Sewers and Sewer Billing: Mayor England is not happy with the city's contract with EMC. He is bringing the sewer billing back to City Hall. This should bring $5 to $10 Mil. back in fees. I agree with this decision, I thought the council should have opened the contract for bids instead of just signing with EMC. With sewer billing back in NA there may possibly be an added plus of additional job openings, this was not mentioned at the meeting.
The privatization of Sanitation: Another idea the Mayor disagrees with. He wants to re-negotiate the contract with the garbage company so they will pick up trash and yard waste in addition to garbage. The street dept. can't make needed repairs to our streets because they are running around picking up trash and yard waste. The lines in the streets need to be painted and the stop signs need to be replaced.
Jesse Ford spoke about the Tri County Health organization. He said AIDS and HIV infections are growing in the 50+ population. There will also be an AIDS walk on the last Sunday in September. Please contact Jesse Ford 945-7265 if you want to participate or volunteer.
Joe LaRocca, Executive director of YMCA of Sou. IN spoke also. He was asked how the low income families will be able to afford a membership in the "Y". He discussed the "Open Doors" financial assistance program. He said no one would be turned away regardless of income. There will also be a program for childcare and day camps. They will have day passes but Mr. LaRocca wants everyone to purchase a membership. I am glad that people will be able to buy a day pass if they want to. Sometimes it is hard to commit to a membership because it makes you think that you have to attend almost every day to make it worth it. It is also good for families who have visitors.
He went on to discuss the financing:
- $20,000,000 from Caesar's.
- $160,000 yearly from EDIT funds.
- A steering committee raised $7,300,000.
- A challenge grant from Kresge for $1,000,000 which was matched by 50% with private donations.
I was a supporter of the YMCA but not the $17,000,000 swimming pool. But it is done and we must move on. I hope the "Y" is a success and helps a lot of children have a place to play and learn. Our kids need someplace to go where they will be safe and have a good time.
We may not agree with everything this administration is doing but I appreciate the fact that all of these city officials took the time to attend this two-hour meeting and listen to us. The next meeting is scheduled for the fall. I will give everyone the details as soon as I learn them.