On October 18, the voters of Reading are being asked by the Board of Selectmen, the School Committee, and others to vote YES on a $7,500,000 override: $6,000,000.00 to solve the “structural budget gap “and $1,500,000 for “new programs.”
Beyond taxes the town has several revolving funds, the largest of which is the building revolving fund set up to pay the cost associated with building projects larger that can be handled within the normal operating budget.
The fund at present has over $400,000 dollars with not many – if any – large projects going on.
The Board of Selectmen has proposed creating an “Economic Development Position” in hopes to bring a “Home Depot Two” to Reading in hope of shifting some of the tax burden from the 92% residential tax base to a larger industrial tax base.
Over the years I have seen any number of attempts to bring “Economic Development” to Reading. In most cases they have failed. Economics 101 states that if there is a market they will come, if they cannot make it, they will leave. Walgreens has come and gone, Portland Pie has come and gone; this Sunday I had breakfast in a small place on Main St: he stated when I asked how they were doing, “not well.”
The Selectmen will argue that it is not coming from the operating budget, and they are correct, but then they say to you, we need more money to retain people, when this money could be used to fund capital needs like dump trucks and a new ambulance.
With the completion of West St. how many of you are aware that Town Meeting approved $75,000 above state allocated money for the “Colonial” black traffic lights? How many of you are aware that Town Meeting approved $640,000 above the state funding of the downtown improvements from Haven St. to Washington St. in the guise of attracting more business? It has not brought in one new building.
By saying NO on the override, Town Meeting will not be able to spend money on what I consider fluff and vote with common dollars and cents.
Vote NO on October 18 2016 and send a message that enough is enough.
PS The new wall on the Deering St side of the Library has over twenty cracks in it already, I guess we should not expect perfection for$ 18,000,000.00 .
28 Martin Rd
781 944 2807