New city facility needed investment in our community

Thursday, September 30, 2010

We used this space Wednesday to make the point that not all old buildings need to be saved and -- in a happy coincidence of fairness and balance -- shared the page with an Open Forum letter urging supporters of the preservation of the old West Ward building to contact their City Council representatives.

Unfortunately in an effort to make a point about the planned funding for the public safety center and city offices proposed for the site, through a writing error, we made exactly the wrong point.

For the record, the current plan is to commit some city sales tax receipts toward paying off the bonds for the new building, if the plan is approved by voters in November.

Voting for or against the proposal will not affect your property taxes either way, because the facility is being financed with sales tax proceeds.

It also will not affect the amount of sales tax you pay because the sales tax was approved by voters in 2007 for a ten-year period, and will continue to be collected even if the bond issue does not pass. The question before the voters is whether or not to use a portion of future sales tax proceeds to solve a real problem that the city needs to address -- outdated and inefficient facilities.

We think the facility is sorely needed, especially for fire, police and ambulance personnel and equipment, and think the proposal will be a good one for overtaxed local property owners. We also think the facility is an important, needed investment in our community's future.

We hope readers will give serious consideration to the proposal and vote "yes."

Whatever your opinion, however, we hope you will take time to attend the next town hall meeting, set for 7 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 14, at the Heritage Senior Center, 1312 W. Fifth in McCook.

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