family. But unless we do away with the athletic programs, the current fields have a short life span that replacing, and I rather pay for something where we have more control in how the money is spent vs waiting & be subject to future inflated prices and rates.
Janis Hardy July 19, 2012 at 10:48 PM
@ Citizen X: The person who was previously hired for EDC from Shelton worked for the town during a part of the Schreiber administration (97-01); but as I said, that was when we had the OEDC, (Oxford Economic Development Corp) and the individual did not work directly for the Town, but for the corp, even though the town contributed much of the funds to pay his salary. As for being up to date on economic development, I am sorry, but the last time I was briefed on EDC was right after the election while Herman Schuller occupied the position. Funny how open and 'transparent' his efforts were, compared to what we are seeing now. The truth is, its a lousy economy and trying to woo economic development takes a lot of time and a lot of constant follow-up. It doesn't happen overnight, and some of the things beginning to happen now are efforts that were initiated long before this administration took over. I also understand we may have lost some opportunities because of how long it takes to get things through the state, let alone our local land-use boards!
B Miller July 20, 2012 at 12:22 AM
Regarding OEDC discussion, the first person hired to the the Exe Dir of the Oxford Econ Development Corporation (OEDC) was Paul Grimmer, current Exe Dir of the Orange Econ Dev Corporation. He was not hired, nor employed, by the town but by the Corporation, a private non-profit organization. The OEDC was started during Kate Cosgrove's term and expanded during Paul Schreiber's. The Town did provide funds the Corporations, which amounted to roughly a third of their revenues. The remainder coming from Membership Dues and Grant Administration.This is the same model used in Shelton, Orange and many other successful towns. The corporation was de-funded by Aguie Palmer and the Econ Dir became a town employee subject to the political whims of the day.
Citizen X July 20, 2012 at 06:54 AM
I understand that you were born there, which wasn't your choice. But you have remained there, which is entirely up to you. Times change, & Oxford is going to be expensive because there isn't much corporate tax revenue. You can stay & accept it, or you can leave & find somewhere else that is cheaper. But staying & complaining about it is irrational.
James Property LLC July 20, 2012 at 04:02 PM
What I was stating is I have been here for a long time, I did not PICK Oxford as some PPL. The other statement I made was that the Town of Oxford could open the bond to the public. I as others think the 20 years is too long. Further more there are more important things that need to be looked at, and more importantly the idea of the Foot Ball Field obviously, still needs to be looked at more closely. What with the sun East West North South, and just what sports will be played. Where is the school / town going to get the $$ for such sports.. IE.... look around other towns have taken away some of the sports. If other towns are not going to offer the sports then WHO will our kids be playing.
James Property LLC July 20, 2012 at 04:05 PM
Citizen X In your blog you keep saying THERE...... Humm.... I guess you are not from THERE (HERE..)
James Property LLC July 20, 2012 at 04:07 PM
Carol your are so right!!!!!
Citizen X July 20, 2012 at 11:57 PM
If I weren't from 'there' or 'here', would I read the Oxford Patch? & even if I weren't, I'm not allowed to have an opinion about Oxford?
Steve O August 09, 2012 at 03:12 AM
I Vote A Big NO NO NO...A 3.1 million dollar project that benefits a small percentage of students. I hope this project crashes and burns.
Steve O August 09, 2012 at 03:17 AM
35.00 extra a year....My Buttocks. Build a state of the art observatory or an Educational Resource Center. Let's build something ALL OXFORD STUDENTS can benefit from. Selfish Rah Rahs.
Steve O August 09, 2012 at 03:18 AM
VOTE NO ON AUGUST 16th.
James Property LLC August 09, 2012 at 07:34 PM
Vote NO!!!!! 8/16/12
Roc August 09, 2012 at 07:54 PM
We should put up "VOTE NO SIGNS" throughout town.LOL!!
James Property LLC August 09, 2012 at 08:02 PM
Roc I agree. You have my vote LOL

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