Letter to the Editor: What the council is spending money on
As the Wisconsin Rapids Council works on the 2019 budget I would like to call attention to what the mayor and Council have done in the last six and a half years.
In light of the October vote by the Council to hire yet another consulting firm, I feel taxpayers need to know that the city has hired 14 consulting firms in the past six and a half years, paying them a total of $2,671, 716.15.
That total was offset by some grant and private funds that equaled $117,791 .95. Several studies/research/planning were for regular city business. But one consulting firm, MSA Professional Services, received $997,105.40. 60 percent ($598,514.55) of this was for the Aquatic Center which has yet to be built. Supermass Studio received $392,735.28 for Downtown Riverbank Planning and East River Bank Bike Path. In May-June, $35,000.00 was spent on a best use feasibility study for the Rapids Mall which was sold the next month to YMCA/Boys & Girls Club. These figures do not include the approved October expenditure of another $8,000.00 for a signage study and another $15,000.00 previously approved for a railroad crossing study.
These figures are all public record and can be verified at City Hall
Why am I concerned? Because as taxpayers we need to look at what is happening in our city. Roads need repair. Buildings have been razed resulting in lost tax base.
Is Bond money being spent on studies that have yet to yield concrete results? Can we afford to continue spending this kind of money?
We all need to care and watch how our tax dollars are spent. Grassroots government is the closest we all come to making a difference in our community.
Mary Jo Hane
Wisconsin Rapids, WI