Saturday, January 27, 2018

Templeton Police station project on hold:

Apparently it was under estimated; reminds me of the light department building and 252 Baldwinville road proposals. New light department building went to Town Meeting for 1.5 million dollars for a new 12,000 square foot building. Lowest bid received was 1.9 million, as Town Meeting approved only 1.5 million, light department made up the difference from one of their MMWEC revenue accounts. The came 252 Baldwinville Road - Town Hall proposal - a 12,000 sq. ft. building and the amount asked of Town Meeting - 1.9 million dollars with the final bid (s) coming in the 3.5 to 4 million dollar range ( plus/minus). Fast forward to the police station and the asking amount (rounded) of just under 1 million dollar debt exclusion, so residents agreed to pay extra in taxes to pay for this. Now, there is more money needed as the bids came in higher than planned or guesstimated. My opinion is this was another under sold project - ask low and get it passed and now, well, we have started or we have this much into it so we cannot stop now.

This is another example of a cash flow/management problem in Templeton.  A business model that does not work. Templeton is not broke nor do I believe the Town has ever been really broke. I believe Templeton suffers from a cash flow problem - spend every thing, save little or nothing and when you do save, try to spend it. Look at the fiscal 2018 budget or spending plan brought forward by the selectmen, it was 100 thousand (at least) short from the start. Now there will be an issue (nothing new) with ambulance receipts actually funding the Town ambulance. Again, estimated money coming in was sold on the high side while actual money coming in is on the low side. I can not wait to see the end results for the new school.

I believe Templeton has a spending plan that will be un-sustainable with the available funds coming in. Again, Templeton is not broke, just a cash flow problem - the money is spent faster than it comes in. More Town employees/assistants, more expense for health insurance, retirement, education and on and on.  Time for Phillipston to pay half the actual operating costs of dispatch, as they receive the exact same service as Templeton residents, but now only pay a fraction of the actual costs. Benefits them while penalizing Templeton taxpayers. Clearly a different approach is needed in Templeton finance