To the editor:
Are the city's priorities headed in the right direction?
Proposals have surfaced to provide Lawrence with a multifaceted sports complex, an annual festival at the future Sesquicentennial park, a $4 million-plus homeless facility, a new library, the purchase of farmlands, enhanced annexation and increased parks and recreation space at the Carnegie building.
We just learned that almost one-third of our streets require complete replacement, not to mention sidewalks and curbs that require attention or the streets in need of repair. We have additional needs:
¢ $41 million in North Lawrence;
¢ $75 million wastewater treatment facility that requires our fullest attention;
¢ adequate numbers of emergency service personnel;
¢ and city services that require substantial annual budget increases to get service levels to the city's need at fiscal year 2000. What would it take to bring our services up to 2006?
Where is this money going to come from? Loans we have to pay back? We already support fiscally draining enterprises like the T and Eagle Bend.
We don't need more right now. Lawrence is the guy who wants the new flat-screen TV before the Super Bowl, only to deliver it to a house falling down around him because he didn't maintain what he already had.
So much for affordable living in Lawrence. Taxpayers had better get a grip on their wallets. The only way to pay for it all is a major tax increase. Before the city leaps to the next new thing, we should require it to maintain what it already has.