GLOCESTER/BURRILLVILLE/NORTH SMITHFIELD – Paul Roselli, candidate for Rhode Island State Senate District 23, said this week that Glocester voters should vote “no,” on Question #9 on the ballot.
Roselli noted that a Glocester Charter Review Commission found that money for open space, maintenance and related expenses for the Glocester Land Trust should be reduced from 75 percent to 45 percent of revenue generated from the payment of taxes. He points out that the move, if approved by voters in this November election, would reduce funds for the eventual purchase of land as open space and for the maintenance of much needed hiking trails.
“Reducing the amount is a terrible idea, that if enacted, would have long-term, far-reaching consequences, costing taxpayers years from now much more than the money saved today from these reductions,” said Roselli, president of the Burrillville Land Trust.
Roselli noted that organizations like the BLT always think in terms of 100 years or more, with questions such as, “how can we protect this property for the next 100 years;” “what can we do to maintain and promote the biological diversity on this land;” and, “where do we find the funds, resources and volunteers that would help for the next 100 years,”
“We are always looking to purchase property now, but always looking in the far future to make sure that what we purchase lives up to our mission and ideals of our organization,” he said. “Such is the case with the Glocester Land Trust.”
Roselli noted that like individuals, the Glocester Land Trust sets aside funds for future purchases and maintenance with a rainy day fund.
“Land trusts are always raising funds, looking for property to preserve, securing funds, and, after careful consideration, spending those funds to purchase property,” Roselli said. “Each of these steps takes a long time.”
Roselli noted that the Edward D. Vock Conservation Area took nine years to acquire, with five spent raising funds.
Roselli notes that the Glocester Land Trust has been accumulating funds for the last three fiscal years – 2016, 2017, and 2018 according to the Glocester Town Charter Review Commission – getting ready for major expenses that occur naturally on their properties.
“If infrastructure is not repaired, trails are not maintained, hazardous dams are not dealt with in a timely fashion, then the property is less valuable as a hiking trail, dams can break, infrastructure weakens resulting in many more times spending needed to repair or replace those things that break,” Roselli said. “Those funds buy less because of emergency repairs at a time where the price of money and inflation make everything cost more. COVID-19 has shown all of us that open space is priceless as an escape, a place where thousands visit, a classroom for students and adults, a repose for anyone wanting time off and as a place of recreation and joy.”
“Voters should vote NO on Question 9 – Land Trust Appropriation,” Roselli said. “The future of land preservation is at stake in this region. The rural nature of the town of Glocester is at threat.”
NRI NOW is offering all candidates for local office in North Smithfield and Burrillville the opportunity to submit releases expressing their platforms and opinions. Releases should be 500 words or less and submitted to firstname.lastname@example.org.