Citizens' health, safety at risk
By Lester Workman
Published Thursday, October 5, 2017 9:47 am
The Delta County Mosquito Control District No. 1 (DCMCD#1) agrees with the fire department that the City of Delta and the Delta Urban Renewal Authority (DURA) should not be able to demand taxpayer funds for projects for their benefit. They are demanding taxpayer funds earmarked for health and emergency services for the next 25 years!
The City of Delta is taking advantage of the recent passing of a Senate bill on urban renewal. The bill says that Urban Renewal Authorities (URA) may request special districts to give up some of their funding to help with projects in blighted areas. The taxpayers didn't get to vote on the urban renewal bill that takes the tax money they pay, for issues they did vote on, then turns around and gives it to developers to pay for something completely different. The bill states that the URA must draw the boundaries for the project area as narrowly as possible. Yet DURA initially declared the Aaron's complex, Safeway and Auto Zone area, the first three blocks of Main Street and even the new Maverik and O'Reilly's as being "blighted."
None of the monies collected from these areas will be used to remedy their blighted condition as DURA is planning to use the money to fund the city riverfront project on the other side of Highway 92 in the hopes of getting a five-star hotel to build here. The Delta, Colo., Google search page says we have a five-star hotel here already -- where is it?
The projects they propose will put new burdens on the DCMCD#1 and fire department. These two entities receive no fees for their services. They do their job for the welfare of the citizens of Delta. We receive no income from city-owned property which is assessed at over $3.6 million, as well as the state and federal lands which are the biggest producers of mosquitoes, but we are all still expected to kill mosquitoes and put out fires in these areas. We strive to eradicate mosquitoes anywhere and everywhere we find them in our district, but if we fail to treat these areas it will eventually infect the properties around it. With mosquitoes testing positive for West Nile in our district it is imperative that the money collected for disease control and prevention be used for that purpose, not funding a city project.
According to the "City of Delta Comprehensive Future Land Use Plan" they plan on turning all of the river bottom areas into city-owned public parks and open space. These areas are of course the worst mosquito breeding areas. DCMCD#1 will have to hire additional personnel and purchase more equipment and chemicals to service the expanded use of these areas while at the same time losing the funding generated by the current owners.
DURA is currently taking several special districts to mediation costing everyone involved even more. The only ones winning here are the lawyers, not the taxpayers who are paying for it all. We urge the citizens to contact the city council and city manager Dave Torgler and tell them to stop trying to take taxpayer money for their pipedreams. Say no to the city and DURA.
(Editor's note: As a result of the intergovernmental agreement being finalized with Delta County, the plan boundaries have been modified. A map can be found on the city website, cityofdelta.net.)