Borrowing may be necessary for future projects

The town’s debt rose from $8.5 million last year to $11.4 million this year primarily because $3.3 million was borrowed for construction

(More from the mayor’s forum last Friday night.)

The town’s debt rose from $8.5 million last year to $11.4 million this year primarily because $3.3 million was borrowed for construction of a new fire hall, Susan Samson said while answering a question about borrowing and taxes.

“This is a necessary core service for this community. We’ve outgrown what we have, more equipment needs to be put under roof.”

At the same time “the cost of money is good right now, we’re well within the ratio of debt for a community this size”.

Samson added the town has $17.6 million in allocated reserves and $1.5 million in unallocated reserves.

“How do we move forward, we look at partnerships, cost share agreements, outsourcing.”

Sean McIntyre noted the old arena will no longer be safe for use in 2015. “We need to plan for the future, providing facilities and services that may require borrowing in the future.

“When you borrow responsibly what you’re ensuring is people in the future using those facilities are paying for the facilities they’re using.” He added, “we need to balance the need — not overtaxing, overspending but ensuring we have facilities.”

Melesa Starcheski waffled with her answer. “I don’t support borrowing. Because I’m a realtor I’ve seen people go into foreclosure. We need to be responsible taxpayers, need to decide if it’s worth the risk to borrow that much money, look at these things seriously and make sure the town is in good shape.”