The City of Havre de Grace is proposing on the May ballot to purchase a residential lot next to the Concord Point Lighthouse. A 3,546-square foot residence presently exists on the property.
I am having a problem in understanding the value proposed to be paid as it relates to the benefits to be received by the citizens of Havre de Grace. Yes, it extends the city ownership of waterfront by about 250 feet between the lighthouse and the Heron Harbor Condominiums. However, the direct usefulness of the property to the citizens is questionable. It is simply a pretty view.
Is the city empire building?
The citizens of Havre de Grace already have an extensive waterfront available to them at the north end of the city with a pier which was never repaired after Isabel.
City residents should be concerned because of financial issues facing the city.
During the past election, and subsequent budget discussions, the city staff and council made a big deal about the water and sewer deficit and the financial inability to make needed repairs to the pumping facility. The drama created was used to justify an increase to all our water bills.
Now in 2013, we are finding ourselves subjected to another increase in our utility charges. I understand the "separate account" explanations of city finances, however, money seems to slide easily from one account to another depending on the politics of the hour.
A Chicken Little syndrome is created with the [water and sewer fund issue] on one hand and then a million dollar property is purchased on the other. City management credibility and government transparency is lacking in this transaction. When the city over-obligates its finances, property owners will eventually pay the price.
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