TOWN MEETING APRIL 13, 2011
Mayor Connie Tatton
The Midway City Council is setting a Town Meeting on April 13, 2011 at 7 P.M. in the Community Center, located at 160 West Main Street. The purpose of this meeting is to discuss the findings of the Water CIP Review Committee. This Committee had the charge of evaluating the condition of the water distribution lines within the City, make a comprehensive list of CIP (Capital Improvement Projects), and explore finance options to keep the City out of debt.
The Committee found 23+ lines that need to be replaced within the next 25 years. The lines will mostly be upsized; and the outdated and leaking pipe material will be replaced. None of these lines are critical today, but all will absolutely need to be replaced in the near future. The tricky part is how to pay for the estimated $8.3 million price tag and keep the City out of debt. The Committee reviewed the possibility of grants, loans, interest rates, bonds and fee rate increases.
The Committee presented their findings to City Council during their March meeting. The City Council set the Town Meeting date on Wednesday, April 13, 2011, at 7 P.M. and will possibly act on the recommendations during their April 27 meeting. Even though the City Council is not required to hold a public meeting to raise water rates, it was felt that this was such an important issue that the public needed to be fully informed.
Aging infrastructure is the most serious problem facing communities all across the nation, whether it is roads, bridges, sewer, water systems, etc. Robert Dunphy, a senior resident fellow at the Urban Land Institute, said, “We have an impending crisis with infrastructure, but it is easy to ignore until you have a catastrophe.” Midway City has chosen not to ignore its infrastructure problems any longer. What is being proposed is a proactive 25 year pay-as-you-go plan. Yes, it will require a base fee rate increase, but that is all! We wouldn’t have to pay principal and interest rates which would keep the City budget in bondage for years and would also require a greater rate increase than what is currently being proposed to pay down principal and interest.
This nation was founded upon sound financial principals. In a letter to John Taylor in 1816 Thomas Jefferson said “I sincerely believe . . . that the principle of spending money to be paid by posterity under the name of funding is but swindling futurity on a large scale.” Alexander Hamilton said “Accumulation of debt is perhaps the natural disease of all Governments.” This is why this proactive 25 year pay-as-you-go plan makes so much sense to me. It keeps us out of debt and addresses a serious problem that is not going to go away. Often times it takes courage to make the hard decisions.
Please attend the Town Meeting on April 13 or click on the "email me" button to send your comments to Connie Tatton: EMAIL ME