For several public meetings now, the City Council and I have been discussing the topic of spending the utility sale proceeds. As you may imagine, there are many varying opinions as to how the proceeds should be spent. At this time I would like to do two things. First, I would like to give insight into what has been discussed thus far (in brief form) and what considerations are being made for the long term impact of the investments we make. Second, I want to solicit your feedback on what specifically you would like to see. And if you would like to participate in the discussion in person, you may attend tonight’s meeting and make public comment. We welcome your feedback.
In short form, City Council and I began our discussion by identifying every conceivable project that we saw a need for. We did this over a number of months. This list included a wide variety of projects. Building missing sections of trails, landscaping, upgrades to the irrigation system in The Ranches, paying off additional debt, and investment in Cory Wride Memorial Park are just a few of the projects. We have utilized feedback from the recent Citizens’ Survey and other sources to assemble this list.
At this time, we have done quite a bit of work to narrow down the field of potential projects, though we aren’t finished yet. There seems to be universal support for investing money in Cory Wride Memorial Park, though to what degree remains to be determined. Paying off debt, though an attractive concept, has proven to be a non-starter due to call periods on bonds, and timelines of repayment that would result in a reduced purchasing power of the money (a reduction of value to you). Landscaping improvements for City Center and correcting the water on the roads in The Ranches both seem to have support, along with some trail completion projects. We hope to get deeper into the details tonight and I expect good discussion to take place.
Overall, there is approximately fourteen to fifteen million dollars that will be spent in the coming years. The timeline for the investments and the priority of the projects is as of yet undetermined, but moving forward I feel safe in saying on behalf of the City Council, that we are all aware that these decisions will have a long term impact on not only the look and feel of our City, but also on the long term budget required to maintain whatever investments we decide to make. I also feel safe in saying that each of the City Council members are determined to appropriate the funds toward the projects that will have the greatest benefit to the community at large.
From my perspective, the investment of these funds is an opportunity that we cannot and will not squander. If we invest these funds appropriately, the value this community offers to residents will only increase. We are in a position to change our future, and I am excited at the prospect of what we can accomplish for your benefit. I do hope that you will feel free to comment, ask questions, and share your thoughts with me as we continue in this process.