The Most Accurate Info Available
In his Dec. 30 letter “The Public Should Know,” Bob Roxbrough posed some reasonable questions about the projected costs and revenues for the proposed Academy Community Center project. The public should know that all cost and revenue estimates are based on the most accurate information available from professional consultants and town officials. Extensive information about this project, including potential grants and tax credits to offset renovation costs, and potential revenue sources, is available online at www.madisonct.org/academyschool.
While considerable interest in making use of a community center in Academy has been expressed by a variety of organizations, commitments from potential revenue producers cannot be obtained until and unless the referendum passes. Should the referendum on Feb. 15 be approved, the town would create a committee to oversee the building’s operation and rental costs.
Ultimately the operating costs of the building will be borne by those who subscribe to both Beach & Rec and other programming. Research from other Connecticut community centers indicates that use of the auditorium and gym for performing arts, athletics and exercise programs, parties, dances, expos, etc. will produce the most revenue. And data from Americans for the Arts (www.americansforthearts.org) suggest that performing arts and other events will be solid economic drivers for Madison’s businesses. A community center would also likely enhance property values in town.
There are numerous grants potentially available that will offset both the operating and capital costs of the project. For example, the costs of installing geothermal heating/cooling and photovoltaic panels are expected to be significantly offset by available energy grants and tax credits. It will be up to Madison voters to weigh the enhanced quality of life in Madison brought by a community center versus the future costs of having these programs available to our residents.
Former Academy Community Center Design Committee chair Bill Stableford serves on the First Selectwoman’s Academy Working Group.