Whether you’re cruising social media, enjoying coffee with friends, or taking in the local news, you’ll often hear people questioning how their local tax dollars are being used. It’s a fair question. After all – you work hard for your money!
For every taxable dollar spent in Pierre, the City gets two pennies. Here’s how we’ve been making those two pennies work hard for you.
In the last month or so, the Pierre Police Department has responded to more than 900 calls for service. Those calls for help include everything from mental health assistance, to felony drug arrests, to missing person reports. The Department also has officers full-time at both Riggs High School and Georgia Morse Middle School to manage issues that arise in the schools and provide education on a number of safety topics.
Our Fire Department has been called out nearly 30 times since Aug. 1. Between fire, water rescue, and car crash calls, the Department has managed to complete more than 160 training hours. It’s those training hours, in part, that help keep your property insurance down. You see, when the Department is strong, it buoys the insurance companies’ confidence in the Department’s ability to save property. Consequently, it helps contain your insurance rates.
Quality Of Life
Quality of life items often go overlooked, but the constant maintenance of our trails, green space and sports fields keep this community inviting. Since the beginning of August, the City crews have rehabbed a portion of the Lewis and Clark walking trail, and prepped the golf course, parks and other sports complexes for dozens of school and adult teams. We have sprayed for mosquitos to protect people from West Nile, replaced the sand filters at our indoor pool, and are replacing the HVAC unit at the City-owned Aquatics Center. In any given month, we have more than 11-thousand people visit our public library and lend out more than 14,000 different materials.
In the utilities world, in the last month, your tax dollars have paid for the resurfacing of two public parking lots, approximately 1,000 feet of new water main, 20 blocks of street rehabilitation, new underground utilities and the rebuilding of Sully and Wells Ave. We’ve also installed a new drainage solution on Church St., installed more than 2,000 feet of curb and gutter, and continue to fix the broken sanitary sewer lines in Griffin Park. The Electric Department has been busy too. But tax dollars don’t pay for that work–utility bills do.
I agree that it’s important for the public to know how its money is being spent. If you have questions, I encourage you to watch the City Commission meetings or to contact us directly. After all, we are here to serve you!