For the Infrastructure Millage, Oppose Community Center Bond

I am writing to voice my personal support for the City’s Infrastructure Millage and my opposition to the Community Center Bond.

The infrastructure millage is necessary to keep up our roads. In conjunction with the water rate increases that have already started and future sewer projects that are under consideration, we will be able to start catching up on needed infrastructure maintenance. I believe the money will be spent conservatively and responsibly. This millage is not enough to do the work that needs done, but we must start somewhere.

I oppose the community center bond proposal. I believe a new community center would be a beneficial asset to the community. However, despite months of requests for information, no one has been able to demonstrate to me that we can afford the increased operational and maintenance costs. Based on the best information I have been able to gather to date, I believe the proposed structure would take an additional $200,000 per year from the general fund above what is already spent on Parks and Recreation. I think this a best case scenario, and I believe it would still require a new, albeit smaller, bond in 20-30 years for additional maintenance items. I am not willing to put the city at financial risk, or to build a building we cannot afford to operate and maintain.

Should the community center bond fail, I hope we can immediately restart the effort, this time working more closely with residents and community organizations to develop a sustainable plan.