Project unneeded

353

It is time to halt this “Taj Mahal” project. When the construction of a state-of-the-art track and field facility was initially proposed, the voters of the towns of Freeport, Durham and Pownal were assured that funds for the estimated cost of $2 million would be raised completely through the efforts of a volunteer organization.

Now we are informed that the RSU 5 directors not only have taken charge of the project, but are looking at a taxpayer-financed 10-year bond of $1.4 million over and above the reportedly $2,350,000 that has already been promised by private sources. What is not commonly known is that the project has already received $100,00 from the town of Freeport (read, taxpayers) to “help publicize” the need for the new facility.

But the next shoe keeps dropping. The $600,000 that was part of the Freeport High School renovation project is now being eyed as an addition or “relocation” to the track fund. Not only that, a second “question” that comes with a price tag of $924,000 for “amenities” such as lights, bleachers and buildings looms in the future.

So the initial bait of $2 million that supposedly would have been “gifted” is only part of an increasingly expensive package that might total as much as $5,275,000 – not to mention any cost over runs that will arise if we do not pass Question 1 immediately to avoid increases in construction costs and materials.

This is a colossal shell game that has been misrepresented from the beginning and is now completely out of control, all of which could have been avoided if the school district board members had simply utilized the $600,00 already slated to provided a renovated grass field. I sincerely hope that the bond issue will be voted down so that an unneeded tax burden on the members of the communities involved is imposed.

Pete Cutler

Freeport