There are many serious financial questions to be answered about Jim Zeoli’s proposal to borrow $8.5 million to buy the Racebrook Country Club.
First, is it wise to have the current management of Racebrook continue managing the business if it’s the same management that brought it to the point where it needs the town to buy it? Second, is it wise to increase the town’s debt at a time when almost every municipality in Connecticut is dealing with a shrinking Grand List?
To follow-up: is it wise to intentionally shrink the Grand List in Orange by removing this private property from tax-paying rolls and making it tax-exempt? Is that lost tax revenue built into the financial prospectus residents have been provided?
Is a projected $300,000 revenue surplus, over 20 years, sufficient on an $8.5 million investment? How will the debt service on this new loan impact necessary spending on education, public works, and emergency services?
If 12,000 residents are being asked to pay for this property, what provisions are in place to provide property access to them?
Personally, I can’t imagine these questions will be answered satisfactorily, if at all, by an administration that seems hell-bent on steering our town off this financial cliff.
I’ll be voting ‘NO’ on February 16.