Inside Looking In


Well, I have been in office for some two months and I was told things would look much different from the inside. And guess what? It is different. Some of my observations are that the city staff is made up of very dedicated and career professionals. I have been very impressed by their caliber and loyalty to the city and their work ethic.

And while I am concerned about the money we spend, I did take several days going over last years budget and audit. I also had several conversations with the company that audited our books and they left me with the impression of overall confidence in our revenue and spending positions. If you compare Washington to other comparable sized cities, we are above average in the amounts we keep in our reserves. There were some minor procedural accounting comments, but nothing that would rise to the level of concern.

Highway 100 to I44 widening will cost us some 20 million and place considerable debt burden on the community for the next decade or so, but the lending terms were good and east of town is where our growth is projected. The expansion, while expensive, will well position Washington for future growth.

The new water treatment plant will also cost us some 20 million, but again this is an example of true municipal infrastructure – something we simply must have going forward. There is some concern about possible cost overruns, but nothing concrete of yet.

I was surprised to learn that our $6.5 million dollar “regional” airport is now considered an “infrastructure” improvement and should not be required to carry its own weight, financially. Somehow I still don’t get the connection between true infrastructure improvements that citizens actually use (like roads and water treatment) and the airport, but I will keep trying to see the light.

in·fra·struc·ture [in-fruh-struhk-cher] –noun

. the fundamental facilities and systems serving a country, city, or area, as transportation and communication systems, power plants, and schools.

Ignoring the airport issue, I am impressed with the general direction the city of Washington has charted for our future and the current financial health of our fine city.

Guy W. Midkiff

Published in: on June 10, 2008 at 9:21 pm  Leave a Comment  

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