LETTER: Don't believe everything you hear
Tuesday, November 27, 2012 3:50 AM
There are ugly rumors flying around town, which must be addressed.
1) There are no plans to "sue" the city. The Main Street Project is scheduled to be "locked and loaded" by Dec. 16. The new council will be denied the opportunity to make any changes and will be left only with how to pay for this!
Minnesota law provides that citizens may seek "writs" or "injunctions" to affect the action of a city council, such as delaying the final vote on the Main Street Project.
2) The claim is that there is a lot of "misinformation" about the project. Whatever the "alleged" misinformation, there is no misinformation about the bottom expense line, which has NOT decreased.
That info comes directly from the cost information the council put out in our utility bills. The "amenities" and the "streetscape" are more than half the cost of the project and will easily raise our cost of living by 50 percent.
3) MnDOT had "reconstructing" Hwy. 44 on its agenda for years but kept pushing it back because of the state's financial problems.
At the time, I thought it meant digging up the roadbed and rebuilding from scratch. But all the state is doing is taking up the old blacktop and putting new back down - no digging down is required.
4) The city's committees (with only a select few members) all appeared to violate the Open Meeting Law because the meetings were not noticed, no minutes were provided, and no information appeared in the paper. The average citizen was shut out.
5) There is no factual basis nor documentation for claiming that interest rates and construction costs will go up. The U.S. Federal Reserve System, which controls interest rates, has shown no interest in raising internal rates.
6) There are hundreds of ash trees in Spring Grove. It's more than a coincidence that the trees marked to be cut down are the ones in the way of the project.
Tears, emotionalism and a spin on the facts have no place in a logical discussion of dollars and cents. The facts, taken from the city's own materials, are:
1) A "streetscape" is still in the plans, and it is still going to cost more than the infrastructure.
2) The financial bottom line has not changed. The cost is still nearly double the pool debt.
3) We have already pledged the property taxes as security for the pool debt; now we have to use the utility bills for the new bonding.
Many people - Kwik Trip, Tweeten Lutheran Healthcare Center, Northern Engraving, Trinity Lutheran Church, the school, Spring Grove Manor residents and social security recipients - can't really afford the utilities we have now, much less the big increases.
If the city had just created a plan for just infrastructure and plain sidewalks only, skipped the "streetscape" and demanded a fast track construction for the city's infrastructure to shorten the down time, the engineering costs would've been less, and construction costs might have been more manageable - probably half of what they are now.