Fix wastewater, forget about new offices
To the editor:
Recently, a few times, I have read about the city of Marshall officials planning on a new City Hall building and with it, tearing down the old hotel building. Getting rid of the old hotel is a fine idea, but $8 million on a new city hall?
A year ago, during the election season and the school bond issue, it was stated that the city was then in debt $88 million. I am not sure if that included the money the school owes. I don’t think it did. Anyway, the numbers are so huge that a person like me can’t even comprehend the magnitude of the interest paid and the debt and how it affects our taxes. That is very, very worrisome to a person like me who is retired.
Not very long ago, I read that the wastewater treatment plant had been placed on notice by the Pollution Control agency that our plant was not operating at the levels it needed to be operating and that too much salt and perhaps other pollutants were being allowed into the Redwood River, to the Minnesota and to the Mississippi and then to the Gulf. We have to upgrade our plant and people I have coffee with told me that will cost perhaps $9 million.
Where are you getting all of this money? Taxes, I imagine. At 3 percent interest the debt service on $88 million is over 2 1/2 million per year and that doesn’t pay the original money borrowed. If you add $8 and $9 million to that total, that interest will be another half million per year! Are these people crazy? What will the rate be at 5 percent?
How about fixing the wastewater, forget new offices and those that work there, that are unhappy, can get a new job.