LETTERS TO THE EDITOR - Taxpayers tapped out; fund pool privately

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Worn out Taxpayers:

My wife and I attended a City Council meeting a few weeks ago. This meeting was an open discussion in regards to the proposed Aquatic Center. Approximately $6 to $7 million is the amount proposed to be funded by the taxpayers.

The U-B on Dec. 20 reported the approximately 120 positions to be eliminated by the Department of Corrections at the penitentiary. This is just one of the many economic downturns we are facing as a town.

We as taxpayers are facing a mandatory overhaul of the sewer system, the water system and the rebuilding of our streets. These increases will be hitting our city bills.

The state and federal financial crisis is just beginning to unfold with no end in sight.

My wife and I are on a fixed income that is rapidly being eliminated. Yet we make more than is allowed to be able to reduce or eliminate the bond issues from our tax burden. When will our town and the special-interest groups realize that most families are on the verge, if not already there, of a financial crisis with little relief in sight?

The choice is clear to us. We have to pay our bills and we have to tighten up again. We are as tight as we can get. Get off the aquatic bandwagon and look at the real world. We the taxpayers are out of money and out of patience.

Look up and down the streets of our town. You will see businesses that are empty and homes for sale and/or for rent. This should be an eye-opener for any citizen of Walla Walla. Some folks feel as if the checkbook never runs out.

If the water park people really feel strongly enough about having an Aquatic Center let them start a fund and raise the money by donations. They will probably find out how much extra money is available from the citizens of Walla Walla, which I predict will be very little.

If this money cannot be raised voluntarily, then what makes it morally right to demand that the taxpayers of this city fund a non-essential project?

The City Council must remember how easily a city can become financially unstable over a very short period of time. The water, sewer and street projects are ahead of us and these must be repaired, we do not have a choice.

William "Bill" Whipple

Walla Walla

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