LETTER: Palace project would harm city’s taxpayersThe City Council spent thousands of dollars on studies for the “Event Center” a couple of years ago, and the voters overwhelming defeated the “Center” due mainly to a potential property tax increase.
By: Dale Houchin, Mitchell
To the Editor:
According to “Our View” in the Jan. 19 paper, The Daily Republic supports remodeling the Corn Palace.
The City Council spent thousands of dollars on studies for the “Event Center” a couple of years ago, and the voters overwhelming defeated the “Center” due mainly to a potential property tax increase. The 8,000 seat “Event Center” was going to cost $25 million, and this current study is priced at $35 million to remodel and add only 1,000 additional seats.
I can’t believe The Daily Republic and the City Council are naive enough to believe “we the people” are willing to spend that kind of money on a remodel of the Corn Palace. And another expenditure for this past study of $85,000 (our tax dollars), plus $30,000 the Chamber paid, was authorized by the City Council.
You were “especially excited” about the “Corn Tower” observation deck idea with a spiral staircase and glass elevator where the “tourists could enjoy the view and stretch their legs as a break from the road” and to view the city.
This is ludicrous. A friend and I each have a three-story building just south of the Palace and we thought we could go up to our rooftop and wave to anyone in the “Corn Tower.” There is nothing spectacular to view in our city, and that has about as much value as something like that would have ... a black rooftop view.
And in order to have a “green area” would mean closing the businesses west of the Corn Palace, tearing down more buildings and losing the city’s share of the sales tax revenue.
The Corn Palace is free to the tourists, but something of this nature will be very expensive to us, the taxpayer. We have had a tremendous commercial property tax assessment increase this year that resulted in our taxes increasing up to 200 percent.
According to “Our View,” “hope” is the operative word, and then let’s hope the City Council has enough sense to stay out of our pocket, or this project will go the same way the event center went.
The City Council needs to be responsive to our needs and needs to be good stewards of our tax money.