The Republic Masthead

Letter: City’s priorities unfair, create sharp contrast


Follow The Republic:


Note: The statements, views, and opinions contained in this letter to the editor are those of the author and are not endorsed by, nor do they necessarily reflect, the opinions of The Republic.

From: Thomas Heller

Columbus

Two community projects, both involving old brick buildings, are presently on path to a public decision. One of the buildings, in disuse and disrepair for the past 20 years but now lavished with consultant attention and poised to pluck local heartstrings and sugarplum-fairy dreams, has an $11 million price tag attached.

Meanwhile, the other building, a former school that during those same 20 years has faithfully attended to the health services and needs of a significant cross-section of our population, has received the “tin-cup treatment.” Its governing entity has shaken out a little over $3 million.

Doesn’t this sound all-so-familiar? It’s no different with the ad hoc nature of these projects. Both are the consequence of postponing decisions until conditions change. Meanwhile other needs go unaddressed and unplanned for.

What were the changed conditions for each?

For the Crump it seems to be the healthy pile of cash that has built up in the Redevelopment Commission’s TIF accounts.

They’re harvesting almost $6 million a year now, and a balance of $12 million in uncommitted cash is projected by the end of 2014. (What they’re unwilling to acknowledge, however, is they’ve only earned about half that money. That’s because the curious math of TIF has been diverting into their pockets tax base from other tax districts — the county, city, schools and library. The TIFs now collect over half the total property taxes paid within their boundaries.)

For the county health annex, what’s changed is the county can’t kick the can of this building’s safety and functionality down the road any further. Unlike the Crump however, there’s no pot of TIF gold at the end of the county’s rainbow. Once the annex is replaced, the need to fix or replace the county’s aged garage will still remain.

If there’s a more stark contrast or sharper illustration of this community’s bipolar personality, I can’t think of one. It leads me to wonder about our priorities and those who set them. It’s enough to make a grown man cry.

Don't settle for a preview.
Subscribe today to see the full story!

  • Hybrid
  • $11/month
  • Sat / Sun Delivery
  • Sat / Sun Coupons
  • Weekend Magazines
  • Full Digital Access
  • E-Edition Access
  • Buy Now
  • Premium
  • $16/month
  • 7-Day Print Delivery
  • All coupons
  • Special Magazines
  • Full Digital Access
  • E-Edition Access
  • Buy Now
  • Digital Only
  • $11/month
  • -
  • -
  • -
  • Full Digital Access
  • E-Edition Access
  • Buy Now

Think your friends should see this? Share it with them!

All comments are moderated before posting. Your email address must be verified with Disqus in order for your comment to appear. If your comments consistently or intentionally make this site a less civil and enjoyable place to be, your comments will be excluded from it.
View our commenting guidelines and FAQ's here.

All content copyright ©2014 The Republic, a division of Home News Enterprises unless otherwise noted.
All rights reserved. Privacy policy.