Unfair To Private Roads

I understand the issue of Proposition 2 1/2 and the maintenance issue of repairing private roads. As the article mentioned in the Bourne Enterprise dated March 27, we have about 109 miles of private and 101 miles of public roads for a split of about 50 percent. It also mentioned that we are missing out on the Chapter 90 money from the state but it didn’t say how much those funds would be for the additional mileage, which is definitely something to consider, but I have two other important issues that should be considered.

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First, all those homes and buildings on the private roads pay property taxes assessed by our town and those funds are for the operation of all the town’s functions. Some of those functions include our DPW, community centers and school system. Those residents on private roads are paying for the ongoing support of the total town. So why shouldn’t all private roads be maintained by our DPW? If we want to separate how funds are being used, why do we charge those families that do not have children attending schools the same rate factor as families with children attending school? Some locations in other states do provide a reduction but we don’t. I’m not advocating that we do but what I’m trying to say is that families and businesses on private roads be treated equally as families on public roads. Is it their fault that some of their taxes might be used for maintenance on public roads and not theirs? Isn’t that discrimination when homes and families on new (private) roads are not being treated equally compared to older homes or new homes on existing public roads when their taxes are the same? Aren’t we all into this together?

Second, didn’t this town just recently approve an additional $5,000,000 for the DPW relocation? Maybe, just maybe, the next time we have a Proposition 2 1/2 override vote that all the private road families might just say, “No,” because they feel they are being shortchanged and treated unfairly, so why help other groups within our town when we have to repair our private road? A lot of us that do not have any children still vote for new school buildings, et cetera, because we understand that school improvements benefit all of us. New streets bring new property taxes that benefit the total town and so the town should equally reciprocate.

I think it is time to end this type of discrimination. Unfortunately the Bourne Transportation Advisory Committee’s next meeting is Thursday, April 3, and will not have the opportunity to read my comments.

Daryl Smith
Sycamore Avenue
Sagamore Beach

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