Has Hartford taken over Greenwich?

RTM approves $29 million high school auditorium. All borrowed money, because we don’t have the wherewithal to pay for this luxury. Just to rub it into the eyes of those of us who remember the “pay as you go” philosophy that kept this town solvent through the years, with one of the lowest tax burdens around, the RTM also approved an additional $15.6 million in debt for “other projects”. I’d have guessed that the proletariat had been bused down from our capital to ram this down our throats but it’s Greenwich residents themselves who are doing this.

Looking at what’s doing in Hartford and now, Greenwich, selling now, rather than waiting for some dreamed-of market recovery, might be a good idea. This kind of stuff can’t continue and when it stops, watch out.

11 Comments

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11 responses to “Has Hartford taken over Greenwich?

  1. towny

    chris: do a little investigative reporting. how much money has greenwich borrowed and currently on the hook for. you maybe surprised.

  2. Retired IB'er

    I can’t decide what drives these kinds of decisions: is it corruption (payoffs)?… is it stupidity (money grows on trees)?… is it greed (my little Johnny will benefit and someone else will pay for it down the road)?

    Whatever the reason I don’t get it.

  3. greenwich dude

    i am now on record in multiple ways insinuating that this is a boondoggle, but it does continue to offend me

    i really am a fan of theater, and i like a good facility like anyone, but the fact is that this is a luxury good at a time when we are supposed to focus on the necessities

  4. Georgie in Greenwich

    I heard its more like $130 million of debt in 2011-12….and by 2014-15 we hit a high of $220 million with Central Fire Station, Music Audi, Nathaniel Witherell, and regular operating maintenance…

    People love to think its the “other guy” who is going to reduce the spending in order to keep sanity on Greenwich taxes. This Town claims to be majority Republicans—but there ain’t no difference between the parties—starting from the Republican First Selectman, Republican BET chair, Republican BOE Chair, etc etc ALL advocated and voted for the outrageous spending, debt, and taxation.

  5. just_looking

    I suppose that it is inevitable. One cannot sit and watch others live beyond their means and pay for it besides, without eventually deciding that they too might as well have at it, since they are the one paying anyway.

    Good behavior has been punished while bad behavior has been rewarded for too long. This will end badly.

  6. fatman

    It also looks really bad, when the state is issuing pink slips to workers, for the “rich” of Greenwich to spending lavishly on their schools. It is unnecessary at this time to do this. Wait until we have extra money.

  7. ed krumeich

    The current capital financing plan is based on the historic pay-as-you-go structure , which people romanticize without really understanding. Greenwich’s pay-as-you-go plan was to spread big ticket capital items over five years and use cash flow from tax revenues to pay for them. It never applied to certain projects like sewer improvements that were bonded for low rates. We funded school renovations using the same model by borrowing from internal funds like the notorious Parking Fund dispatched by the RTM some years back. The current financing plan uses bond anticipation notes and short term bonds to spread the debt over seven years to take advantage of our AAA+ ratings and historic low rates.

  8. ed krumeich

    Here is a link to the capital plan that sets out the debt and the various components. http://greenwichct.virtualtownhall.net/Public_Documents/GreenwichCT_Estimate/Proposed_Capital_Budget_2011-12.pdf
    For the next two years we will be paying off the end of the Glenville School project and the beginning of the MISA project, which will be spread out over seven years. The only large project left under the financing plan is the Central Fire House that will start in two years after Glenville is paid off. The amount financed will peak and then go down as major projects are completed. Nathaniel Witherell is outside the plan because it has non-tax revenue to pay the interest.

  9. Georgie in Greenwich

    Convenient Ed to leave the full story out. It was very clearly said by the BET chair the other night that ALL projects outside of fire station and auditorium will now be postponed or deferred because of the debt servicing for the two massive capital projects along Glenville. Said another way, the two capital projects are too grandiose and large for even our “ultra-wealthy” Greenwich Town wallet—deferring other important infrastructure projects such as renovating the deterioriating school facilities. The nursing home Nathaniel recently became outside of the budget process….but make no mistake, CF, it takes your and mine tax dollars to give them interest-free loans for their multi-million renovation (adding to our debt) that hopefully someday we see paid back; don’t bet on it since much of the fees from Nathaniel are from the state Medicaid program that surely will be reduced in the coming years.