Board members and residents who came forward during the public comment portion of the meeting noted that the build-out scenario does not take into account commercial spaces, which tend to contribute more tax dollars than they cost in services. Woolbright said the committee would have to study such impact in future estimations.
So when will Milton see this scenario realized? According to Woolbright, that depends on the town's rate of growth. Using census data from 1960 to 2000, he painted three scenarios.
If Milton's rate of growth is high, as it was in the '60s, following constructing of the Northway, the town could be "built out" in 14 years. With the slowest estimated growth, it would take 72 years, and if growth is average, it would take 39 years.
Even if residents don't want to subdivide their farms now, Woolbright warned that it's difficult to look into the future.
"Forty years is two generations. My grandmother made me promise not to subdivide the family farm," he said. "I kept that promise because I didn't have the chance to; my mother did it."
Woolbright recommended that the town take preventative measure to secure its open spaces now. He suggested the pursuit of state and federal grants, partnership with nonprofit land conservation programs.
Councilman Hollis Blodgett noted that transferring development rights to the state or other organizations could have long-term implications for the town's comprehensive plan, and that a revision to Milton's master and comprehensive plans could be needed in the future.
The Town Board also unanimously approved three resolutions to request funds from the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation to repair tennis courts, basketball courts and ball fields at the Burgess Kimball Memorial Park.
They also authorized Town Historian Royann Blodgett to seek a mini-grant from the Hudson Fulton Champlain Quadricentennial Explore NY 400 Program. Blodgett said the grant could be used in conjunction with the town's 2009 summer recreation program to take children to events planned along the Hudson.""