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On Tuesday, Sept. 25, Killingworth voters will be asked to vote for or against purchasing four parcels owned by the Venuti family on Route 148. The price is $6.25 million. It’s extremely important that we get out to vote on this issue.
My concern isn’t the $180 per year for 20 years in taxes for properties assessed at $270,000. Other items need attention now. Our Town Hall needs to be replaced or repaired to remove the temporary building that has outlived its life. The barn on town property should be updated and possibly used as a voting space or conference room. Killingworth is geographically large and many town roads need maintenance or upgrading.
If the town votes to purchase this property, maintenance as open space might not be costly. If the area were open to townspeople, the cost would be sizable; it would include liability insurance, fencing in the lake, full-time lifeguards when open, and someone to police, open, and close the area, plus maintenance.
I’ve heard the argument regarding open space and fortunately in Killingworth we have Chatfield Hollow and Cockaponset with lakes and trails, recreation fields, Parmelee Farm with trails and picnic areas, and land trust areas with trails.
The state is in a financial crisis and all towns are concerned about receiving less financial support for education.
Killingworth’s population has decreased and remains below 6,500, and for 2020 it’s predicted to be even lower. As more companies and people move out of Connecticut, is it wise to increase tax dollars on one item at this time? My answer is “No.”
The Board of Finance works diligently to keep our taxes low, but without a large tax base, there’s only so much the board can do. Now is not the time to spend money we don’t have.
Claudette Lagasse serves as town treasurer.
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