Letter to the Editor - Need for Sewer Service Discussed
Submitted by Henryetta1 on Wed, 12/21/2016 - 6:00am
In 2011/12, city officials ran out and decided to purchase 40 acres of unimproved property west of town; seemingly a "pet project" of some city officials, but no one puts their name on it.
Public funds used: estimated $200,000 for the property; $80,000 for study; $20,000 closing fees and related; other sundry costs $25,000…that’s $325,000 in public funds that is doing the city no good. Who was, or is, the project manager driving this project? Was an economic analysis and return on investment exercised? Is it a "build to suit" project? Sales and Leases available? What does the city contract for lease look like? What is the revenue project for 2030? When will the public funds used be returned? Where is the plot plan illustrating the best use of the property? How many square feet are planned to lease/sell and at what price? What kind of users are being targeted? In the final analysis, how many users will there be? What ROI objective are city planners looking for? Any State or Federal funds being made available? What is the timeline for the project? Any Letters of Intent showing interest?
City leaders answer to the above is an all conclusive "I DON'T KNOW" at a cost of $325,000. Now the city wants a guess-estimate (don't forget the lagoon and lift station) $800,000 to install a sewer line totaling $1,125,000 in public funds. What happens after that? What number is that going to take? $1, $5, or $10 million? Anyone want to guess and sign your name to it?
In August 2015, city officials exercised a nontransparent property acquisition costing the city six figures; 17 acres at Shurden Leist Industrial Park (SLIP). The property location is so bad, it has no economic value to the city. Mayor Clason said the city had to buy it; why? And why is the purchase price such a secret?
When is enough, enough? What is HEDA thinking when they talk about a possible "full funding" to install the sewer line? What's the plan after that? Fry said, “If there's money left over, .....or if we are interested in funding all of it.” Wow. HEDA trustees have no earthly idea what they are doing? I bet they don't spend their personal funds like that.
These two transactions have utilized over $450,000 in public funds, with nothing for return. And it's going to get worse. So will your utility bill. At $5k ea, 90 dilapidated structures could have been razed.
It is painfully obvious that city leaders are unqualified for the many positions they occupy where public funds are at stake. Where public funds are misused, misappropriated, mismanaged and spent foolishly.
Contact your councilman and tell them to quit the foolish spending of public funds. Councilman and HEDA trustee Christy Jeffcoat knows what ROI is required by her employer. Why isn't she demanding the same for citizens’ public funds? Maybe she will come to a Town Hall Meeting and explain why she is supporting this use of public funds.
Howard (Buck) Sheward
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