Letter: Street levy funds could be used for a new roundabout

To the Editor:

During the Dec. 7, 2021 Piqua City Commission meeting the topic of another roundabout was discussed for the 25A/Looney Rd. This intersection was just redesigned, updated, and completed not too long ago.

Grant money was applied for and some received for the purpose of initiating another roundabout. Recently, a street levy was passed with the desires of taxpayers to have their much needed repair work done to their city’s streets. Now, we learn that those funds could be used for a new roundabout and work on the bikeway.

City Commissioner Grissom stated during that meeting that he had been through that intersection and did not see an issue. City Commissioner Hinds, who was mayor at the time of the construction of the Garbry Rd./Looney Rd. roundabout when the need for that construction was questioned, said that there wasn’t a problem with the intersection but the school had said that there was congestion during the time students were exiting or entering the school. Therefore, there most likely was increased traffic for about 20 minutes during the day when students were entering or exiting school.

This intersection was just updated at a cost to the taxpayers. It was recognized that the intersection poses no long-term or pertinent issues. The cost to the taxpayers would be $885,000 barring unexpected costs and maintenance to the roundabout in perpetuity. This money would come from the street levy that the taxpayers thought was going toward fixing their streets.

How much did the roundabout to nowhere on Garbry Rd./Looney Rd. cost the taxpayers? Has anyone taken a traffic count recently to see how many cars use that location? How many city streets can you repair and resurface for $885,000?

Some city commissioners start salivating when they hear the words “grant money.” Grant money is not free money. There are costs, responsibilities, and long-term obligations connected with project grant money. The maintenance on those projects, lasting far into the future, are at taxpayers’ expense. We need fiscally responsible commissioners who understand that there are costs and trade-offs with grant money and it could be tying the taxpayers down for long-term costs and commitments.

— Terry D. Wright

Piqua