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Letters to the Editor

Taxpayers of suburbia, awake!

| Thursday, June 17, 2004

In the spirit of "build it and they will come," it now appears that some of the Mt. Lebanon commissioners and school board directors are saying, "we will build a new $11.6 to $13-plus million Aquatic Center regardless of a lack of community input and sound financial strategy and analysis."

It should be noted that the additional costs of the Aquatic Center would add to the taxpayers' current burden. Mt. Lebanon school taxes have increased 25 percent in the last two years.

The proposed Aquatic Center is projected to lose $1 million in operating expenses per year. Additionally, taxpayers will need to cover another $900,000 of annual debt service. The existing Mt. Lebanon Recreation Center with ice rink, pool and community rooms lost $326,000 in 2003 and this figure is projected to increase.

Why does Mt. Lebanon need a 50-meter, cold-water , competitive pool with seating for 1,000 spectators and a four-lane leisure pool with a small fitness center•

Why has there been no Mt. Lebanon staff financial analysis, no coordination with the Mt. Lebanon comprehensive plan, no input from the park advisory board, the planning board, or the traffic board, and no voter referendum, which would allow taxpayers to have a voice in this decision?

I urge our elected officials to take a deep breath, do their homework and not be pressured into a decision that we as taxpayers cannot afford.

Carolyn M. Byham
Mt. Lebanon

The writer was a Mt. Lebanon commissioner from 1982-1990.

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