How many of you read “Property Taxes May Rise” (March 2 Sentinel-Press), shook your head and asked yourself, “Where will it end?” We’re being asked to help with a new hospital, there’s a new jail on the horizon and last, but not least, the Prairie Creek Project.
As we’ve seen, we have no leverage onthe hospital issue; we can still voice our opinion with our votes concerning the new jail, so let’s take a good look at the Prairie Creek project. While I’m all for the development of campsites, if the Jackson County Conservation can afford it, I’d like to address the rest of the proposed project.
Modern cabins are being discussed; these have to be furnished and maintained. Will there be onsite management to keep vandals out, do the housekeeping and upkeep necessary after the renters move on and see that the cabins aren’t occupied by unwanted, unpaying guests? Can the Jackson County Conservation fund this or as with everything else, will it somehow be shifted to the taxpayers? Can the Jackson County Conservation patrol this area like it will need to be or will that responsibility become part of our deputies’ and patrol officers’ job? This project must be able to stand on its own with no cost to those of us who are already overburdened with property taxes.
For every gift, there are responsibilities and pitfalls; we need to take a very careful look at everything that is being proposed for Prairie Creek and how it will be cared and paid for. How and who will shoulder the responsibility and maintenance.
Jackson County and Maquoketa have more than our fair share of vandalism; talk to our deputies and ask about the trash and waste left on the north end of the property at Horseshoe Pond camp site. Check in your back issue of this paper and see that tents have been banned from the area for that very reason. Modern cabins are a very bad idea at the time.
If the taxpayers of Maquoketa and Jackson County want their tax dollars spent for the benefit for all, let’s invest more in our streets and roads. It’s almost impossible to drive in this town without hitting potholes, our rural roads are full of lime — not rock — and are a disgrace. Also, most of our water and sewer lines need to be replaced. So, will property taxes rise? What do you think?