Storm cleanup cost
Some figures are in on the cleanup cost and some checks that have been written. Looks Great Service were paid $182,951.55, Go Box paid $131,492.40, Debris Tech paid $159,613.00, J5 paid $40,221.00, City of Columbus paid $15,602.21, CL&.W Dept. paid $6,874.42.
All this information was on the docket at the past council’s meeting. That’s a total of $536,754.58. With borrowing $5 million in installments of $500,000, looks to me the city is coming up short or as the case is, has overspent the first draw. But let’s not nit pick. Business as usual for our fair city. No accountability in our city’s finances.
Oh! By the way on a Facebook post Mr. Edwards of J5 stated on April 23, 2019, “J5 would aid in the tornado relief without compensation and decline contract monies from the city of Columbus.” This can be verified on J5’s Facebook page. Must have had a change of mind. Information that I have been given, all the hours that J5 said they spend on the paperwork for FEMA is a little misleading. It is my understanding FEMA will assist on the necessary paperwork at no cost. After all, we paid at lot to Debris Tech for overseeing and monitoring.
I have a hard time believing all the years prior to 2013 the city operated without a firm to oversee the overseeing. To date the city has paid J5 $834,174.55 to oversee. Just one point comes to mind. Months ago the city had a $880,000 deficit. Maybe J5 wasn’t such a bargain for all the overseeing. Just a thought.
Now a tax increase has been planned to pay on debt service for the city, and the city has a surplus due to budget cuts. But the city’s streets, drainage and general maintenance is suffering due to these cuts. Our police and fire department also have a personnel shortage that the city leaders aren’t talking about So, where do we really stand?
I attended the budget meeting last week and another was planned for this Thursday at 4pm. I found the time was changed after I arrive at 4pm. The change was posted on the door at the Municipal Complex. This is perfectly legal, but a little underhanded not giving any public notice. Transparency and open government is not in our fair city. There is supposed to be an announcement in the paper for the tax increase public hearing, watch for it. I made an error in a past letter as to the charges of attorneys and bond/loan underwriters. I said 10 percent, it is one percent. So one percent of $5 million is $50,000. Still good money for paper work for the city to borrow money.
God bless America and Columbus.
Lee Roy Lollar
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