Excerpt from Dan Wood’s report on the most recent City Council meeting:
“City Council voted 7-0 to purchase 320 acres of timberland for $1.35 million. Land is valued at $1.5 million. It is adjacent to existing City Forest lands. This gives the General Fund an 8% interest in the forest, with the remainder being “owned” by the Water Fund. It will be a net expense to the General Fund for 12-20 years, but will then generate net revenue that can be used for streets, sidewalks, parks, police and other services in the General Fund.”
A lot of questions spring to mind.
- Where is the money coming from?
- Who valued the land at $1.5 Million ($4687.50/acre)?
- Who are we buying it from?
- Why is the seller willing to sell at a discount ($4218.75/acre)?
- Does the seller have any prior relationship with the current administration?
- What’s the nature of that relationship?
- Why are we buying it now?
- How, exactly will the land generate revenue?
- By what calculation does that projected revenue justify a $1.35 Million up front expenditure?
- How can we spend that much when it isn’t going to show a net gain for that long?
- Is there a spreadsheet that explains all the numbers?
- How does this expense line up with the recent dire projection of our budget?
I’m just wondering if there’s anyone who’ll ask these questions and publish the answers in a place where everybody can read them. You know, like a newspaper or something like that.
Reporting what the city government says without asking any questions isn’t news. It’s free advertising.