Sixty miles west of Boston, Massachusetts there is the small New England town of Sturbridge. Located at the junction of I-90 (The Mass Pike), and I-84 it has become known as the "Crossroads of New England". The town was first settled over 300 years ago, and like other small New England towns it has grown just enough over the years to be in a difficult place today. How do we embrace the future without forgetting how we got to our present? How do we attract the right kind of growth, and maintain who we are? And, what about our culture out here in Central Massachusetts?
These pages will cause one to think about how to protect what we have, our future direction, and how to move on in the very best way.
Those thoughts, and other ramblings, will hopefully inspire more thought, conversation, action, and occasionally a smile...
...seems to be working so far
Friday, October 25, 2013
At Sears we said hello to our little friend, an eight HP, 26 inch wide brute with power steering. I picked it up the day before the snow fell.
Up until then I had no problem shoveling our driveway, but it was getting a bit old, and with the volume of snow predicted, not long after I had packed away my cargo shorts for the season, I was in no mood to play around.
Visiting Sears that day was a very good decision.
What would have made our preparation even better was if we had bought a generator as well. We had no power for six days. That piece of equipment is on the wish list.
Yesterday, after the final mowing for the season, and annual readying of the yard, that snow blower was readied for another season. Tires inflated, gas, and oil added, parked, and covered.
To be properly prepared can be, and is often taught, but for most of us, we learn from not being prepared. I've been in that category more than once.
Being prepared extends beyond my driveway. Our town must be prepared for the expenses, both expected, and unexpected, over the course of a year. This year our residential tax rate is 17.95%. Out of 351 cities and towns in Massachusetts, we rank 45th. That's a whole lot of cash coming in. There was some sincere thought in preparing our expense list, and establishing our tax rate. Yet, as pricey as it is to live here in Sturbridge, we are still expected to clear our own sidewalks of snow in front of our homes along Main Street.
You would think that the expense of clearing the sidewalks would have been included in the budget. For the price we pay to live in Sturbridge, no one should ever have to clear the sidewalk in front of their home. Ever.
Comes down to preparation, and in this case, I hope they have learned from past experience.