On November 12, 2015

You decide

Dear Editor,

My question on transparency (two books, two reports, two financials) gets really confusing when the town is not using one set of financials for all.

In the 2013 Town Report “Goodnight Irene” on page 5, it states: “By completing construction of new bridges on Stage and Ravine Roads and repairing a series of dry hydrants, we finished our final flood recovery projects. Many of the costs for these projects were not covered by FEMA, so we worked diligently to minimize costs to taxpayers. We collaborated with the Agency of Natural Resources to finalize bridge designs that met their standards and fell within our budgets, and we secured grant money to off-set the cost of the dry hydrants.”

Reading this sounds as if Ravine and Stage were known not to be funded in 2013 and were worked into the budget. Now July 29, 2015, Killington Select Board Chair Patty McGrath addresses flood financing plans and transparency with this response:

“Irene caused just over $3 million in damages. We made all the repairs, rebuilt the damaged infrastructure and paid all the bills. The state and federal governments (primarily FEMA) have reimbursed the town for the projects they deemed eligible, which represent a large majority of the costs of the work to date. The town is waiting for its final reimbursement claim, primarily represented by Stage and Ravine Road bridges. The reason these final claims are outstanding is that the state has been helping make the case that the town should receive more money than FEMA planned.”

While reading this it seems the same bridges are being discussed as not being paid. I thought that these bridges fell within our 2013 budget, according to the Town Report.

Where’s the transparency? Did we pay for the bridges? Or are we still waiting for the funding? We were told that these bridges fell within past budgets, then we were told that we borrowed the money from ourselves. I’ve been asking, “show me where we borrowed from ourselves.”

Jim Haff, Killington.

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