At the May 28th finance committee meeting, I opposed borrowing $770,000 this year for Gilbo Avenue infrastructure work because there are no clear plans for what the corridor would entail, when the work might start, or even if there is a consensus to move ahead. The story so far gives no analysis of the taxpayer’s point of view, just that it seems to be a fait accompli.
This infrastructure work and the Arts and Culture Corridor work should be occurring simultaneously.
MEDC is looking for funding right now, so there will have to eventually be a specific plan, right? The sponsors will need to know what the project entails. And then, they’ll have to come to the city for permission. But, that hasn’t been done yet.
If not for the planned arts corridor, when would we do this infrastructure work?
Is the work urgent? If so, why wasn’t it in prior CIP’s? Has there been emergency repairs that the finance committee doesn’t know about?
Or is the project being fast-tracked for the arts corridor?
If I wanted to build a housing development, I would be responsible for paying for any new infrastructure – roads, water/sewer, storm water – right? Then I would give it to the city, right? Just like we did on Ashuelot Ct and other neighborhoods?
So, that begs the question, how much of the $770,00 is for new, expanded infrastructure that should be paid for by the developers?
I think we need have and adhere to a concrete timeline. Steady as we go. I don’t want any mistakes here.
And ultimately, we have to someday justify this in the face of our rising tax rate. When does this constant development start decreasing the burden of the residential tax base?