Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Street cleaners - but no cops

It's 8:38 a.m. and a city worker on a street sweeper/cleaning machine has just passed in front of my house - twice (once going in each direction).

Now, I don't know if this 'service' is part of the assessed fees I'm charged on my property taxes, or if it's funded through something other than the general fund.

What I do know is that most people won't stop to ask about the source of funding for this particular task, but will wonder just why it is that their street can be swept but the city has a budget deficit of $27 million that has been reduced to around $15 million by laying off workers, including 75 police officers.

They will rightly wonder about the priorities of a city that can find the ability to sweep streets but not fund cops - or cut down the large dead trees on the public property on some of those same streets being cleaned.

And when the politicians tell us that they've 'cut everywhere they possibly can' and that 'there's nowhere else to cut,' the citizens who've had their streets swept will not believe them.

8 comments:

Hooda Thunkit (a.k.a. Dave Zawodny) said...

Maggie,

When I had to bill the Streets Department for Street Sweeper repair work/services, it was to an assessed account number, not the general fund.

Maggie Thurber said...

That's good to know, Hooda, but I'll bet most people won't make the distinction....

Lisa Renee said...

Yep, it's part of the assessed services, it was actually discussed yesterday at Agenda Review since Council will be approving the assessed services that were provided in 2008.

Street cleaning, snow plowing, leaf pickup and a few other services are all a part of, Street Services which taken from yesterday's Agenda review is going to cost the below amount for that part of the assessed services:

Levying assessments for 2008 Assessed Services Program, Street Services, $20,241,984

Hooda Thunkit (a.k.a. Dave Zawodny) said...

Maggie,

You are probably right about that.

Then, it would be presumptuous ot me to expect them to also know that the City borrows this money and pays it back, with interest, typically over 3-years, further adding to OUR costs...

Why, it's almost as if somebody stays awake nights thinking of ways to make city services more expensive to deliver...

Maggie Thurber said...

I think, for a total assessment of more than $20 million, I could do without the street cleaning. There may be some areas where this is a necessity, but not on our street.

And I'm rather frustrated that I'm being assessed for street cleaning and snow removal. Between the two, I'd rather have the snow removal - which we got only once on our street last year.

And like Hooda says - 'with interest' ...

UGH!

DeeDee Liedel said...

I believe street sweeping is an EPA/OEPA mandate - I know the township has to do it as well, twice a year (out of general revenues, I'll note - no assessment made).

Maggie Thurber said...

Well, if it's a mandate, it isn't required for all streets because it was never done on the street I grew up on, nor on the street where our first house was....

Maggie Thurber said...

Interesting - it's not mandated, but is one of the recommended methods to prevent floatables from entering combined sewer overflows.

The EPA also recommends that street parking be eliminated the day of the street cleaning (which has not been done on our street since we moved here).

And then I wonder if our street has a combined sewer overflow.

To be quite honest, I've not seen trash, litter or other described pollutants on our street that require such street sweeping...if they exist, the neighbors are really good about picking them up and throwing them away.

http://www.wef.org/NR/rdonlyres/5D5245F5-541D-4DCF-9BFB-57C476EA05A6/0/GuidanceForNineMinimumControls_EPA.pdf

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