Norwich Zoning, Budgets, & Our Way of Life
Di Rimmel
I am not going to argue specific points with those who wish to adopt the proposed zoning regulations.  I will, however, simply state that I DO NOT WANT these proposed zoning changes, period!  I certainly do not want to let growth run rapid on Route 5 South, or anywhere else in Norwich for that matter.  These are simply my feelings and I do not need to defend how I feel.

As to population growth, school and town budgets, and ever increasing property taxes, I offer the following observations, for thought.  As a native, resident of Norwich for over half a century, I have seen the Norwich landscape change rapidly decade after decade.  Past and current residents who have moved to Norwich because they liked our small town community, rural landscape, and way of life; have in many instances changed the nature of Norwich without, perhaps, intention.  Many have purchased property 'at market' or above, and built homes only affordable to those with upper incomes.  Others have moved to Norwich primarily because of the Dresden school system--some buying existing homes, others buying land and building more homes, and yet others 'renting' so they have a legitimate address from which to send their children to our schools.  Their concerns have perhaps not been aligned the same as those who truly love living in our small, rural community.For some, Norwich is just a 'pit stop' until their children reach adulthood.  All who have paid increasing property tax bills know that our school expenses have gotten out of control.  Where some would like to place all the blame for school taxes on the State, at least 50% of voting taxpayers are also responsible.  They have seen fit to give the School district everything it wants (versus what it needs), rather than to consider the hardship they are placing on middle and lower income residents.  In more recent years, we have seen the town portion of Norwich property taxes increase as well.  A large part of the increase is directly attributable to the residential growth that has taken place in our town.  Other contributing factors to our increasing town budget do stem from some needed capital expenditures, and other line items such as the rising cost of health care insurance and paving costs, for example.  To be sure, there have also been many instances in the past when our fiscal resources have not been managed in what I shall call a Fiduciary manner.   For example, excessive & unsupported salary increases, 'wanted' rather than 'needed' small capital expenditures, and padding of certain line item expenses (for a 'rainy day' or  'I want' fund).  More recently, there has been talk of a significantly priced swimming pool that would only be used by a small portion of Norwich residents.  I was literally shocked when I heard that Norwich taxpayers have basically been paying 100% of health care premiums for a specific group people.  Seriously, how many people in Norwich do you know that do not pay handsomely for their health insurance coverage.  Norwich has indeed become a very expensive place to live over the years--mostly due to expansive growth, burgeoning expenses, and unneeded or unwarranted expenses.
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