From: Howard Kruger
Spring is here and with it are spring showers and lots of potholes. The potholes are the result of the Winona City Council’s recent rejection of 1.9 million dollars. The reason apparently was that vehicular convenience is much more desirable than pedestrian safety. Shockingly, we were told that by giving up the $1.9 million in free money, we are actually saving a whopping $1.4 million. So how does rejecting $1.9 million save us $1.4 million? The short answer is, it doesn’t.
The Broadway plan received $1.9 million in free money due to its innovative design. The design reduced lanes that were not necessary and created critical amenities for pedestrians. Because of this fantastic effort by our city staff, Winona was awarded two grants that totaled $1.9 million. That is why $300,000 was spent to design a revitalized Broadway. One-point-nine million is a large return on our investment.
The whole effort was flippantly disregarded by our City Council. Adding insult to injury was the whopper of a lie that it saved $1.4 million. Winona gets around $800,000 a year from the Minnesota State Aid Streets fund. The next Minnesota biennium looks okay but the Republican controlled Minnesota Senate majority has proposed a five-percent cut for all spending anyway. That means that we may not be getting the maximum amount from the Minnesota State Aid Streets fund. That $1.4 million we were told we saved is going to trickle into our road budget over two years. That means that the remaining $585,000 we have for this year’s budget will not grow magically into $1.4 million as we had been told. It just means we will have 15 blocks of new potholes, year after car-rattling year.
When you snub your nose at $1.9 million in free money as the Winona City Council recently did, you just lose $1.9 million. Maybe we can raise taxes? Anyone? No?
See, it was just lies.