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Find useful ways to spend taxpayer money [Letter]

Howard County must be totally awash in money.

Just recently it spent millions on “renovating” the Central Library, and is continuing to do the same with the East Columbia Library. I have seen no improvement to account for the time and money spent on Central; in fact, the library was better before in that computers and printers were conveniently located near the information desk. I have been told by librarians there that this will happen, just not yet.

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Now the county plans to spend $190,000 to provide shade for four playgrounds (“Canopies coming to four county parks to limit sun exposure,” Dec. 7).

How many continuous hours does the county anticipate that people using these playgrounds will be out in the sun? Is it not healthful for people to be in the sun for several hours? Since the county is also providing “visors, sunscreen and water bottles to families,” would this not be a sufficient deterrent to overexposure to the sun? (I do concede that the sun is more penetrating than it used to be years ago because of the hole in the ozone layer, although this hole is reportedly closing up now.)

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One-hundred-ninety-thousand-dollars is an amazing amount of money to spend on four shade structures. Was the contract competed?

One more thing — water bottles: isn’t there a move afoot to try to discourage the use of plastic water bottles? If not, there should be.

Is there any rule against lowering taxes if the county has more money than it can usefully spend?

Doris Rausch

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Columbia

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