To the Editor:
Many residents in O’Fallon think the city is still considering selling the water system even though the city council voted not to sell the system in February.
The city is NOT SELLING the water system.
It is only considering a lease of the management of the system so non-tax revenue can be used to pay for the $50-80 million in needed improvements to our city including expanding Green Mount Road and mine remediation for the new St. Elizabeth’s Hospital, downtown revitalization and parking and completion of the Master Plan for the parks.
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A lease could bring in a minimum of $50 million to help pay for these improvements, which means that the city would not have to consider raising taxes. A lease means the city keeps ownership of the water system and is able to leverage this valuable asset to bring in additional revenue to the city without borrowing or raising sales or property taxes.
A lease of the management of the operations is a very smart move by the city. Basically, it is like renting a house that you already own. You are able to bring in extra money from the rent and still maintain the property, control the property and benefit from any future improvement to the property.
On April 7, voters should vote YES twice to let the city council know we want them to consider a lease and not raise taxes. It makes sense.