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Friday, Dec. 19, 2014

September 19, 2012

Posted Tuesday, September 18, 2012, at 11:23 AM

I attended a very moving ceremony on September 11th organized by our local AmeriCorps Volunteers. The ceremony was held at the Wall of Honor created by the Malden Army Airfield Preservation Society. The Malden Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps Color Guard presented the colors, a prayer was offered, and all those present held lit candles in memory of those who died on September 11th, 2001. Luminaries, which are balloons powered by flame, were launched and they made a brilliant glow as they drifted off toward Bernie. People want to remember that awful day as an earlier generation of Americans said; "Remember Pearl Harbor!" The attack on Pearl Harbor occurred four years before I was born, but I grew up in Malden listening to the stories of those in our town who remembered it well and the enormous impact it had on our town and our country. The numbers 9-11- 2001 have just as much meaning and as large an impact on the present as 12-7-1941 had in our past. The combination on the vault that I had access to when I was in the U.S. Army was 12-7-41. I asked my Command Sergeant Major on Pearl Harbor Day where he was when Pearl Harbor was attacked and he answered, "Under a bunk at Schofield Barracks dodging Japanese machine gun bullets." The military has never forgotten Pearl Harbor and we as a people have burned in our minds the image of the World Trade Center Towers collapsing.

We held a city council meeting last Monday and spend a significant amount of your money. We voted to buy a new fire truck for about $240,000. Our hope is to continually upgrade the fire department and reduce Malden's fire insurance rating class which will save us all a lot of money on insurance.

This past Friday I signed a number of documents, most of which were copies, to complete the financing of Malden's new wastewater treatment plant. The City of Malden acting through the Malden Board of Public Works borrowed around $1,500,000. The cost of the project is estimated to be $2,000,000. If all goes as the contract says then the Dunklin County Sewer District will pay as its share of the cost around $200,000.

The common thread running through both proposed projects is that the interest rate charged by the lender for the fire truck and the sewer plant was a low as we will probably ever see. The City of Malden is borrowing the money at 3%. I can remember when interest rates in the early 1980s were north of 20%. It's never a good idea to borrow money if you can avoid it, especially when it is the public's money that will pay it back. The city council and the BPW have, I believe, been very prudent with the public's money. The fire truck will be paid out of the roughly $130,000 generated by the 1/4 cent sales tax approved by the Malden voters this past April. The sewer treatment plant payments will "cash flow" (irresistible) from the funds collected from users of the Malden sewer system.

There was one person present at the last BPW meeting that did not have to be there and there were three present at the city council meeting. All in all, at the two meetings there was about $1,800,000 of your money spent. I have said many times that we will spend your money wisely or foolishly depending on your point of view. Please join us and let us know your point of view.

The financial report is as follows:

September 7, 2012Balance $1,306,182.01
Revenues $176,383.49
Expenses $118,893.23
September 14, 2012Balance $1,363,672.27


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