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Reader’s Response to Recent Letter

October 22, 2014
Emmetsburg News

To the Editor:

Would like to respond to Greg Hoyman's recent Letter to the Editor.

I will share a few of the facts. Not to divide but to provide a little historical data activity of elected city officials who are managing this city and should ALWAYS be on 'the same page' of the voters who entrust them make wise, prudent decisions.

CRG is 100% in support of growing the population of Emmetsburg. High taxes and assessments will not get us there. Yes, we are creating the 'jobs' but those people chose to live elsewhere. Why?

We have spent a great deal of time gathering FACTUAL information.

Such as.

FACT: Emmetsburg's Average Tax Burden per Household is higher than Algona, Cherokee, Estherville, Pocahontas, Spencer, Storm Lake, Spirit Lake.

FACT: Over the last 10 years Emmetsburg's Property Assessments in Millions has increased 109.27% compared to Algona: 52.13%, Estherville: 39.00%, Spencer 32.32%.

FACT: ECDC (Econ Development) borrowed several hundred thousand dollars to build the Industrial Park on the south side of town. Only two lots were sold. ECDC failed to make their loan payments. In 2010 the City assumed the debt of $618,000.00 of principal and interest. City and EMU split it in half.

(Source: June 31st 2011 audit of city finances).

FACT: EMU 'gifted' $250,000.00 toward the Community Center.

FACT: EMU will be asked to provide a 'Bridge Loan' for pledges the city is waiting to come in over the next five (5) years for the new Community Bldg. I believe that amount is $850,000.00. Legally, the city needs to take this to a public vote to approve or disapprove. Petitions requesting a vote were ignored.

FACT: There was a recent EMU rate increase of Water & Sewer rates, raising questions of our citizens concerned with 'what are they doing with the money?"

IS OUR CITY OWNED UTILITY BECOMING A 'SAVINGS AND LOAN'?

IS THERE A CONCERN OUR TAX ASSESSMENTS ARE TOO HIGH?

Our recent survey questions at our Public Forum at the VFW (+/- 150 attendees) provided the feedback that clearly stated our citizens are very concerned the direction our city leadership is taking.

87% said their taxes are too high.

87% said EMU was not justified raising rates in light of the $250,000.00 & proposed $850,000.00 Bridge Loan.

72% feel their City Council representative does not represent their views on most issues.

86% are not in favor of paying higher taxes to create and operate a Telecommunications Utility.

40% feel uncomfortable signing petitions or speaking out in fear of retaliation.

There's more .but you draw your own conclusions.

FACT: The Community Center will be built. It will be a nice addition to what we had before and serve the community well into the future. We questioned the size, but agreed we needed a new building.

FACT: - My 35 years' experience in the fast paced telecom industry, visiting with General Managers of City Owned Telecom Utilities, and my research of failed Government Owned Networks squarely puts me in the VOTE NO category, should they plan to take another vote.

Invest those millions in something that will not turn out to be a failed financial train wreck and one where there's a clearly defined community need.

There are many ways to position this community for growth. We have a beautiful lake, parks, quality schools, college campus, Wellness Center, urban renewal facelift downtown and outstanding clinic and hospital. Build on those positives. When I see a 3rd traffic light erected, I'll know we're on our way.

Regards,

CRG Member and 30 year resident of Emmetsburg.

(signed) Mike Scott

 
 
 

 

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