By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support local journalism.
The Scoop - Crunching Civic Center numbers
Allow me to correct a mistake in my last column that's been brought to my attention by many readers.
In writing about problems on Smithville Highway and all the damage that was inflicted on vehicles during recent road construction, I mistakenly said a lady was upset because her car was damaged and she still owes $150,000 on it.
In actuality, her car was damaged, but she only owes $15,000 on it. I tossed in an extra zero and didn't catch the error. That's what can happen when you're the only proofreader at the newspaper. There's no handy backup to catch my mistakes.
So I hope that clarifies things, although I find it much more interesting to think about what kind of vehicle the lady was driving that cost $150,000.
With that error in mind, I'm going to pay extra close attention to details and numbers for this column about McMinnville Civic Center renovation. If you've been reading the Southern Standard lately, and I think everyone should, you know city officials are determined to barrel ahead with a $10 million renovation to our Civic Center.
I'm excited about the upcoming project and hope it gets more folks to exercise. I think one of our main problems is we've become overweight as a society and that leads to higher risks for cancer, heart attack, diabetes and more. Then we wonder why our health insurance costs so much and we cry for the government to do something about it.
I do think the city is doing residents a disservice by spending $10 million and not including an indoor pool, but I feel like I'm beating a dead dog with that comment.
In looking at the figures if the city borrows $10 million over 20 years as discussed, and gets a 4 percent fixed interest rate, the city will actually pay $4.5 million in interest over the life of the loan.
So we should think of this not as a $10 million project, but as a $14.5 million renovation because that's how much city taxpayers will pay. If you break down the numbers more, city taxpayers will have to pay $60,000 a month, which is nearly $2,000 every single day, for this Civic Center renovation.
If you think that's a mountain of money, you're right. It's enough to give every McMinnville household $2,000 and still have $3 million left over, based on U.S. Census data that shows 5,611 households in the city.
All that being said, I'm still for Civic Center renovation because I like nice facilities and I want to encourage exercise as much as possible. I believe the city should greatly scale back this project to cost much less, but that's just my input.
There figures to be input other than mine as one requirement for the city to borrow $10 million is a 20-day protest period. I've already heard from one city resident that he plans to circulate a petition and challenge this project during the protest period.
We'll have to see what takes place as the city moves forward with its largest financial project in my memory.
Standard editor James Clark can be reached at 473-2191.