I was reading about the Greater Belleville Chamber of Commerce's wish list for road projects. I can certainly understand the Chamber's interests and concerns, but it seems that funding is a problem, as it is with any mismanaged government project, unless the taxpayers are willing to pay more taxes. Where is the budget item for street maintenance, and replacement, as every city should have? Where is the city's portion of the gasoline tax? This is supposed to be shared by the state.
In observing the present condition of the existing streets and roads in and around Belleville, I think it would be wise to think about doing some maintenance on the existing streets. A simple maintenance project would be to raise the manholes and drop inlet grates. Cars weave back and forth, trying to miss these obstacles, as well as the other "pot holes." Better solve the combined sewer, storm drain problem, before adding to a bad situation. Where has the money gone?
Mr. Ellerbrake's comment on expansion is common sense. Why duplicate businesses that already exist, as there is just so much money to spend. If the city wants to expand, get an industry that provides jobs, which in turn provides extra money to spend.
TIFs are not the answer, they just divert taxpayer funds. If a private development or business is profitable, then the owners can pay for it, as the taxpayers do not share in the profits. The city already has enough problems due to the lack of planning and budgeting.