Plymouth budget

To the Editor,

Just a few things the public should know about the city’s budget:

Our City Administrator, Brian Yerges, has brought to the attention of Council many issues regarding personnel, finance, and budgeting which he has dealt with in a very professional manner.

The budgeting process especially, where all City departments must submit a ten-year plan for their capital needs is enlightening. It may be a “wish list”, but it provides a broad look at possible future capital expenses.

Also, there have been many changes to document new personnel procedures. Another change credited to Yerges was to accumulate about $1.5 million in the general fund reserve, and that has been achieved.

Yerges also worked diligently to reduce the interest on our bond debt saving the city money.

The City does contract with Generations to provide senior center services and they do an exemplary job. We do not donate funds to Generations. The water line was an exception, it was a shorter route, but Generations does not get free water and sewer, they pay like the rest of us.

There is still a need to replace water lines due to excessive lead PPM where old water lines exist. This is a public safety issue and remediation is mandated by the state.

Our City Engineer mentioned at the last meeting that to keep Milwaukee Street open over the RR tracks will cost the City about $75,000 in 2015 to improve the road over the crossing. Many of our roads are in need of repair.

Then there is the building at 133 East Mill St, which the City owns, and is in dire need of extensive rehabilitation before it can be sold.

Yet the seven [on the council]seem to ignore these needs to give to a non-profit organization. Shame on the magnificent 7 for ignoring these issues.

Did the City give $250,000 in the past to support a course at the school district for running specialty cheese cutting machines; yes it did, but this was a public to public donation, not public to non-profit.

I have received many comments and emails in support of my position. Perhaps the Politically Correct thing for the Plymouth Education Foundation, since they have reached their goal, would be to decline the $100,000 donation from the City. The $100,000 would be better spent on the City’s infrastructure; replacing lead water lines and fixing roads, etc.

The current City Council is laden with former and current government workers who seem to be strongly in favor of spending your tax dollars instead of cutting taxes.

Granted, Yerges has done some good with formalizing the budget process but he does not believe in cutting taxes measurably. It’s the old government adage, spend it or lose it.

Conservatives need to step up and run for City Council; one from each District on April 7th. Specifics on how to run will be coming from our City Clerk in late November.

Jim Faller,
District 3 Alderman

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