What did city do with tax dollars?

Published 12:41 am Saturday, April 25, 2015

To the editor:

I’ve just learned that the mayor and council at Tuesday night’s council meeting, voted to extend sidewalks on Stanley Avenue and Dunson Street into the country club. That’s all well and fine, but I want to know what has happened to rebuilding South Three Notch Street, since this council raised our taxes in order to do so, or so they said.

This project just had to be done and the only way to do it was to raise our taxes, right! What I want to know is how much money has been paid since our taxes were raised and where is that money now, since absolutely nothing has been done on South Three Notch Street.

I’m sure that the mayor and five council members didn’t lie to us about this project or did they! Were we so deep in deb that, that money has already been spent on other stuff.

Maybe The Star-News (if they are (st.) afraid of ruffling the mayor’s feathers) could get some answers for us, and print it, so all will know what’s going on.

Folks, there are a lot of our streets that need resurfacing and repairs worse than us needing new sidewalks. There are more old sidewalks that need replacing right now than the need for new ones. So let’s see what the mayor and council have to say, I’m sure they can explain it so we will understand what’s going on with our tax money!

Duane O’Neal



Editor’s note: As The Star-News has previously reported, the council voted months ago to take advantage of a 2013 state grant and extend sidewalks down Dunson Street and out Prestwood Bridge Road. Earlier this week, we reported that the project, funded primarily by a grant, is expected to be completed in the fall, and that the council is pursuing additional grant funding to extend sidewalks on Stanley Avenue.

As for taxes, The Star-News reported on April 8 that Rabren, Odom, Pierce and Hayes’s annual audit of the city’s finances showed that the city had, in the past year:

• Cut general fund spending by $933,511.

• Retired $1.75 million of debt.

• Had set aside enough money in its reserve funds to fund its portion of the South Three Notch Street project.

Because funds for that project have been secured, Mayor Earl Johnson told the council, the city can begin to look at possible paving projects that will be totally funded with local dollars. Those also are expected in 2016.

As we have previously reported, that project cannot go forward until the state’s engineers approve the design and let bids for the project. The majority of the project funding is from a state grant, and the state Department of Transportation will handle bids.

At present, local engineers project bids will be let in the late fall, and the project, which will be done in three stages, will take most of 2016 to complete.