Daily Hampshire Gazette - Established 1786
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Questions Southampton bikeway funding

To the editor:

I’d like to offer an objection to monies being requested at Southampton’s rescheduled special Town Meeting tonight.

The town is seeking to raise $340,000 to purchase 4.25 miles of an old railbed for use as a greenway and bikepath, contingent on receiving two-thirds funding from the state.

What happens next? If the amount is approved, the town will take ownership of the land. Several towns in the area have had to deal with conservation areas such as these becoming dumping grounds for appliances an other forms of trash. Who will pay for the cleanup?

Congress recently approved funding to reimburse communities for these kinds of recreational programs. We should wait until those dollars are available. I am not against the preservation of land.

My issue is with expenditures for programs that are not necessary.

What if the feasibility study for the Norris School comes back with a recommendation to install a new roof? This would likely add hundreds of thousands of dollars to next year’s budget.

It’s time to think about priorities. And the priority should be public safety by investing in a police and fire complex that is over 100 years old and replacing our aging plow trucks. Town funds could be put to much better use for those town employees.

We can’t just keep spending for pleasure. We didn’t find money for golf courses, so why should we find money for a bike club?

Joseph Muse

Southampton

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