City of Delta: Stay out of taxpayers' pocketbooks
By Brenda Tunget
Published Thursday, October 19, 2017 9:53 am
I fully support the positions that the Delta Fire Protection District and the Delta County Mosquito Control District have taken in regards to the City of Delta and the Delta Urban Renewal Authority (DURA) -- they should not be able to demand taxpayer funds for projects that the City of Delta council members wish to fund.
I have spoken with two of the DURA board members and Mr. Torgler. They say that they only want to take the TIF, which is money that the fire, mosquito, library, ambulance, school and county districts would get from an increase in property tax valuations to use for their desire for a high-end hotel and riverfront development for the City of Delta.
Unfortunately DURA has the power to take taxpayer money from the above listed districts without any say from the county taxpayers. County taxpayers have voted on tax increases from the fire districts and others in the past. When the taxpayers vote in favor of increased funding for these districts, that is where they want the money to go, not the City of Delta.
The City of Delta has a golf course and a rec center that do not pay for themselves; it has a truck bypass that went over budget and that CDOT will not take over because the City of Delta did not build it to specifications that CDOT uses. Now they want to build a high end hotel which may or may not succeed.
The fire, ambulance and mosquito districts all provide safety and health services to the county. I do not know what costs the ambulance or mosquito districts have to deal with, but I do know some of the fire district's costs as my husband is a volunteer fireman for Cedaredge and has told me that an air pack is $7,000 per fireman and is supposed to be replaced every five years. New fire trucks are $300,000 plus, and a ladder truck will run a million dollars. He says that financially it is hard to keep the fire departments up to standard. So they apply for grants and do fundraisers. I know our volunteer firemen work hard and have made sacrifices. They have been called out just as they were getting ready to sit down to dinner, missed work, and stayed out all night to keep us safe. As for the other districts, mosquito etc., I am sure that it is hard for them to meet their standards financially and I don't think the people who work for these districts are overpaid. So I would say to the City of Delta, please stay out of our pocketbooks.