Editor’s note: The following column is the opinion of the author and not necessarily that of the Wyandotte Daily News.
A new YMCA at whose cost?
Well, folks, the budget is figured, the open forum has been held, and it looks as if it will be adopted. Good, you say? Hmmm. I am not so sure.
Plans to transfer $3 million from Water Pollution to meet expenses. Adding a 1 percent raise to the BPU Pilot on our bills, which should raise another $3 million for the coffers. But wait a minute. The mayor wants to build a new YMCA downtown for $6 million (the UG's contribution). (Free admittance for children).
We voted to raise the sales tax a couple of years ago, and that money was to go partly, mostly for public safety. Police and fire. But, the Police Department is eight short of maximum, and there is not money for them to bring their staff up to where it should be. Where is the tax money we voted to give them? At the end of the year, the Police Department will be short again after retirements. And the way the city is growing we need more, not less police officers. I’m just sayin’.
And they will give personnel bonuses of 2 percent starting July 2014.
Trash collection will increase $1.50 a month. Sanitary sewer fees will raise 5 percent.
The PILOT (Payment in Lieu of Taxes) with BPU was supposed to become defunct this year. Instead it is going up to 11.9 percent starting in January. Once again, our pockets.
I am sorry. I do not mind paying my fair share. But this is getting ridiculous. We live on a fixed income, and it does not increase as fast as the taxes and charges do. The cost of living does not include rent, food, cars, gasoline, insurance, in their yearly allotment to us from the Social Security benefits. So we have to come up with the extra some way.
I know it must be hard to run a city and keep it afloat. I also know sometimes taxes have to be raised. But the city needs to stick to a budget and not borrow or we will be another Detroit. And with the money coming in from out west next year, it is my hopes they can see the way to bring our Police Department up to maximum standards. The neighborhood leaders depend on them to back us up, keep us safe, and intervene when necessary, in my opinion.
The police, fire department, BPU was all at 6th and Armstrong in one building, Old City Hall?
The snack counter inside the doors? Candy bars, cigarettes, and newspapers. The “cops on the beat” on Minnesota Avenue? And you’d better be in the house by the 9 o’clock whistle.
Carole Diehl is the president of the Strawberry Hill Neighborhood Association.