A postcard on the benefits of water and sewer extension
By Robert D. Utter
NORTH STONINGTON – It was a very sweet moment of village grace, and I was unprepared for it. Perhaps it was because I had been sitting through a review of the Selectmen’s 2020-21 budget amidst an audience that can cause tension on the best of days.
They were done with the budget and had gone on to inspect the work being presented by Selectwoman Nita Kincaid on a postcard that will be sent to everyone in town in the coming weeks. (So spoiler alert..)
Kincaid sincerely demurred as she produced her work from her bag, saying the piece was a work in progress and to overlook its flaws.
But as the selectmen Robert Carlson and Mike Urgo sat looking at what she had worked on, silently reading the text, their eyes brightened, and they started muttering little phrases like, “This is good,” and “I really like this.”
Then Carlson started listing the postcard mockup’s attributes – he liked the map, he liked the use of the graph, Urgo was saying he agreed, they liked the four concise paragraphs.
The moment of fear and reluctance – of transmitting information on the necessity of growth of the sewer district to bring greater value to the town’s Grand List by encouraging commercial development in the Highway Commercial and Industrial zones – was turned into a glimpse into the gentle flow of village life.
Here’s what the postcard will tell the townspeople:
It’s important to add sewer and water lines in some areas of North Stonington.
The town’s list of taxable properties, its Grand List, is flat.
Individual homeowners bear too great a burden for taxes.
Larger-scale commercial projects in the Industrial and Economic Development districts would ease that burden.
Water and sewer is paramount to attract those projects.
Our Plan of Conservation Development has identified the area around Exit 92 off of I-95 as the initial site for this type of growth.
The town should begin to design water and sewer extensions within the next year.
Even then, it could take many more months before the economic benefits start to show in tax bills.
“Our goal is to help people afford to live, work, play, & stay here in North Stonington.”
And it’s going to have a cool color map.
When it arrives, take a careful look at the card. The Milltown Monitor believes the expansion of the sewer and water lines into these designated commercial areas are critical to the economic viability of the town. It’s a long-term investment we must make to support appropriate growth.
With the town’s budget supported almost entirely by property taxes, that tax base must grow so we can pay for excellence in our schools and excellence in our emergency services .
North Stonington deserves this.
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