I enjoyed reading Ms. Douglas's guest column. I am not as eloquent of a writer, but I feel like I should try to respond to a couple of things in the column.
First thing, I wonder why she wrote about her water. Maybe she should have her well tested. She is not on City water. Our water is tested monthly. And several years ago, St. Anthony City water was found to be the best tasting water in the United States.
I appreciate her shopping in St. Anthony and I am sure all the local businesses appreciate it. I encourage everyone to shop local, even the City. Whenever we can, we keep our business here in St. Anthony. And guess what, everything you said you paid for, so did I and anyone else who shopped in town. And I would assume, would have to pay for it, even if we went outside of town.
As for paying a 150% utility rate compared to City residents, it is allowed by law and is to help offset the impact of non-residents using our utilities and utility infrastructure (which were and are paid for by City residents). When you are annexed, your rates will go down to the “normal rate”.
Some other things that you enjoy the benefits of that were and are paid for by City residents are:
1) The city, with a minimal contribution from the County, rebuilt S 12th W, both sides, not just the City side.
2) If the county hasn't plowed by the time our plows reach S 12th W, we plow both sides, not just the City side.
3) Our police department responds to calls on both sides of S 12th W, not just the City Side.
And just so everyone remembers, City residents are also County residents and we pay county taxes.
The way you use your land will not change. Your use is grandfathered in regardless of your zoning. The City is not interested in changing how you use your land and has no intention of trying.
I understand not wanting your taxes to go up, I don't like mine to go up either. However, I also enjoy the services that my taxes pay for and I do not want to do without them. And when you are annexed, you can vote and run for office. And I would encourage you and every citizen to get involved.
I want to close with a quote that I found from Edward T McMahon: “Growth is inevitable and desirable, but the destruction of community character is not. The question is not whether your parts of world is going to change. The question is how.”
-Donald Powell, Mayor of St. Anthony.