To the editor:
I read the article, written by Jim Hand, in the Sept. 13 edition of The Sun Chronicle entitled, “North looking to go “Green” for funds.” My immediate thought was: Finally someone is willing to acknowledge/admit what motivates us. It’s money! Allow me to explain:
North Attleboro is now willing to “go green”(called energy efficiency, which sounds oh so nice), in order not to miss out on state grant money, which a number of other towns have already received. After all, it would be considered a poor business decision not to get “our fair share,” especially when other towns are getting theirs. This money, which proponents will tell you is free, comes with many state imposed conditions that we (North residents) must be willing to accept or risk having our application rejected.
As to this free money, we need to give serious thought as to where exactly this money comes from. Well, it is our individual state taxes that we pay to Massachusetts each year, that the state is willing to give back to us in exchange for allowing the state to gain more control over us by dictating how we must use this money (our money) and what we can/cannot build in our town.
Some towns, after having studied the details of this statewide initiative, have walked away from this deal because they found that obtaining/making use of this grant money will increase construction costs of all proposed energy-efficient projects in the future. And how do you think this increase in construction costs will be covered? Does increases in real estate taxes and/or override sound familiar? Don’t be fooled by the low increases in construction costs and/or energy efficiency savings/offsets, proponents of this “deal” are projecting.
Just one of the conditions, imposed by the state, is that all properties must be subjected to an energy audit in order to meet a “required” 20 percent reduction in energy use over a five-year period. How do you think you’ll feel when our town leaders, as a result of this energy audit, present you with a list of upgrades you must personally pay for to upgrade your home, all in order to “do your part” in meeting this 20 percent reduction in energy use “condition” imposed by the state?
I expect the final decision as to whether we go “green” will be made by our soon-to-be appointed town manager, who will be totally outside our control as he or she is appointed by and reports only to the newly elected town council, not to the citizens of our town. Will we, the citizens/residents of this town, ever stop allowing our town leaders and/or the state from “herding” us as sheep into the newest pen (costly project) to be sheared once again? Once we take this money, we become further/more deeply enslaved to the state.
Richard M. Kieltyka