Letter: Borough doesn’t need to spend money on open space

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To the editor,

While reading the Republican-American [Oct. 6] I read the Daily Digest article detailing plans by the Borough to purchase two pieces of land for open space. Once again I have to raise the question why Naugatuck, which is practically surrounded by thousands and thousands of open space in the Naugatuck State Forest and Hop Brook, to name just two, would spend over $1 million on two more pieces of land. With taxes at all time highs and headed higher and Naugatuck residents struggling mightily to make ends meet, we can find a spare million to purchase open space, some of which may be contaminated? It is my understanding that the Andrew Avenue tract was used for years as a dumping ground. Why would we even consider this purchase?

The article states that the Borough would seek a state grant for possible reimbursement of up to 90 percent of the cost. This is more smoke and mirrors. Where do they think grant money comes from, a money tree in Hartford, perhaps? State grant money is taxpayer dollars, period. Every dollar of state grants is tax money paid by you and me. It is not free money. And the state would have to borrow the grant money because the state is broke. Are we nuts?

I personally know several seniors who have sold their homes and are moving out of state because they can no longer afford Connecticut’s high cost of living.

My advice would be that if we want this land so badly either cut current spending by the cost of the land or better yet, seek private donations or other private funds for the purchase.

Taxpayers, make your voices known. Tell our mayor and burgesses that spending hard-earned taxpayer money on land we don’t need is not a wise move in these tough economic times. Further, if taxpayer money is to be used for this purpose, it should be put to a vote by the residents.

George L. Sirois

Naugatuck