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In recent months there has been much controversy about the cost of a community center. Construction of the community center is estimated to be in the $15 million range. In addition, it seems likely that additional town staff will be required to administer the center’s programs. These costs will undoubtedly result in tax increases for our residents.
The second expensive item that will impact our town’s taxpayers in the next few years is our school renovation projects. Estimates for the cost of these projects have been as high as $100 million. As a Hand graduate, retired teacher, and current Madison substitute teacher, I can see the need for this project. I recognize that most of the schools to be renovated are 55 years old or more and need renovation. Hopefully, renovation will enable Madison to avoid the need to build new schools for many years. I do hope that the cost of the renovations can be reduced while still making significant improvements to the schools involved. While Madison is an affluent town, it does not have the financial resources of the wealthier Fairfield County towns as some residents seem to believe.
I understand and appreciate that parents want the best possible education and educational facilities for their children as possible. When my parents moved to Madison in 1958, they wanted the same thing for my siblings and me. However, a strong and unified community is best produced by compromises that balance educational spending and a cost of living that enables retirees to continue to live in Madison. If we follow the path of compromise, we will truly have a community that represents Madison for all.
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