Comment: I have lived on the island since 1977 and have seen our community grow substantially. I have never needed the opportunity to use either of the sites but this is OUR community and if PenMet can’t or won’t take care of either of the sites and still collect funds, they need to go.
Response: We agree that Fox Island is a tremendous community that has proven it can mobilize the address the needs of Fox Island. We have a long and successful records of protecting our history. Our group is very confident that we can do a far better job in managing and maintaining the three “parks” on our island. We invite all Fox Islanders to visit the three PenMet properties and see for yourself their current condition. If you look at PenMet’s 2022 Budget Book, you will see some items listed for the Fishing Pier and the DeMolay Sandspit as deferred maintenance. Deferred maintenance occurs through either a lack of will to do the maintenance or a lack of resources (in money, staff time, supplies, materials, etc.) to get the maintenance done. Ask yourself what you think the cause is for the current condition of the Fox Island properties.
While the tax levies have increased dramatically since PenMet achieved what they call a levy lid lift (which allows a taxing entity, with voter approval, to increase tax levies beyond the limits imposed without that voter approval) a few years ago, we’ve seen no increase in expenditures on Fox Island in any material amount. The vast majority of what PenMet spends on Fox Island is for utilities such as electricity, water, and septic. The spending beyond those items is minimal as we will show in a later posting.
The levy lid lift is set to expire in 2023, but it is documented that PenMet is considering an extension of that levy lid beyond 2023. Who knows if they’ll attempt to go back to the voters for even more money? We also have a cash flow study (or least part of it) that shows PenMet will be in a strong cash flow position with or without an extension of the levy lid lift. If that’s the case, why would they need to extend it?