Milton residents should approve both referendums

January 26, 2024

Over the course of the next two Saturdays, Milton residents will head to the polls to vote on referendums related to water infrastructure and the annexation of more land into town.

The first vote, Saturday, Jan. 27, will decide whether the town should move forward with borrowing more than $6 million for three water infrastructure projects – a 500,000-gallon water tower on town-owned land off Federal Street; a water main project that would replace 3,900 linear feet of existing mains underneath Carey, Walnut, Magnolia, Reed and Mill streets; and improvements to the Chandler Street water treatment facility.

The following Saturday, Feb. 3, voters will decide if the proposed annexation of 50 acres of land at the intersection of Harbeson Road and Shingle Point Road should take place. Approval would pave the way for a 163-unit residential community known as Scarlet Oaks.

The water projects referendum is a no-brainer. Unlike the Cape Region's other communities that all have a large body of water bordering at least one side of town, Milton is literally growing in every direction. Water service issues continue to plague the town now. These infrastructure upgrades are needed before those already-planned projects are built and need to come online.

As for Scarlet Oaks, town officials already did the right thing by approving the annexation. However, a petition drive garnered enough signatures to force the referendum. That’s fine. Democracy playing out locally is a good thing, but the developer has already said they’re going to build the community regardless of how any referendum turns out. The question at hand is, do Miltonians want to shoulder the burden of that new community’s residents using town services or do they want those new residents to pay their fair share? The answer to this question is also a no-brainer.

Polls for both referendums are open 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., and voting will take place at the Milton Fire Department on Front Street. For the sake of current and future residents, both referendums should be approved.

  • 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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