Letter to the Editor

Let the new folks pay

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Dear Editor,

I hope to respond to Editorials and articles in the Gazette last week regarding the proposed municipal facility.

Question:

How do you pay for a 5.2- million dollar project with a $3,750,000. bond sale?

Answer:

Simple, you take $1,750,000 from others. In November 2009, the city admitted they had already set aside $1,000,000 in sales tax money for this project. I assume since then, they have (or plan to) set aside another $750,000.

Maybe I was mistaken, I thought the sales tax was to pay for property tax relief and projects that benefitted the citizens of McCook. I don't think the sales tax would have passed if it was to provide $51⁄2 million for a facility that will benefit about 40 public employees! That's over $130,000 per each of the 40 employees! (The other 48 will still be working at the water treatment plant, the waste water treatment plant, the transfer station, etc.) Don't go out to eat with city officials because they will take stuff off your plate and put it on theirs.

If they've been able to stash $1,750,000 in two years, that means only two things: either they are short-changing us on projects the whole town needs, or they are taxing us way too much! Rat holing our sales tax money without telling us or asking us is probably legal, it sure as heck isn't honorable. I can't vote to reward conspirators to less than ethical actions.

The misleading information and half-truths we've been fed on this could fill a book.

A few examples: They show us photos of antique electrical, inferring it was in service at West Ward when in fact it had been abandoned decades ago, re-hab usually includes all new wiring.

"Horror of Horrors,"more asbestos has been found ... so what? To demolish it, you have to remove the asbestos -- same is true if you re-hab it. Current facilities don't meet code, there probably aren't 10 buildings in McCook that meet current codes. Current Council Chambers are not handicapped accessible, move the meetings to the Senior Center.

At the Sept. 27 meeting when asked about operating expenses, new vs now, they side-stepped the truth. True, the new facility will have more energy efficient components, but it is 166 percent the size of the current space. (10,000 square fee larger). Further, we will still need heat, electricity and some preventive maintenence at the vacant cop shop and auditorium, so we'll probably end up spending more than now. (Of course, we could shut off utilities and let 'em freeze up and fall apart like the band shell.)

Remember when we get sales tax reports every month? Wonder why we stopped getting them? Could it be that revenue trend doesn't favor this project? I challenge the Gazette to get us those numbers for August '09 through July '10 directly from the Nebraska Department of Revenue.

Sadly, I think the census will show our population continues to decline.To build and pay for space for "future expansion" is a waste of today's dollars. If by some good fortune McCook begins to grow , let the new folks pay for the expansion.

'Nuff said.

Bill Frasier

McCook

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  • ENOUGH ALREADY! "projects that benefitted the citizens of McCook" - I do believe this is a project that will benefit for many years to come. Let's just not allow the City Council to "forget" about other projects that will also help the citizens and keep this City going for years to come. This is exactly how we help make this a City that our children and grandchildren want to come back to after college. If the City has been able to stash that much, that shows good budgeting WITHOUT raising our taxes.

    -- Posted by Rural Citizen on Tue, Oct 5, 2010, at 1:47 PM
  • Mr Fraizer some questions for you. You say the city "admitted" setting money aside. Later you said they were "rat holing" it without telling the public. Which is it? Have they informed the puiblic or not? You are still on the band wagon to rehab the former school. The city has the school's professional engineering report saying rehab was not wise. They have their own professional report. They professional reports from two private investors that said no to rehab. They have the State Historical Sociey report saying rehab is not suggested. Will you please make your professional report(s) available that says all the other reports are wrong? Or is this viewpoint just a bleacher seat guess? Do you know the city is in the process of rehabing the Norris bandshell? (Yes they rehab. See the Keystone, the former YMCSA, the pool bath house the DAR building and others). You question sales tax reciepts. Do you know that the latest report shows the largest growth in reciepts in McCook's history? You say the new facility will benifit only 40 city employees. How many citizens will use police, fire, rescue and the administrative offices? You say let the new folks pay for improvements in the future. Is that like Obama saying let the next generations pay for what we are spending today? You question the ethics of city officials. If you have proof of unethical behavior impacting the city, will you put up or shut up? And finally, if you have all these views and are not sure of the facts, why don't you go to the source before sharing your views in print?

    -- Posted by dennis on Tue, Oct 5, 2010, at 3:11 PM
  • WOW, looks like Bill rubbed a couple people the wrong way, with more to follow I am sure!! GREAT ARTICAL BILL, KEEP IT UP YOU ARE NOT ALONE!! Nice come back Dennis, what a laugh! If our local representative think this is going to be a cake walk you are sadly mistaken. It's that pesky "WILL OF THE PEOPLE" thing.

    -- Posted by remington81 on Tue, Oct 5, 2010, at 3:31 PM
  • Mr. Remmington81 the "pesky will of the people" is exactly what the council wants to know. That is why they put it to a vote of the people instead of just building it without a vote-which they could have done. I just hope the people know the facts rather than just opinions.

    -- Posted by dennis on Tue, Oct 5, 2010, at 3:54 PM
  • Bill, you've done a wonderful job of presenting a single sided view full of data which I can neither prove nor discount without some effort.

    The outstanding facts in your posting, if proven to be untrue or misleading, will certainly put you in the same category as those you condemn, so for your sake I should hope that you did proper research as you can bet I will, I'm curious.

