Welcome to Tri-Cities Talk—a new feature in which we ask our Facebook fans to share their views on current issues facing Geneva, Batavia and St. Charles.
Every week, we get the conversation started by taking a look back at a question we asked the Tri-Cities community the week before on local Patch Facebook pages.
We've heard complaints from residents of all three towns about the level of local property taxes. That brings us to this week's question.
What can be done to hold the line on property taxes in the Tri-Cities? Where could cuts be made locally to reduce them?
Take a look at what people had to say and join the conversation in the comments section.
Florence Runquist: street cleaning. it was 2 times a week last summer. it must cost a lot to run that sweeper. — Batavia Patch Facebook
Jo Dennis: Cut the publicly-funded pensions and make government employees save their own money like private citizens. Stop wasting money on buying land and a bigger library that less and less people utilize. — Geneva Patch Facebook
Andrea Ahlsen: Stop unnecessary construction that lasts the roads for only part of the year. it slows down traffic and productivity. — St. Charles Patch Facebook
Elizabeth Bohler Thompson: Cut the frills or anything that can be lived without. I want the Batavia we had in 1950! — Batavia Patch Facebook
Amy Burford: Maybe they should reach out to suburbs in other states to find out where we are out of whack. A friend of mine owns with a mortgage $100k over mine in an Atlanta suburb and he pays $1000 less a month due to taxes. — Geneva Patch Facebook
Frank: Where could St. Charles cut $? New schools is one sore spot. I was on the building committee for Hosanna! and we built a huge building with some advanced energy-saving features for $6.5MM. We couldn't have afforded to build the old bldg at Crane/Randall with the $ available because of brick and glue-lam beams, so we rethought things and ended up with a nice-looking church about twice the square footage at Red Gate/Randall as the previous building. Today's schools have the team logo in inlaid tiles in the floor, brick exteriors, pools, etc.--many over-the-top building features. The architects say "here's the building you need" and school board just taps consumers to pay the bill. There's no oversight to beat prices down, no taxpayer advocates. With some dedicated individuals working together they could cut the cost of buildings by half or more. There are other things I could guess at but that's a concrete example of how to save some very serious $. — St. Charles Patch Facebook
Ann Landreth-Heath: How about the multi million dollar "make the street look pretty" projects we are doing? — Batavia Patch Facebook
Dan Kernler: How much of those street projects are local money? It seems like at least a debatable point whether those expenditures add value to the city. Not an obvious cut, IMO. Yes, taxes are high, but we have great schools (the bulk of property tax bills), a great library, excellent park programs, good streets and sidewalks. I haven't seen many expenditures that seem way out of line. — Batavia Patch Facebook
Laura Felvey: Great schools is a debatable point. School administration expenditures are way out of line. Teachers are over worked and under paid while quite a few of the administrators are high paid empty bobble heads. — Batavia Patch Facebook