Letter to the editor: Vote “Yes” for library project
I am writing to urge parents of school-age children in Shrewsbury to vote Yes for our Library. We all know that our schools are under financial stress. What so many parents do not realize is that a ‘Yes’ vote for the library is also a ‘Yes’ vote for our schools. Especially when just this year the school and town were in heated discussions over a $4M budget gap, can we really expect that we can get away without investing money in our future? Our library is at the end of its life. If we vote ‘no’, we will still have to pay $12.8M for repairs and upgrades. Those funds will come from the town’s operating budget, and that will mean less money for the schools.
Shrewsbury families should also know that we are NOT voting for a permanent tax override. Those signs that have popped up all over town are purposely misleading. We will be voting on a debt-exclusion which is the same method that we are using to pay for the new Sherwood Middle School. Furthermore, the total impact on the average taxpayer is not as dramatic as some would like you to believe. With many debts soon retiring, the most dramatic impact on our taxes will be in FY 2018 when the average taxpayer will pay an extra$43 in taxes. And what is the cost of repair versus the cost of a new library? The taxpayer’s bill for a new library is $13.6M, whereas the repair option will cost us $12.8M. Clearly we will get more bang for our buck with a ‘Yes’ vote.
Shrewsbury is a great town, with low-taxes, and outstanding schools. I fear though that we are heading in a direction that will cause young families to think twice about settling in Shrewsbury. I was amazed to recently learn that parents in Shrewsbury tend not to vote. Shrewsbury Parents, we can no longer afford to be passive. We need to be actively engaged in setting the course for our town’s future. Please vote ‘Yes’ on November 5th.
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