The essence of township will be lost with land sale
I read the sad story one of the selectmen was telling the other week on the op-ed page about how Milford needs all these improvements requiring land to be sold on the down low, according to some, at bargain prices and weighed against the tax revenue the land will hopefully generate once apartments and businesses are slapped into place.
Perhaps I didn’t read The Cabinet clearly enough to see any articles about a land sale, which the selectmen say should have been plain to all. They had permission to do it, so why say they were doing it?
Let’s extend this land sale into the future as I see it:
A. The Brox land, or any land for that matter, is sold for a pittance.
B. Industry and apartments are built, which will generate more taxes.
C. Which will allow roads and bridges to be repaired and built, sprucing up the town, making it more attractive to more businesses and families to want to move here.
D. Which then begins to wear down the roads and bridges, which.
E. Require more repairs and services from the town.
F. Which requires more taxes.
G. Requiring more business and industry (because those tax dollars make a bigger pile than John Q. Public’s, in theory).
H. Requiring more land use. Go back to B above.
I’ve lived in Milford for 17 years on and off since 1994 and I’ve always rented, so I don’t know the history of property tax rates here. Does any property owner recall a reduction or slowing of the increase of property taxes? For any reason? For any great length of time? It seems to me that our selectmen are cheerleaders for more growth. Apartment complexes, businesses and industry require more concentrated town resources, which offset any tax benefit to residents.
As I see it, growth must be curbed, not cultivated. We’re reaching a point where a drive on Nashua and Elm streets will reveal land being used. The fields seen in back along Capron Road will be covered in concrete, brick and asphalt soon, the attractive little line of businesses at the other end of the County Store parking lot will be bulldozed to have yet another blocky drug store built (Why? Because why not? We let the other drug stores in.), a historic building is torn down in favor of a foreign car repair shop, a field which used to grow corn or grass will be devoted to sports.
Where does it end? The answer is that it won’t end as long as towns keep pursuing lower property taxes through more industry and business.
At some point it will be seen that what has been achieved is the loss of the essence of township, because there are those who look at fields, trees and grassland and see resources lying fallow.