MT. VERNON —
Reading your newspaper about all the wild taxing and spending going on with the Mt. Vernon City Council for west side projects, I must wonder what the land speculators are up to. I must wonder whose pocket is being filled and whose pocket is being picked. Most likely it is the taxpayer who is being fleeced.
Also reading your newspaper, I can’t help comparing the city council with our little Village Board of Ina. Both come up with some cockeyed ways to spend money — leaving the bill to the taxpayer. Where you spend millions to benefit land speculators, millions to build a swimming pool and build sidewalks to nowhere, we spend $100,000 to build a sewer line to nowhere.
Let me explain. Four years ago the village board determined that our village needed to extend a three-quarter mile long sewer line along Oak Street from Ina north to the Sherwood Campground. Oak Street parallels Route 37 about a quarter of a mile west of the highway. The campground is located on the west side of Route 37 across from Kirk Cemetery.
The argument the village board used for the project made about as much sense as installing a tanning bed at a nudist colony. They told us it was needed because a man may want to build housing there for Rend Lake students. Now tell me why a man would want to build student housing on land more than two miles away from the college campus, when land is already available next to it with water and sewer service already there?
In fact, why would a man even want to get in the student housing business at all? The Illinois Community College System was designed around the idea that students could commute from home.
To pay for the project, our village issued $410,000 in bonds. The members of the board told the citizens that the project would pay for itself. They claimed that at least 12 to 15 houses and 40 campsites at the Sherwood Campground would more than pay for the annual debt service. Three years later (before going out of business), the campground had not hooked up a single campsite, and only five houses are hooked to the line.
What a boondoggle! The mayor and the board never gave the residents the opportunity to vote on the sewer line. I wonder why! The cost to the village was about $82,000 for each of the hookups. What a deal! One has to wonder what our board was thinking, and one has to wonder who benefits monetarily from the project. Was it the bond company who sold the bonds or the bank who now holds the funds or someone else?
In the cases of both communities, Mt. Vernon and Ina, somebody got the gold mine and the taxpayers got the shaft.
MT. VERNON —
- Your new password: sur**nder Have you changed your passwords since the security flaw known as Heartbleed emerged? Have you made sure they're all long, alphanumeric and randomized? Did you use a unique one for every site -- every bank account, every e- mail address, every music-s
- Hillary leans on Bill, Obama Recently Hillary Clinton gave what appeared at first to be a rambling and unfocused answer when asked to name the proudest achievement of her four years as Secretary of State. The short version is, she doesn't have one. But Clinton's words make a lot
- If GOP lost culture war, liberals did, too The "culture wars" have been a feature of American politics for almost a century, but recently a number of commentators have declared their end. Conservatives have lost, swept aside by a wave of enthusiasm for marriage equality and sexualized mass cu
- Cable guys too slow with Internet upgrade Remember the good-old 1990s, when you could make a pot of coffee while waiting for the screeching dial-up modem to connect to the Internet at a leisurely 9.6 kilobits per second? Two decades later, the average American household's connection is 1,000
- A May Day fable SPRINGFIELD -- Growing up during the Cold War, May Day always was a bit ominous. On the evening news, we'd watch tanks, missiles and soldiers march by the reviewing stands in Moscow, Beijing and Havana where stone-faced Communist leaders would look
- Display it proudly Editor: Drive past the demolition site of the old Good Samaritan Hospital on North 12th Street in Mt. Vernon and you will see the Stars and Stripes proudly flying from the flag pole. The hospital has been reduced to a pile of debris, but Old Glory st
- Got raw milk ... and salmonella? A refresher course in the work of Louis Pasteur should be mandatory for advocates of so-called raw milk. For anyone who missed fourth-grade science, Pasteur discovered that heating milk for a very brief time killed E. coli, salmonella, listeria, camp
- Heartburn Tens of millions of Americans have been affected by the theft of their personal information in the digital age. In a recent major data breach at Target stores, numbers and names were taken from about 40 million customers, and many millions more suffe
- Hitting home I received an article today with a suggestion to use it in a column. This one really hit home to me because it was about the outrageous price increases in diabetic testing devices and supplies. I was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes several years ago.
- The cost of care This was a breakthrough week for health-care transparency. For the first time, the Obama administration released doctor-specific information about Medicare payments, starting with 2012 data on $64 billion worth of billings. Journalists immediately se
- More Opinion Headlines