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M'borough taxpayers being rushed into multimillion-dollar decision

To The Daily Sun,

The Moultonborough Candidates Night was held Sunday, March 6. Article 2, a $6.4 million bond that is for a proposed gym/community complex to be built on Route 25 was discussed. Previous bond hearings discussed 10- and 15-year bond options.

On Sunday, I mentioned the 15-year-bond would cost over $7 million (actual is $7,726,390) over its term, the number including interest as provided to the residents at the bond hearings.

I offered my opinion that the true cost on the 15-year bond is closer to $11 million at the end of the term. Taking the $6.4 million bond and interest and adding the town's projected annual operating expense of $162,050, for 15 years, amounts to $2.4 million.

The $6.4 million plus interest equals $7.7 million, plus $2.4 million operating costs equals $10.1 million over the 15 years. This does not include increases in staff costs (health care and raises), plus ongoing increases in utility, maintenance and repair costs at the 20,000 sq ft facility. It is not unreasonable at the end of the 15 year term to cost taxpayers over $11 million.

The equivalent true cost for the 10-year bond would be nearly $9 million; $6.4 million plus interest equals
$7.2 million plus $1.6 million operating cost equals $8.9 million over the 10-year period. (That's) significantly higher than the $6.4 million in Article 2.

With so many unanswered questions: 10- or 15-year bond? Finished design? Test boring results? Impact on aquifer and wetlands? Traffic impact on the Village? Declining population/actual need? Taxpayers are being rushed into making a multimillion-dollar decision without enough facts.

Jim Leiterman

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Proponents of Moultonborough project have provided incomplete info

To The Daily Sun,

I feel that I am in the midst of a form of March Madness, as members of Moultonborough's Board of Selectmen and the Recreation Department push to have the taxpayers fund a $6.5 million community center, this despite declining school and general population and no concrete proof of need, just some "fuzzy math" regarding registration numbers/contrived scheduling and actual participation.

Here are some of the myths that we are being fed:

1. The gyms are filled to 100 percent capacity.

2. A new community center will bring members of the community together.

3. A new building will be in compliance with existing voter-approved zoning ordinances.

4. It won't cost anything (because of the school bond that will be retired in January of 2018).

Number 4 absolutely defies logic, and it would be funny if it didn't involve such a huge dollar amount. It is a prime example of rationale used when justifying spending other people's money.

Unless there is a real need for such a building, which has not been proven, wouldn't it make sense to be able to reduce taxes and not spend the money saved once the school bond is retired? How about doing it the Yankee way, and improve upon resources we already own, such as the Lions Club? A lot could be done on that site, and it could be done for a lot less than $6.5 million.

As for the controversial multipurpose room in the Central School, it could be reconfigured with adjustable-height basketball backboards for an estimated $15,000. When it comes to community planning and spending its resources, we have to remember to prioritize our needs. A renovated Lions Club, with funds left over for other worthy causes, could be a win/win for Moultonborough. Based on the incomplete information that has been provided to our residents thus far, it makes sense to vote "No" on Article 2.

Judy Ballard


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