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Recent city decisions seem to make little sense

Some of the recent decisions from our Grass Valley City Council are making me question what their vision for the average citizen is.

We recently had a huge increase in our sewer and water fees that will probably double my bill. When I sell my house, I have to install an anti-siphon valve on my sewer line to stop the city sewer from coming into my house in case of a line blockage.

Now they want us to approve a sales tax increase of 1Ú2 percent to pay for a new freeway interchange. I question if the sales tax increase strategy will work in the time frame that most planners think it will take.



Will people still buy their big-ticket items locally with the increased sales tax? The state may increase the sales tax by one cent in November to balance the state budget.

If this were a football game, the city would get a penalty for piling on. We have gas prices going through the roof, health care costs rising at twice the rate of inflation, and don’t forget the housing market problems.




The cost of living in Grass Valley is rising too fast and is too painful. Not being a business owner, I can only imagine their pain.

I doubt that I can afford to live here when I retire.

These cumulative factors will have a huge negative effect on our city.

If Loma Rica is built, what demographic group could afford to live there?

Young families are moving out as evidenced by the Grass Valley School District’s decreasing enrollment. Traffic on Highway 49 going to Interstate 80 has increased dramatically as there are fewer good-paying jobs here. The next group to leave will be senior citizens on fixed incomes.

I am puzzled as to what the long-term vision is for the citizens of our fair city. Do we really need a $34 million five- lane road and bridge at Dorsey Drive large enough to accommodate future growth? We can get by with something smaller and cheaper and have the developer fees expand the interchange later by using a phased construction model.

For the water and sewer problem, we could have had a small fee increase to take care of the operating budget deficit.

To tackle the improvement and infrastructure portion, we could have sold bonds after a successful land-owner election.

We could have a 1Ú4 percent sales tax increase to pay for a smaller Dorsey Road Inter-change to build Phase 1 of this project.

Installing an anti-siphon valve is a good idea, but is now the right time for this in light of the economy here?

There are plenty of good ideas, but we need to pace ourselves and prioritize our needs. The city has a hiring freeze in place – what makes them think that all is okay with my finances?

Our city leaders need to come up with less-painful solutions to our problems. I don’t feel that these solutions have been thought out with the average citizen’s pain in mind. These are less painful solutions off the top of head to our cities problems; I would hope our city leaders and staff could do better than I.

Gary Smith is a 54-year-old Grass Valley homeowner who has lived in Grass Valley for 17 years.


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