I urge the registers voters of Sidney to vote in favor of the street and fire station levy which will appear on the May 7 ballot.
While no one likes to pay more taxes, the increase over what we are currently paying is minimal. The current street levy, which is set to expire at the end of this year, is set at 0.25 percent.
The proposed 0.30 percent levy, which will begin in January of 2020, is an increase of only 0.05 percent. Put another way, for an individual making $35,000 per year, this increase will amount to just $17.50 per year.
I feel that building a new fire station and improving our streets are necessities, not luxuries. When I drive through other towns and cities, I always notice the conditions of the roads — both good and bad. The condition of the streets and roads helps to shape my opinion about that city. I am sure others do that when they drive through Sidney.
Look at the numbers of new houses that have been built in the northern part of Sidney over the past couple of decades. The further out we build, the longer it takes fire fighters and paramedics to reach their destination. The new fire station will undoubtedly save lives. I don’t think any of us want to put a dollar value on a human life.
This levy will apply to anyone who works in Sidney, whether they live here or not. If they do not live here, they certainly use the streets and have the services of the fire department available to them. Therefore, they should certainly help pay for these services.
I could go on explaining that this levy makes sense from a financial point of view. However, it really boils down to this — It is the right thing to do!
The writer resides in Sidney and is a co-chair of the Street and Safety Committee. This volunteer committee was formed to pass the .30 percent levy, on the May ballot, that will provide permanent funding for street maintenance and for a third Sidney Fire Station.