Dean: Penfield Pavilion I rebuild

FI-Letter-to-the-EditorIt’s necessary to set the record straight about The Fairfield Taxpayers group, or FTP.

The FTP has suggested that we should not use State and Federal sources of money to rebuild Penfield because they are tax dollars. Of course they are tax dollars! Where else does the Federal or State government get revenue except from us one way or another?

It is not just the Town of Fairfield that is using available funding from Insurance, CDBG and FEMA. This money has been used every year by different communities around the country to assist in recovering from disasters.

Our tax dollars have gone to help other communities and now their tax dollars are going to help us. This is about people helping people in need – just like after Katrina.

Many of our residents that either had damage or are seeking to mitigate future flood damage have taken advantage of FEMA grants, SBA loans and Federally subsidized Flood Insurance. The Town is using these sources of funding on behalf of all the residents in town. We are looking to rebuild Penfield better and more resilient than in the past. The goal is to mitigate future damage and future costs.

If we don’t take advantage of these programs, the funds will just flow to other communities. Our taxes will not decrease. By using Federal and State sources to help with the Penfield project, we are in fact using our own tax dollars. This is one of the few times that the State and the Federal Government is giving us back some of our own money to use in our town. It is about time!

Carrying FTP’s argument further, we would also never use home mortgages since the mortgage deduction is paid for by increasing everyone’s taxes nor would we use federal funds or state money for highways, bridges and sidewalks, for the same reason.

Lastly, and most importantly, Penfield is a town wide asset, it is used by all residents in town, especially seniors and the disabled, to enjoy our beach area.

Heather Dean

Fairfield DTC Chair

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