To the Editor:
Re: Sept. 9 editorial “Killeen council must put plans in perspective”.
Kudos to KDH for coverage of the city’s FY ’19 budget. Citizen awareness and input are vital for a democracy.
My comments are directed specifically at the sewer issue. Your example of the $25,000 repair job is the RETAIL cost to a citizen. These costs are extreme, because citizens generally don’t own backhoes nor pickups with trailers to haul them around. And, of course, citizens don’t keep crews on the payroll to perform sewer repairs.
These jobs also require cutting concrete/ asphalt, excavation, and backfill of sizable areas according to strict city specifications.
Then, the citizen is responsible for repaving. Finally, there’s the issue of profit. All of these factors drive up costs for the property owner.
The city already has the equipment and personnel to do this job. True, some augmentation may be necessary, but the reference to millions of dollars for repairs annually is unfounded.
Discussions with city staff indicate that repair costs can be markedly lowered compared to those in the retail sector.
Many neighboring cities, large and small, have taken over such repairs.
Property owners pay thousands of dollars in taxes year after year. It’s time for Killeen to drop this ARCHAIC practice based on an 1862 law when there were no cars, much less paved streets and sidewalks.
Please note, regarding the “shortage of money” excuse, the city recently transferred $5 million in unspent FY ’18 revenue from the water and sewer fund to future capital improvement projects.
So much for that argument!