To the Editor: Objects to parks assessment

I cannot in any way support the proposed property assessment. The general terms of the assessment are arbitrary and unsubstantiated. The terms of the agreement are unacceptable. To approve this agreement, I would commit to a contract to pay the city an increasing assessment permanently. There is no sunset clause in the agreement. The agreement is only revocable by a city council that has a vested interest in the continuance of the payments.

Flaws in this proposed assessment:

1. There is no accounting for the amount of money needed to service the bond. When I ask the Parks and Rec. director the cost, his answer was he didn’t know; when I ask for an estimate based on current costs for a $3 million city bond at today’s rates, he had no idea.

2. The list of funds required to maintain and repair facilities is at best inflated. For instance, the estimate for remodeling a kitchen in the Senior Center is $250,000. A union housing construction company can build and sell a two-bedroom, two-bats home, and pay for property in Ridgecrest for $225,000. Why would a kitchen remodel cost $25,000 more?

3. At Freedom Park the estimate for adding a two-stall bathroom near the splash pad is $80,300, and adding a two-stall bathroom at Jackson Park is $190,000 and at Pearson Park $193,000.00. Why the diverse cost for the same installation?

4. At the prospective inflationary increase of 3.5 percent, the assessment would not be $49 annually, but an amount that has increased to $66.81 in 10 years. This doesn’t sound like much over a 10-year period. However, I see no mention of how the annual inflation rate will be determined. At what method will that be determined? In future years without a formula for inflation adjustment, any time the city wished, it could increase that rate.

These are only some of the concerns that need to be addressed before the people of Ridgecrest approve any property assessment on an opened contract. I urge the citizens and property owners of Ridgecrest to soundly reject the proposed assessment.

George T. “Andy” Anderson, CMC U.S. Navy (Ret.)

Story First Published: 2019-03-08