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Monday, July 28, 2014

July 17, 2011

Posted Monday, July 18, 2011, at 11:51 AM

Tomorrow night is our regularly scheduled city council meeting. There are a number of resolutions and three ordinances to approve or disapprove. The resolutions and ordinances do not appear to be in the least bit controversial. They are all about what I call "housekeeping," the sort of things you have to do to keep the place you live in picked up, straightened up, and in general habitable. I expect they will all receive a unanimous acclamation.

The Dunklin County Library Board has asked to meet with us. I hope, and I believe I am right, that they want to discuss building a new library in Malden. The City of Malden owns the building currently occupied by the Malden Branch of the Dunklin County Library. Malden rents that building to the library for one dollar a year. I believe that the library board would like to have Malden give them the library building. The Dunklin County Library Board could then sell the building and apply the proceeds to the cost of a new building. If that is what they want, I believe we should do it, and we would have that win/win situation everyone talks about. Elize K. Byrd will shout for joy although I can't imagine that classic lady shouting, but she would indicate strong approval.

I intend to attempt to settle the municipal golf course issue. The course is struggling financially. It is a municipal asset of the City of Malden. The cost to build it today is, I am told, about $100,000 to $150,000 a hole. It is a nine hole course. I suggested last month that the city pay off the outstanding debt of the municipal golf course which is roughly $36,000. Malden is legally obligated to pay that money. If Malden removes that burden from the municipal golf course their bottom line improves about $2,500 a month. There was little interest from the city council to do that. The city council approved a budget that contained a $12,000 deficit for the golf course. The difference is $24,000.

We, as a municipality, subsidize many things: the nutrition center $118,000 this year, the community center $30,000 plus, the Bootheel Youth Museum $65,000, the public parks $65,000, and the Malden Board of Public Works gives away about 3% of its revenue. I could go on. Politics is about dividing up the money. Malden is a community fighting to survive as is all of rural America. Our municipal golf course is a weapon in that fight for survival. It is something to show potential prospects who want to live, work, or develop a business in Malden. If you believe Malden has a future either as a bedroom town for larger area communities or as a place for retail sales, then why not save our municipal golf course? If you believe we are slowly loosening that last light bulb as the lights dim on our town then you probably don't see any reason to spend an additional $24,000 to save a $1,000,000 plus asset.

The financial report is as follows:

July 8, 2011Balance $1,307,224.81
Revenues $108,758.10
Expenses $49,062.37
July 15, 2011Balance $1,366,920.54


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