County Commission Stoops To Blackmail
By Jon A. Brake
The Riley County Commission has a new strategy to get the Half-Cent Sales Tax passed by voters at the November 5th election: Blackmail.
The Coammissioners said that if the Half-Cent Sales Tax is not passed that they could do nothing or they could raise property tax. They went on to say that if the sales tax fails they doubt if they would sit back and do nothing.
In response Jon Brake with the Vote No Committee sent an e-mail Monday night to area news media and political leaders which said: “Any board or commission that reverts to blackmail needs to resend the threat or step aside and let more competent people conduct business.”
Another issue the voters need to look into is the County Commission’s resolution giving the amount of work that will be done with the Sale Tax money. The Commission passed Resolution No. 090402-96 that states what bridges, culverts, and roads will be built and repaired with the Sales Tax money.
It is just another ploy to get citizens to tax themselves. The projects listed at the right total $12.1 million. The amount of money that will be brought in is shown at the bottom. There is a difference. There is a big difference and the Commission knows it. The Chart shows the County will only receive $8.8 million.
Riley County Clerk Rich Vargo said Wednesday that the Commission has talked about going out for Bonds to complete the projects and then pay as the money comes in. Riley County Budget and Finance Officer Johnette Mueller told the Free Press that the last bonds sold for 3.99%.
According to Riley County Treasurer Eileen King a bond issue of $6 million would cost the County $2.4 million. That would be $8.4 million.
How can the County Commission pass a resolution telling the voters that they will build and repair $12.1 million in roads and bridges, knowing that they can only bond out $6 million?

Not only is it Blackmail it is Fraud.

County Projects To Be Funded
By The Half-Cent Sale Tax
Resolution No. 090402-96:

Asphalt Overlay:
1. Anderson Ave. #412    $620,000
2. Tabor Valley Road #917   $295,000
3. West 32rd Ave. #424   $65,000
4. Kansas Av & Main Riley #3966  $280,000
5. Green-Randolph Rd #378  $505,000
6. West 59th Ave. and Mill Cove Dr. #402 $720,000
Total Asphalt Overlay:    $1,085,000

Culvert Replacement:
1. I.8-14.0 on Barton Rd.   $165,000
2. J.1-2.3 on North Otter Branch Rd  $110,000
3. G.9-16.0 on Fairview Church Rd  $90,000
4. Y.3-35.0 on Pickering Rd   $155,000
5. N-5-21.3 on Kitten Creek Rd  $70,000
Total Culvert Replacement:   $590,000

New Roadway Construction:
1. North 2.5 miles of Anderson Ave. $1,800,000
2. West 2.0 miles of Eureka Dr.  $187,500
3. South 1.8 miles of Wildcat Creek Rd. $3,500,000
4. East Marlatt Ave.   $1,885,000
5. 1.0 mile extension to South Manhattan Av. $1,200,000
Total New Roadway Construction:   $8,572,500

Bridge Replacement
1. Q.8-33.5 on McDowell Creek Rd  $360,000
2. M.6-23.2 on Anderson Ave. West of Keats $355,000
3. J.4-9.0 on Green Randolph Rd  $467,000
4. D.1-24.5 on Anderson Ave east of Keats $325,000
5. J.3-2.7 on North Otter Branch  $360,000
Total Bridge Replacement:   $1,867,000

Grand Total               $12,114,500