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The two times that I have run for City Council, both times I was defeated, one time by Mr. Jerry Robinson and this last time by Mr. Holloway. It has been my desire and effort to get the people out and voting for changes to the council, to being in new ideas and points of view. But it appears that things are going the same old way, without any thought of the future.
Several weeks ago, it was announced in the Pioneer, that an audit (covering the period of September 2006 to October 2007) of the city finances showed that the city was in good condition. Is it? Around the same time, within a couple of weeks, the Pioneer printed that the former City Manager, Mr. Coleman, had issued a letter, on behalf of the city, to the owners of the LDS Church, making them an offer of $1,200,000.00 for the Church for a new City Hall. I have several question I would like to see answered, including is this letter a binding contract on the part of the City?
1. The last audit did not include this loan for the new City Hall in it. Where is the loan coming from; how much is the interest rate, and how much are the payments and for how long, and when do they start? Where is the money going to come from to repay this huge loan?
2. The church has to be renovated to accommodate the facility of the City Hall. Where is the money coming from for these renovations; has the city obtained a bid on the cost of this project?
3. The old City Hall has yet to be put up for sale. What is to be done with it???
4. Mr. Byrd has an excellent idea - to tear down the City Hall, and build a building to the specifications of the Postal Service and rent it to the Postal Service for 99 years. This accomplishes several things. We get a new Post Office and it is centrally located in the middle of town. Problems are: What are the costs of tearing down the old building? Do they have a bid on this? What is the cost of a new building, and what is a replacement bid, where is the money coming from for both of these projects?
5. While the City Council is making all these big decisions to spend money they do not have, the roads in Williston are in deplorable condition and in need of some serious work. They are full of pot holes that only get a shovel full of asphalt dumped on them on occasion, lasting only until the next good rain, then it is even deeper. Gullies are washed out on the sides of the roads, and there are very large cracks running down the middle of most of them. We cannot grow or at least attract new residents unless we show pride in the upkeep of our community.
Another example, is the corner of 1st Avenue and 5th street. There is a street sign lying down on the ground on the corner where the park is, and it has been that way several weeks at least. You can even see where it has been mowed around! Another city street sign is laying face down between City Council Woman Debra Jones' house and the house on the west side of hers in the yard. It too has been there a long time and is very rusted.
As for upkeep, have you ever looked at what is behind the buildings on Main Street, specifically behind the ones on the NE corner of Noble and Main. It is a trash dump of old car parts, rusting metal, weeds and garbage!!
The city does nothing about making the owners clean up that area. People who come to this town, can see this, and are turned off by the lack of pride.
Williston is not a bottomless pit of money - and over the last year they have been warned to attempt to curtail their spending, and direct their attention to the care of this city. When is it going to stop - and what is the cost to the citizens of Williston???
Lindsey C. Hager