To the editor:
Let’s take a look at some identified needs/wants from past City Commission meetings:
Regional recreation complex: $25 million and an additional $300,000 a year in operating costs.
Library expansion bond approval: $18 million.
New police headquarters and 46 additional officers: $42 million. (Commissioners mention a $25 million headquarters sometime in the future.)
New sewage treatment plant and piping system: $65 million, $14 million in repairs to the existing plant, $4.7 million to improve a faulty water intake, $7.8 million for a new water supply line extension across the Kansas River, $14 million to better seal existing storm sewer pipes and $4 million to replace two water tanks atop Mount Oread. That totals $105.5 million. (No need to worry until you get your future water/sewer bill.)
Farmland Industries industrial park infrastructure improvements: $10 million.
Untold millions of other needs such as replacing the crumbling water mains and pipes.
We are assured that we have a “healthy” city bond and interest fund with an unused balance of $8.5 million. A year ago that balance was $16 million, but the city found a way to spend nearly half of it in one year.
Fellow citizens, do the math. We can’t possibly have it all. I think Commissioner Amyx’s idea of prioritizing and choosing “needs” is a good one.
Oh, by the way, did you hear that our school officials will ask you to approve an estimated $95 million bond in the spring?
Priorities, priorities, priorities!