Goshen News, Goshen, IN

Letters to the Editor

April 24, 2014

LETTERS FOR APRIL 24, 2014: LaCasa rate reduction a big and symbolic step

LaCasa ratereduction a bigand symbolic step

While an ordinance allowing urban chickens was the Goshen City Council action dominating headlines after our April 15 meeting, another action by the council was far more significant: a renegotiated interest rate on the $500,000 loan LaCasa borrows from the city. LaCasa had been paying 3.5 percent, but the agreement requires annual negotiations on the interest rate. In the past, some of us supported the notion that the lower interest rate we charged LaCasa, the more money they would have to restore blighted properties.

Councilwoman Dixie Robinson, who represents the north side of Goshen, said she supports LaCasa because of all the properties they have restored in her district. She also did some research before our meeting to show that the more houses LaCasa fixes up, the more property taxes accrue to the city. She cited a derelict house on Crescent Street that was assessed only $266 in property taxes in 2010. After LaCasa restored it, $1,642 in property taxes were collected in 2012.

According to Clerk-Treasurer Tina Bontrager, the city of Goshen currently earns .14 percent on our money market account. That’s 14 percent of 1 percent. LaCasa came to the meeting on April 15 asking us to lower the rate from 3.5 percent to 2 percent. Instead we lowered it to 1 percent above the floating rate earned on city deposits.

I am grateful that five members of the council, including at-large representative Brett Weddell, who wanted 2 percent above the floating rate, voted to support LaCasa with the 1 percent rate. Finally, it feels like our City Council sees LaCasa as an important partner in rebuilding blighted neighborhoods.

— Everett Thomas

Goshen City Council

Fifth District

Nevada rancher fights for our freedoms

When the employees of the Bureau of Land Management decided to pick on Nevada cattle rancher, Cliven Bundy, apparently, they didn’t know what they were getting themselves into. Mr. Bundy is not your typical American (i.e., sheeple). No, he’s actually read the U.S. Constitution, and understands what his rights are under the law.

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Three Goshen elementary schools — Chandler, Chamberlain and West Goshen — are providing free meals to all students during the school year as part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Community Eligibility Provision of the Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010. Nearly 80 percent of students at Chandler, 89 percent of students at Chamberlain and 78 percent of students at West Goshen already qualify for free or reduced-price lunches based on their family income. How do you feel about the new lunch program?

I think it’s a good idea to feed all the students free of charge
I think those who can afford it should pay for their school meals
I think all students should be required to pay for their school meals
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