The GrenadaStar requested public information from the City of Grenada on Feb. 21, 2013. In a letter dated March 8, City Clerk Lois Freelon responded to the newspaper’s request.
Presented on the opposite page are the original letter and a synopsis of the city’s response.
If the city’s response is an accurate indicator of the city’s accounting, we are gravely disappointed in the city’s lack of businesslike awareness of how the city council spends our tax dollars.
According to the information sent to us, the city does not itemize department and operational expenses in anything similar to a businesslike manner.
If we missed (or misinterpreted) any significant information in the city’s 50-page response, most of which was merely a copy of a multi-purpose center “feasibility” study presented by an architect, we urge the mayor or any member of the city council to immediately send us a written clarification.
Senior Citizens Complex
We asked for a simple accounting of the expenses of the Lewis Johnson Senior Citizens Complex. The city sent us a copy of the entire 2013 proposed budget -- $9.7 million. Does that mean our city council has no idea what it costs to run the facility? What kind of folks do we have in charge of our city?
Senior Citizens’ Bus
We asked how much the city taxpayers pay for the new bus running around town soliciting riders. (The sign on the bus says “For Rides call 229-9936.) Taxpayers are told it is contracted out, but the city did not state the cost of the contract and did not provide a copy of the minutes, as requested.
Not much usable information provided there, except for the exorbitant estimated cost. No clue as to where the money will come from, or what the operating expenses will be to taxpayer.
Dogwoods Golf Course
As we interpret the budget prediction presented there, The Dogwoods will make a profit of $259,004 in FY 2013 -- $775,884 revenue, less $516,880. If that is correct, surely they can repair the sand traps this spring.
Highway 51 North
We are glad there is no city money involved in the Highway 51 North project.
It is, in our opinion, a mammoth waste of taxpayer money.
More Information Needed
We have sent another FOI requesting the city to give us the amount of the contract with North Central Planning and Development District Area Agency and a copy of all third party contracts. (See city’s reference to NCPDDAA in section 2.e. on the opposite page.)
We have also filed an FOI with North Central Planning and Development District Area Agency for a copy of all contracts with the City of Grenada and the Grenada County.
Council Action Needed
We urge the mayor or any member of the Grenada City Council to take action, also.
The City Council needs to take immediate steps to institute a suitable cost-accounting system by which the council can know how much each facet of the city is costing taxpayers.
Can’t one city leader be bold enough to step forward?