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Letter to the Editor: Public Works Building

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By
Marissa Wright

Taxpayers of this town should pay close attention to proposals on how our tax dollars will be spent. The concern is in relation to the First Selectman and Public Works Department’s latest proposal of a new Public Works building on the same site that was in contention in the last year; the land on Route 4, 190 Sharon Turnpike.

In one of the recent Board of Selectmen meetings, I have been advised that a new building proposal will be presented for this land at the next Planning & Zoning and Board of Finance meetings. The Selectmen promised us all a needs assessment (2/22/24), public meetings, a hold on this site, and most importantly, that the people of this town would decide what happens to the land.  Where is the open and transparent government our Selectman contend to honor?

There is also the matter of countless emails, letters and calls from the public to the First Selectman in favor of saving the land as “open space”.  Many of these communications went unacknowledged.  As a matter of record, they must be kept.  Where are they? What is happening here? 

Many are concerned about the lack of effective strategic planning, the lack of transparency and the cavalier approach to public expenditures held by the First Selectmen in relation to public infrastructure. I am equally concerned with the First Selectman committing the taxpayers of this town to a particular match amount for a STEAP grant. (Whatever the STEAP grant, the town has to match).The amount of the match was far above what was required, and far above what other comparable municipalities have committed to for similar projects. All without adequate transparency with the town boards, or the taxpayers of this town.

The following is a list of additional concerns:

  • A borrowed piece of equipment (via the COG) is in use by the town that is too big to fit in the existing public works building – Are we proposing new infrastructure for a piece of equipment that isn’t even ours?
  • The population in Goshen is stable and has not shown significant growth over many decades. From 2000-2021, Goshen had an annual population growth rate of 0.81% - Neilberg.com. Spending taxpayer dollars on an additional public works building based on the assumption that the population of Goshen “might one day” increase dramatically, seems ill advised.
  • It is permissible to store many pieces of equipment outside and thus it is questionable whether a building is even needed.  Covers can be purchased for a fraction of the cost.
  • From both environmental and cost perspective views, developing on undeveloped land is more costly than locating a development with existing footprints, such as the existing public works site.
  • We were told by the First Selectman that they didn’t need any additional storage and that they would be using the existing public works site for a type of container storage system. What happeded to that promise?

 

Let’s hold our elected officials accountable. Contact your Selectmen and say no to a new public works building. For other ways to take action, please contact me at marissawright99@yahoo.com

 

Respectfully submitted,

Marissa L. Wright

www.gogoshen.org

  

The opinions expressed in third party opinion pieces are solely those of the writers and are not necessarily those of The Goshen News or Goshen News, Inc.