Randal: I may have missed the point on your bullet comments but here is my input:
Perhaps public transportation should also be a “core function”? It is in any city with a eye to the future.
It is a core function for some cities. Seems essential for Hanau Germany and other large metro areas. We are not at that point yet and most likely will not be for many years. It is not a core function and I hope it does not become one in the near future. The eye to the future should be more on light rail connection between KC, Lawrence, Topeka, Manhattan. Would like to see some federal funding for that kind of an operation, instead of Airport Terminals.
A cool million so the good ol boys can pick some winners and shower them with largess. Of course!
I assume you are referencing the CVB contract and or the ECO DEVO tax. I agree that the CVB money could be better spent. The ECO DEVO money can be used for infrastructure. Those that like the buses should consider tapping into that fund.
A quarter million for a state-of-the-art meet and practice facility for the private swim club. No problem! It’s what “the people want”!
I think public support for the pools is real. The folks like the City Pools. It is not a private swim club. The 2014 budget for Pools Division of Parks and Recreation was $601,600. Cost recovery was 70% in 2011, it was 76% in 2013. The goal with the new fee structure is a 95% cost recovery. ATA gets a 3% cost recovery. 125,000 folks are projected to use the pools this year. The per capita cost is $2.34 a year per property taxpayer.
But, a hundred twenty thousand to get public transportation up and running? THAT money will raise our taxes!
As stated earlier ata has a cost recovery of 3%. A better business model with a higher return will gain more support. The 120K is not the operating cost of ATA. The 120K is what they will need in order to garner 2 million in new available funding from the Federal Government. The city already kicks in 50K a year from the property tax fund, the buses are running on State, County, City and Federal dollars. We do not need to up the city contribution by another 180K. It appears that KSU is willing to be a major player for student transportation. Property Tax from Manhattan should not be used to support this expansion. KSU student fees – if students are the users, or Eco Devo funds if the buses are vital to get folks to work should be used. The issue is the funding source. And yes I do not want aTa to raise property or business tax. We already have enough funding sources. If ata is the priority then give them the eco devo dollars, CVB funding or even the City University Fund. But as you may know the City University fund financed not buses last year but a new restroom for McCain. That was the priority.
450 million dollars inbound, and you’re prepared to fight to the death for more traffic and ever-greater potholes?
I am not sure where the 450 million inbound comes from. We need about 40 million to get the roads up to standard. The City budget for 2014 is around 130 million from all sources. 21 million is from property tax. The rest comes from sales tax, fees, the water bills, grants etc. The 21 million in property tax is the issue. That is what drives up business cost, rent and home ownership. We have too many projects feeding on that 21 million. My goal has been to focus on reduction of the agencies, projects and groups that wish to tap the 21 million. Once you pay for the Library, RCPD, Fire Cost etc. the core projects; you only have 1.8 million left for all of the other stuff that people want – ATA, SSAB, Outside Agencies etc. So the budget issue is simple, use the sales tax eco devo/Infrastructure to fix the pot holes, use the City University fund to fix roads around KSU, cut the CVB budget and use the excess to fund tourist attractions like the Discovery Center, Wolfe House, MAC etc. The bottom line here is that we do not have 450 million inbound. Wants and Needs and only 2 million in general fund money to allocate – Priorities?