Rural Edge is at it again!

To the Editor:

This letter is in response to the Caledonian-Record, July 2, 2014 article entitled, "Rural Edge Pushing For Darling Inn Renovations." They're at it again. According to the article, Rural Edge is asking for 2.5 million dollars, to rehab 28 small, low-income apartments for seniors. This amounts to over $89,000 per unit. This is unbelievable. Most of these units are small, one bedroom apartments. Rural Edge is once again asking the taxpayer to fund yet another fiscally irresponsible project.

I was also disturbed by the June 28, 2014 Caledonian-Record article "Rural Edge Completes Low-Income Renovations." This was in regards to the renovation of apartments at 390 Portland Street. The cost to renovate these apartments was approximately $225,000 per unit. This amounts to $2,250,000 +/- and does not include the original purchase cost of this property. This is a fiscally irresponsible use of taxpayer money. In St. Johnsbury you can buy a very nice single-family house with a garage, on it own lot for less than $225,000. How can Rural Edge justify such costs? Once again, the overburdened taxpayer is stuck with the bill. It's no wonder that the state and the nation are teetering on the verge of bankruptcy. All of this irresponsible spending has put us in the predicament we are now in. How many other similar projects are currently going on throughout the country?

I also want to address a comment made by St. Johnsbury, Town Manager, John Hall. His comment was "Thank you Rural Edge, St. Johnsbury is a town that we hope is on the rebound." A higher tax burden, whether state, local or federal will not put the town "on the rebound." Less disposable income means less spending. If Mr. Hall had been fiscally irresponsible in running his own business he would have been out of business in no time.

In conclusion, I want to make it perfectly clear, that I believe our senior citizens and families with truly low incomes should have clean, safe housing supported by local, state and federal taxes. What upsets me is the irresponsible use of taxpayer money by Rural Edge and other local, state and federal agencies that result in over burdening the taxpayer.

Richard Kettinger

St. Johnsbury Center, Vt.

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