To The Editor:
Last November at the city of Fulton budget public hearing I spoke (I know no big surprise).
I said, “Zero tax increase. I can’t say anything bad about it and it seems to be great, but I will hold off on saying it’s great until next year and see how much you (CC) bond during the year. If you don’t bond anything then I will say it is a great budget”
Well it didn’t take long to move what seemed to be great into the classification of “Fake Budgeting.”
On Tuesday the CC will hold one of their rare daytime open meetings to bond almost $2 million.
The problem with daytime meetings is that the working public that pays the taxes is not able to attend these meetings (same thing happens at the county level also), not that any of the taxpayers in the city of Fulton would go and ask and voice their displeasure.
They either are fooled by the CC and mayor or they feel why bother the city government is going to do what ever they want to anyway.
The money is being bonded for a number of reasons.
First up is money to demo houses in the city.
Now we all want these rundown house taken down in our neighborhoods, but let’s look at this a little closer.
Some of these houses have been sold by the city in the past year and claimed as a win-win for the city, but have been taken back for one reason or another.
Now they need to be taken down (which is what should have happened in the first place).
Also let’s hear what happened to the grant money the city received to demo houses last year.
I think it was almost $200k.
They have said it costs around $20k – $30k to demo a house (we should have been able to take down at 5 or 6 houses).
That money must be gone.
I guess they took down 5 or 6 houses – I don’t think so.
Then there is the fact that the city could have given a list of houses to the Oswego County Land Bank and they would have demo’d (some of) these houses.
Costing the city zero.
Oh that’s right, we would have lost the property tax money.
Well guess what, we lost it anyway.
Second up is the purchase of city equipment, which is what your general fund is for or you budget for it.
Now someone will say, “Well we need it to perform the services for the taxpayers.”
Well purchasing of any equipment now is foolish.
The Governor and the county are both championing the consolidation of services and the sharing of equipment to save municipalities money.
If we did that we would receive money from the state for doing it.
Why in God would you go and make more debt when you could work out a deal with the county or another municipality?
Oh I know, that would make sense.
Third up is the bonding for more work at the lake.
You know the lake they have promised to be ready this summer.
That is the only reason they are bonding more money that I can see.
Now I know some of that is coming back.
We have been without a lake and a place to swim for almost a decade, a few more years isn’t going to make much of a difference.
Wait for more grant money from Senator Patty Ritchie.
If you’re going to bond for a place to swim do it for the east-side pool.
Then again there are grants out there for the restoration of the pool but you have to have an up-to-date study of the repairs needed first. That is what you would bond for.
No that would make more sense again.
Remember everyone this is an election year and like I said before (in a post during last year) they will not raise taxes they will bond the daylights out of the taxpayers, raise fees, etc.
These bonds have to be paid back by someone and guess what it’s you and your children (if they stay here).
Now at the beginning of the year I asked how much bond debt we had.
At that time, it was $9 million.
Well with this $2 million it (may be) is up to $11 million (unless some was paid off) now that would make our bond debt almost as much as our city budget.
Not good at all.
I’m sure someone will dispute these numbers; but the fact remains that bonding should be a last resort not the first thing we do.
Bonds only prolong the inevitable (it has to be paid).
With all the options there are out there, bonding is not needed.
Call your CC and tell them you don’t want more debt.
That is if they will answer your call.
Anyone that votes in favor of this round of bonding should have a big question mark placed next to their name when it comes time to vote this year.
I know this has been a long read, but I just had to say it.
Last this is the same group that said no to a feasibility study that would have been paid for by state money ( I know it’s still tax money but if we don’t use it someone else will) and we may have received some state money to help us with some of our costs.
Frank Castiglia Jr.