City faces key funding decisions

Published 7:22 pm Friday, July 9, 2010

Troy leaders sit at a key juncture in the city’s opportunity for growth.

With Mayor Jimmy Lunsford reworking and developing an expense plan for long-range projects, city officials have the opportunity to review investments in some key improvements into our city, namely a new library; additional street and infrastructure repairs; funding for Troy Regional Medical Center; and the funding of a new Pike Animal Shelter.

While the mayor is hesitant to reveal much of his plan before taking it to the council, it’s clear that each of these projects are on the table for consideration. Some, such as funding for the once-again city owned hospital, are items which must be addressed. Others, such as operational funding for a much needed Pike Animal Shelter, are items which should be addressed, since they are important to the overall quality of life of our community.

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The new library structure, which will cost about $4.5 million, has been discussed for several years. It’s need is not in question, but it’s funding is still in limbo.

And as residents, we only can urge our city council members to give serious consideration to investing in the long-term future of our city. Spending tax dollars is never an easy decision, but investing wisely in infrastructure, health care and much-needed services is important and necessary.

Funding of the hospital will be a major component of the plan, and taxpayers ultimately will have to decide if they want to fund the operations through an additional tax or through tapping a reserve fund. Either way, we must choose to invest in keeping our health care facility open and staffed at a competitive level.

We commend the city officials for stepping back and taking time to make decisions based on the long-ranging impact of the decisions they will make today.