    Now there is something I would like you to clear up for me if you please.... WHAT is your attachment to that school? What is it about that building that is worth all of your efforts? What is your affinity to it? It certainly can't be JUST that you went to school there. I can't honestly remember the color of the walls of my grade school, I do however, remember the good times as well as the bad times I had during my grade school years, not one of which was the direct result of the actual building that surrounded me. Inside those walls, good friends, strange events...... (That would have happened regardless of the building I was in). So please..... Help me understand..... Why the fight to keep a dangerous structure, not designed to fit the bill for the requirements of todays needs? If you have SOMETHING other than fond memories keeping you afloat on this stance of yours, perhaps you could just tell everyone your story so we too will understand.... Surely this isn't entirely in the name of nostalgia..... Please tell me that your efforts to save this school, and by extension, the past and ongoing expenses that you have helped contribute to this project by rallying others, involving the Historical Society, and making ME and the other tax payers of this town flip for yet another study of the feasibility of rehabbing this structure, hinges on the fact that.... You have a soft spot for your old grade school!

    Can you imagine the precedences that would be set if that building stood for the purpose of "not knocking it down"? You DO realize that the building will NOT be used for the new facility right? If its not demolished, then what? Are you and your fellow "waste not want not" advocates going to bring it back to it's youthful past? You already know the dollar figures on that, are you willing to put your money where your soft spot is?...... I'm not, my children aren't either I'm sure, and by the time my children become old enough to make that determination, they will face one of two situations: will they stay in a modern community that's capable of meeting modern needs.... Or will they leave a town full of shelled out buildings that stand because we didn't have the heart to tear them down... By the way Bill, where will YOU be in 18 years when the young children of McCook are making their college decisions?

    -- Posted by PensiveObserver on Wed, Oct 6, 2010, at 12:54 AM
  • "Let the new folks pay." That's the same logic used in 1985 when they realized the current facilities needed to be replaced. That's the same thing they did with fixing our water problem.

    Well, the new folks are here and now we have to pay for it, thanks to the logic of our predecessors like Mr. Frasier. Let's not follow their example but set our own example. One where the next generation can see that they shouldn't defer their problems onto someone else further down the line.

    -- Posted by McCook1 on Wed, Oct 6, 2010, at 11:46 AM
  • Let someone else pay for my way today Frazier should be his new sign off....in his recent westward babbling's instead of nuff said...His supporting and free riding on the back those who are working class of McCook is about as low as you get in my book. Amazing statement him and his supporters not wanting to improve McCooks current building needs but at least he admits now his let others later pay for me motivation in print. I wonder why he moved back to McCook from the glories of colorado convention center business he claimed to run in the Gazette ??? my guess is to many progressive people out west so he comes to McCook to be the villiage cryer..... bah humbug.......for those like him and his band wagon of 77 supporters with such negative thoughts of McCook and its future......

    -- Posted by Cornwhisperer on Wed, Oct 6, 2010, at 2:09 PM
  • If Mr. "NUF SAID" Frazier is so unhappy with the happenings of McCook then maybe he should look at relocating to another community. We got rid of him in Colorado, now maybe McCook can do the same thing. I think somewhere in Alaska would be good. NUF SAID

    -- Posted by McCook Supporter on Wed, Oct 6, 2010, at 6:50 PM
  • Mr.Nuf Said should run for the city council.

    He's like Neiman on open line, has all this "insider" information, but never has the proof. Rich told Neiman the other day he should run for the council if he thinks they are crooked. But he had all kinds of excuses. I'm sure Mr. NUf Said also has all kinds of excuses for not running.

    For once this town is starting to improve facilities around town, tearing down the old crap that is not worth keeping or rehabing, finally fixing the streets, (although the pot hole situation seems to be getting worse), but generally there is progress going on, not regress.

    It is time for the old school to go, along with the old fire barn and cop shop!

    -- Posted by goarmy67 on Wed, Oct 6, 2010, at 8:00 PM
  • I'm sure we can find a few sledge hammers if it helps speed up the process.

    -- Posted by npwinder on Wed, Oct 6, 2010, at 11:08 PM
  • I support the new facility. It seems as though the council has it tied together very well this time. I pray that following this project we can focus all attention and resources to improving McCook's streets. They are horrible.

    Yes, I have noticed they have been shaving some of the upheavals around town off, and making the streets a little smoother, but a lot more work needs done, there is a lot of replacement to do.

    Lets move forward with this improvement to the city, then focus solely on improvement of our streets please!

    -- Posted by cplcac on Thu, Oct 7, 2010, at 3:46 AM
  • You're argument Mr. 'nuff said' about this project not benefiting anyone but 40 city employees is completely unsupported. HELLOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO last time I checked the fire department, police department, and city offices seemed to benefit me as well. Fire department will come put out a fire in my house, God forbid I ever have one, the police department will come help me if I ever need their services, and the city provides me water and trash services so that I don't become a hoader in my house and can take a shower everyday.

    Yep seems to me that those new facilities will help those employees with the services I receive or would receive if necessary. Just sayin...........

    -- Posted by susanne_1989 on Thu, Oct 7, 2010, at 10:09 AM
  • These Save The Building characters must be out of there bloody minds I suspect. Where I'm from we've come to be respectful of architecture yet from what I've seen in these writings these structures were frightfully under kept. I would like to capture a token of wherefore as to what Mr. Said would submit be done with this old structure. Can anyone bloody tell me that?

    N.D. Mercy

    -- Posted by Nick Mercy on Sat, Oct 9, 2010, at 10:59 PM
  • Yep...I say save those old buildings...after all look how 'awful' Norris and B looks without that wonderful old building on the corner. You people should have saved that eyesore too. Brother..get real!

    -- Posted by jilly on Tue, Oct 12, 2010, at 12:33 AM
  • The group that tried to save the former school has cost local taxpayers about $20,000 extra. Now if they really want to help they can all pony-up the money that alll the rest of the McCook citizens will have to pay because of them.

    -- Posted by dennis on Tue, Oct 12, 2010, at 11:36 AM
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