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Library Looks For Roughly $130k Break On Building Fees

The building fees cover a cost to the town and also act as revenue.

"It's a big number and I wanted to put it on the table for discussion," First Selectman Rudy Marconi said last week.

He was talking about the roughly $130 thousand in building fees it would cost the library to build its new $20 million facility -- $5 million of which will come from town funds -- that the library wishes to have allieved because of its non-profit status.

"The town voted to give $5 million, and I don't think we should waive it," said Selectwoman Barbara Manners, echoing the sentiment of the board.

The building fees cover a cost to the town and also act as revenue.

Selectwoman Maureen Kozlark said the costs "should have been included in the budget."

Selectman Andrew Bodner suggested the fees not be waived but given at a discount: "I would suggest we don't waive the fees but offer a discount so we come away without cost, and the library still makes out well."

The Selectmen agreed with this for the most part.

"We gave them $5 million," said Ridgefield resident Dom D'Addario. "They should have calculated that, and we shouldn't give them another penny."

More research will be done to find out the legality and precedent of waiving fees for non-profits.

sebastian dangerfield April 20, 2012 at 03:38 PM
bob-agreed not only is it making simple things complicated---they rationalize spending too easily. Its a no brainer to close a school that is unnecessary--yet --since its other peoples money, they can think of postponing. Its like you have a house with a 5 acres and you hire 4 people to maintain the property. You move to a place with 1/3 of an acre-and you say "ill wait to change my staffing". It wouldnt happen anywhere else but government. Because one parent will cry about their kid needing to not move. Its nuts...its no longer about doing what is right for a community. Its now the community that needs to sacrifice for the individual. and if you dont comply--then you are an insensitive, republican who doesnt care about the little guy. To me--sometimes we need to understand that its the lone parent is the one being insensitive and selfish. It just never gets reported that way--because the press needs to fight for the little guy.
Bob J April 20, 2012 at 07:35 PM
I am not so sold on the school closing all of a sudden. I watched the demographics switch back after the last last time it was declared that an "aging population" didn't need that many schools, then all of a sudden, it cost 5 million just to re-open Branchville. I think that populations are way to fluid these days to not expect significant enough turnover in another 5-10 years so that teh school age population is again at a peak. If we close VP, for example, to save, let's say, a million a year, then if, in five years, we re-open it, we didn't save anything. Why? Because we would lose any "grandfathering" for code issues. And if it cost $5 million to re-open Branchville, I can't imagine how much it would cost to re-open VP, which is a much older school. These numbers are from my memory. But entitlement and needs aside, it's simple, scary math for me.
Tom Falconieri April 21, 2012 at 02:57 AM
BOB you are looking at this all wrong!!! The schoolies want to close a school. Reason being five years after it is closed some EINSTEIN discovers we need a new school because population has increased. So if we have a DEM in 400 main he will fabricate BUNDLE 2. This will insure the schoolies have another Brand New school in the future. They are so predictable and the scams just repeat themselves. Then the schoolies have another brand new school. That is the plan plain and simple. And MS LOW KNOWS THIS. She is as sly as a FOX . This is their GRAND PLAN PLAIN AND SIMPLE!!
HardCover April 21, 2012 at 05:13 PM
Bob J., if I understand your position correctly, the library should be considered a public entity and receive the perks associated with being a public entity, like no building fees. But at times, when convenient, they should be considered a private entity, so they can keep their books closed. Ok. Got it. Bob, another question for you. Should the library be governed by the rules in the town charter? Those rules offer guidance to other public town departments. Where should the library fall in this regard, responsible to the rules of the charter or no?
sebastian dangerfield April 22, 2012 at 03:59 AM
Paul d. By arrogance i mean believing you are above questioning. That we should have just yaken the word of the library board as omnicient. Time and time again, when legitimate questions were raised, the response was " this has already been gone over and you will just have to trust we know what we are doing." Or " i cant believe how rude people are; we raised 15 mio in private funds. Who are these people to question our appriach?" Those sort of attitudes and answers generally mask an underlying ignorance. People who are competent dont invoke defenses that revolve around decorum. They are happy to answer, because they want people to understand the informed logical approach they are pursuing. It was and is a red flag...when i read an unsubstantiated " we were led to believe commentary." That doesnt mean its not trye....it only is consistent with the way they respond. Arrogant and uninformative. Its a big concern. This will not be the last incidence of incompetence. Thats what you get when you dont want to be questioned. You get a result that demonstrates a resistance to listening.

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