27 April 2000

Quality Of Life Bond Issue Is A Block Buster


By Jon A. Brake

The City of Manhattan's Quality of Life bond issue hit $33 million Tuesday night and will be going higher. The
City Commission added $3 million for the construction of the Northeast Park to a bond issue to be voted on later
this year.

The Commission is working on the 2001 Budget and Tuesday night they were given a $89.74 million Capital
Improvement Program. The CIP are projects and equipment over $5,000.

After the Commission approves the CIP they will put together a Budget for 2001 and vote on it July 25. After all
of that work the City can spend the money anyway they want. Next year items will be added and dropped.

Citizens of Manhattan need to know that the "Quality of Life" bond issue is a farce. Most of the items are not
needed and will not be used by the people paying for them.

Here is a look at the "Quality of Bond" bond issue:

Pilot Public Transit System: Cost $800,000. Don't be fooled. The transit system wanted by the City will cost
$8,000,000 to start. That will be nine busses, a new bus barn and insurance. The $800,000 voter approval will give
the City the athority to spend more money. This one item will become the largest drain on public money in the

An Indoor Sports Facility: Cost $14,000,000. Most of the people who vote for this project will never use it. They
will not beable to afford the monthly fees. It will have an indoor pool, walking and running track, basketball
courts, and a weight room. When asked what the monthly fees would be, staff said "Derby charges $20 a month.
A look at the Derby Recreation web site shows families must pay $41 per month the join.

Linear Park Trail: Cost $700,000. What a joke, well it would be a joke if the City wasn't spending so much
money. This was sold to the voter in 1987 as a "Quality of Life" bond issue. It was going to cost $451,000. We
have now spent more than $1 million.

New Swimming Pool and Pool Improvement. Cost $10,000,000. This newspaper has not heard about this project.
It has not been in other CIP's. If it were needed, you would have been hearing more about it.

The Manhattan City Commission has no idea on how much this bond issue will hurt the older citizens on fixed
incomes. They need to be told. You can find their telephone numbers on page 4.