To Fellow Rocky Hill Voters,
I am writing this letter to ask all Rocky Hill voters to vote YES on Referendum Question #1 on November 6.
This bipartisan referendum authorizes the town of Rocky Hill to create a fund that can be used at some future time to save open space and farmland in our town. We watch as one housing development after another is built. We watch as bit by bit, beautiful parcels of land are cleared and leveled for new housing. We watch the town loose some of its rural character.
New development is often touted as bringing income, in the way of taxes, to town. But studies have shown that it costs up to forty percent more in services than a town takes in in taxes. Consider increased town services such as police, fire, ambulance, road maintenance, and above all, schools. More families mean more children in the school system. We just struggled through a referendum to raise millions for a new high school. We will face this again and again. And how will we handle it? Increased taxes. Whether you have children in the system or your children have long since graduated, you will pay. When we need to increase public works maintenance staffing for new streets in another area of town, you will pay. When we increase the number of patrolmen to cover more densely developed areas in town, you will pay.
Approving a referendum that appropriates funds for the purchase of open space or farm development rights means nothing will be built on the land. No housing, no offices, nothing. There is a one time expense and one time only. It doesn’t keep on costing the taxpayers in their tax bills. But it does keep on giving by way of natural areas that add to the quality of life. We were drawn to Rocky Hill for many reasons, but most would list the town’s natural beauty high on their list.
Last, it’s important to know that when this referendum passes it does not mean we need to have the money available right away. It could be years before a piece of land becomes available. But it does mean that we have a strong negotiating position when the opportunity arises, because we are authorized to borrow funds to facilitate a purchase. With a strong financial position, we will be able to apply for matching grants, reducing the actual cost to the town.
So again, I ask you to vote YES on Referendum Question Number One. Vote to save on future tax bills. Vote to preserve open space in our town for generations to come. The great comedian Will Rogers, who felt very strongly about saving land, said it best,
“They aren’t making any more.”
Rocky Hill, CT