The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

Opinion

March 1, 2013

Letter: Infrastructure neglected

ENID, Okla. — Just a note to remind everyone that in 2008, Enid taxpayers authorized a 1 percent tax dedicated exclusively to quality of life needs.

It was initially intended to fund a new wastewater treatment plant with future projects to be determined and implemented at the discretion of our mayor and city commission.

To begin in 2016, and to continue for 25 years, the tax is anticipated to generate from $300 million to $350 million, when considering a modest growth rate, representing significant investment opportunities and quite sufficient, I would think, to satisfy our park needs.

Hopefully, you agree it quite presumptuous to seek more taxes with this new financial commitment in place.

I love Enid, it’s downtown and its parks! But I also love water, utility distribution systems, arterial streets, storm water drainage, flood control and much, much more! These are all crucial to Enid’s quality of life.

With the generous approval by Enid taxpayers of this very substantial sum of newly dedicated tax dollars, it seems that what we don’t need is more new taxes, further tax extensions or additional debt!

We must quit cherry-picking those perceived popular and more visual projects.

Most all our infrastructure has been neglected far too long and, while parks should share the agenda, I’m hopeful we will join in supporting all our quality-of-life needs.

Our community must engage in a renewed, comprehensive long-range capital needs assessment of all our infrastructure needs and fund multifaceted improvement projects with these previously authorized tax dollars.

The city must be held accountable and not be allowed to just throw $10 million more in the budget each year and piecemeal projects, as might be politically expedient.

Rather, we must invest this $300 million to $350 million to ensure a more diversified impact across all our quality of life and infrastructure needs.

Tom Sailors

Enid

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