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Sometimes the price of not investing is higher than original bill

Kathleen Stauffer Mystic

Publication: The Day

Published 02/05/2013 12:00 AM
Updated 02/04/2013 05:12 PM

In response to the Jan. 28 article, "Lack of water, sewer keep development away from Groton street": Can we afford not to?

Had Groton Town Manager Mark Oefinger insisted on spending $16.8 million at Flanders Road, one can only imagine the cry ensuing against big government. And yet, the Submarine Base and Electric Boat single-handedly carry 70 percent of Groton's employment opportunity. Much work has been invested to avoid the base-closing list, where we landed in 2005. Common sense tells us we still have too many economic eggs in one basket.

Since 1992, southeastern Connecticut has spiraled. In spite of five, four-year colleges locally, and despite being the 4th best-educated state in the country, Groton's school test scores at one point lagged behind state averages. Regionally, lack of sewer and water and transportation infrastructure - a dearth of accessible and "shovel ready" land - are the most significant deterrents to attracting business to our town and region.

A diversified economic base is the best way to build model schools and strong communities. Opportunities for spurring micro business around the existing defense and bioscience industries, potential for growing tourism, creative technologies, maritime trades and agriculture, particularly hydroponics and aquaponics, abound. Spending money amid towering deficits understandably makes voters nervous. Perhaps we need to think more creatively. But can we really afford not to invest in ourselves?

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