Goshen News, Goshen, IN

Letters to the Editor

October 18, 2012

Trees have an economic impact

The City of Goshen, and many other cities, are facing a lack of or a reduction in revenue and the need to reduce spending. A reduction in spending leads to hard choices in deciding what services are most important and/or essential to the functioning of a city.

One issues citizens of Goshen are currently facing is to either pay a $5 monthly trash fee or to cut funding for employees and/or programs. One suggested plan of action, presented to Mayor Kauffman, is to cut the funding for six or seven employee positions and two programs. Two of the positions proposed for elimination are the city forester and a vacant park maintenance position. This concerns me because the benefits provided by the trees of our urban forest are greater than the money we would save by cutting these two positions. For example one tree provides an average benefit of $87.71 in the reduction of stormwater runoff and the improvement of property values to name a few.

The potential savings to the City, if the proposed cuts are implemented, would be between $234,500 to $249,500, but the net benefit the City receives from its public trees is $833,231 annually. Are we willing to cut positions and funding for short-term gain or are we willing to pay a bit more for long-term quality of life? Park Superintendent Sheri Howland said if the city forester position is cut, there’s no one to take care of the trees. If we begin to lose our public trees due to lack of care, the monetary benefits provided by our public trees will be transferred to the city increasing the budget constraints we already face.

I would gladly pay a monthly trash fee to ensure the quality of life we currently enjoy as citizens of Goshen.

— Jason Kauffman

Goshen


 

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