Mt. Vernon Register-News

Opinion

April 9, 2014

Working together

(Continued)

The district has reduced taxes over 25 percent over the last 6 to 7 years and probably the only taxing authority to do so locally. You could get a lot of hows and whys on this one.

I will give you one board members’ opinion that I think would be shared by the majority of the other members. We just made a decision to do it annually and worked the cost equation back to meet the goal. The leading board member with the “cattle prod” each year was Jere Shaw and the vote has been unanimous. This is just one example of several over the years that leave me to believe that most of our board members are not interested in representing just the district; they are interested in representing the people from their respective locations they serve.

Another example that really stands out is the tremendous improvement in the cost of Workers Compensation payments for on-the-job injuries. This is the direct result of emphasis on folks working safely by the management and board. Reducing from a cost annually of over $600,000 to less than $60,000 is certainly not too shabby.

Awhile back we had another major disagreement about re-financing the current loans which some of us thought unneeded by the district. — putting the water plant expansion, golf course and condos under one umbrella loan which in reality was using the water plant de facto to reduce the interest rates for the golf course and condos. This was approved by a 4-3 margin; Franklin County for and Jefferson County against.

Our golf operations, like many others during the economic downturn, struggles to generate revenue above the break even point. We determined that our goal should be to work harder at making this operation “bullet proof” breakeven. We voted unanimously to take some of the money we had generated in our recreation group and pay off half of the current golf course loan. We have been able to separate the water loan from the recreation loans and internally separate the golf course loan from the condos, etc., and this was a majority vote.

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