To the Editor:
With the many pros and cons regarding proposed field lights, one thing that can’t be disputed is hard core financials. The Stadium Renovation budget (w/out Lights) is $3.5 million. Lights come with a $400,000 price tag. Another $12.5 million for a new Pre-K building is being proposed. In total, $16 million in capital funds is being requested. I am all for spending money on great schools! Our kids are our future, and great schools make our town’s property more valuable. But lights are not critical. Excellent teachers, programming, school infrastructure, and other factors are what consistently leave Westborough on the state’s best schools lists. Boosters say there are “Sponsors” so it won’t cost the taxpayers. How much cash has been raised to date? Is there $400,000 in the bank now? If not, who is following up on pledge vs. actual donations? Who pays if there is a shortfall?
I find proponents arguments a bit bemusing, as they seem to want it both ways. First, they list all that could be done at night if there were lights; ceremonies, community events, fundraising, games, band practice and more. They then say “Under 30 lighted events all year.” So, which is it? Will the number of events be limited? Will that be binding? If not, how will we prevent additional events occurring without input from those affected? If so, are we willing to spend almost half-a-million dollars plus maintenance/repair costs for 30 events annually?
Westborough is lucky to have an in-town High School. It’s great for the students to have easy access to the library and other resources. It’s fun for all of us to have the youthful energy that comes with that close proximity. But with proximity comes the responsibility of being a good neighbor. Schools outside of town don’t have to worry as much about lights, noise and traffic. But those in densely populated areas need to be more considerate of all the inhabitants. Let’s teach our kids that living in community means keeping in mind the needs of all its citizens, and when we vote, let’s do just that.