Everyone should feel the pinch in Milton

October 20, 2023

Milton is growing in every direction. In advance of that growth, town officials are eyeing three infrastructure projects that would cost about $6.2 million – a water tower on Federal Street, improvements to the Chandler Street water treatment facility, and replacement of several water mains throughout town. According to town officials, terms for the three loans are for 20 years at a 2% interest rate, with interest-only payments during construction. Through a yet-to-be-scheduled referendum, the town’s residents will decide which of the projects should be funded.

While all three projects are important to Milton’s future, it’s worth noting the town is seeking more money from property owners after raising property taxes more than 25% over the past two years.

The need to increase revenue for this year’s budget was predictable, and regardless of a referendum, it will be a need for next year’s budget too. Now is the time for Milton officials to begin figuring out additional sources of revenue and, for a town that should be in penny-pinching mode, what expenses are really needed.

There are several revenue-generating options to consider, including across-the-board increases in fees and licenses, and the installation of parking meters.

As for expenses, there were items in this year’s budget that could have been eliminated or decreased. Employees deserve raises, but it could’ve been half of the 3% bump that was approved. The police department received raises, two new police cars and a $30,000 message board. The town should have held off on the message board.

There are other opportunities for future savings. Don’t waste money on a town tagline initiative. Install crosswalks that can be easily maintained by the town. Don’t install permanent infrastructure requiring year-round maintenance for a temporary initiative. Coordinate projects better, so the town doesn’t pay for mobilization costs more than once.

With important infrastructure projects on the horizon, Milton shouldn’t be placing the burden of funding them solely on the shoulders of residents. Town officials need to take a hard look at the budget, so necessary projects are paid for by all who contribute to Milton. 


  • Editorials are considered and written by Cape Gazette Editorial Board members, including Publisher Chris Rausch, Editor Jen Ellingsworth, News Editor Nick Roth and reporters Ron MacArthur and Chris Flood. 

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