Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

Letters

January 16, 2013

Letter to the editor - Wednesday, Jan. 16, 2013

Peru is improving business climate

I noticed that Wayne Bunker sent a letter to your paper expressing his views about what Peru city government is doing. As famed radio personality Paul Harvey would say, “Now you will hear the rest of the story.”

Property tax collections are a concern in building any municipal budget. That budget is only as good as the total amount of tax collected. Unpaid taxes mean reductions in your budget, and a reduction in budget means reductions in service.

As mayor, I believe it is my job to keep the public informed on the financial status of our community. What Mr. Bunker calls whining, I consider keeping everyone informed.

The City of Peru, like many other communities, has noticed an increase in tax sales. Unfortunately, we have a large number of properties that are purchased in these sales that soon reappear on the sale lists.

There are individuals, or “investors” as Mr. Bunker wants to call them, who purchase property and make no attempt to improve these properties or to pay the taxes due. So they go back on a tax sale, and the cycle continues. The properties continue to deteriorate and, in many cases, end up on our demolition list. Now, it is up to the city to get the building torn down.

In the last quarter of 2012 we spent approximately $150,000 in demolitions. We have another $100,000 appropriated to finish those properties still on our list. These are taxpayer dollars that could be going to help other areas of our community or, if we did not need to use them for demolitions, we could also lower property taxes.

As mayor, I do not feel that the taxpayers of Peru should be responsible for the neglect created by those who wish to be “slum lords.”

Mr. Bunker also mentions “monitoring.” I believe he may be referring to a new plan I am looking to implement. That plan is designed to help reduce the number of properties that get purchased by individuals who have no intent of fixing the problem areas of these homes and let them continue to deteriorate.

This plan would allow for any property that has been placed on a tax sale or commissioners’ sale to be inspected by the building commissioner prior to the sale. The building commissioner would forward his/her finding to the county. The county would then announce the findings of these properties to interested buyers before they bid.

The items on the building commissioner’s report would have to be repaired before a “certificate of occupancy” would be issued. This would reduce the slum lord properties and improve the living conditions of those who rent these properties.

If Mr. Bunker is investing in these properties to help improve the neighborhoods, then he should not have a problem with this. We ask for these inspections on new homes or homes that are being remodeled. Why not these?

The City of Peru is not interfering in business ventures. We are trying to make improvements in the business climate. We are improving the infrastructure, appearance, incentives and quality of life of our community. These are items that any business or industry considers before making a decision on where to locate. If we are to compete in the economic development arena, we must be successful in our improvement efforts. These efforts take time and money to achieve.

If Mr. Bunker believes that making improvements to our community is bad for business, then we will always have a difference of opinion. I believe that making positive change will bring a brighter future. Obviously, Mr. Bunker is satisfied with the way things are.

Jim Walker, Peru mayor

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Letters
  • Letters to the Editor: April 18, 2014

    Attendees at the Tipton County Board of Commissioners meeting April 7 were treated to an appalling lack of both action and concern by the commissioners.

    April 18, 2014

  • Letter to the Editor: April 17, 2014

    On March 20 of this year I attended a public meeting of the Tipton County Economic Development Alliance. Members of this group include the three county commissioners, a member of the county council, two members from the city council, and the mayor.

    April 17, 2014

  • Letters to the Editor: April 16, 2014

    At the time the agenda for the April 7 commissioner meeting came out, I was happy to see that the neglected commissioner board appointments were finally going to be addressed. These appointments had been in limbo for months on end.

    April 16, 2014

  • Letters to the Editor: April 15, 2014

    In a recent “public eye” article written by KT columnist Scott Smith about the proposed industrial wind turbine project; mention was made of the “new deal” brokered by Howard County Commissioners with E.ON.

    April 15, 2014

  • April 14, 2014: Letters to the editor Watch for bicyclists on roadways, drivers When you ride a bike near a semi, there are at least four blind spots where the driver can't see you. We need to be careful when we ride near trucks. If we get hit by a semi, it's usually our fault. But we ne

    April 14, 2014

  • April 13, 2014: Letters to the editor Grade your elected officials, vote May 6 After attending the Tipton County BOC meeting on April 7, I felt compelled to share a few thoughts. I have tried to keep from attacking our local elected officials as much as possible and, instead, attack the

    April 13, 2014

  • April 11, 2014: Letters to the editor Eastern Howard Co. opposes wind farm The majority of people who live in eastern Howard County, including the entire Winger family, do not want wind turbines obstructing our view! We originally signed up with Horizon, thinking it was a win/win proposi

    April 11, 2014

  • April 10, 2014: Letters to the editor 'We have turned our backs on God' In light of the Fort Hood shooting this past week, why are we surprised when Spc. Lopez goes on a shooting rampage? We are quick to blame it all on guns and mental illness, but in reality, there is a deeper cause tha

    April 10, 2014

  • April 9, 2014: Letters to the editor Is America for sale? High court thinks so Today as I watched the news, I became more and more angry over the things that are happening in our judicial system and politics. I am a proud American, born and raised in the heartland. I was raised to belie

    April 9, 2014

  • April 8, 2014: Letters to the editor E-cigarettes pose risk to kids, adults I was very pleased to see the article "Safer cigarette?" that was published April 1. I was particularly happy to see the research quoted in the article bore out what I have already observed in our own community:

    April 8, 2014

Latest news
Featured Ads
Only on our website
AP Video
Raw: More Than 100,000 Gather for Easter Sunday Raw: Greeks Celebrate Easter With "Rocket War" Police Question Captain, Crew on Ferry Disaster Raw: Orthodox Christians Observe Easter Rite Ceremony Marks 19th Anniversary of OKC Bombing Raw: Four French Journalists Freed From Syria Raw: Massive 7.2 Earthquake Rocks Mexico Captain of Sunken SKorean Ferry Arrested Raw: Fire Destroys 3 N.J. Beachfront Homes Raw: Pope Presides Over Good Friday Mass Raw: Space X Launches to Space Station Superheroes Descend on Capitol Mall Man Charged in Kansas City Highway Shootings Obama Awards Navy Football Trophy Anti-semitic Leaflets Posted in Eastern Ukraine Raw: Magnitude-7.2 Earthquake Shakes Mexico City Ceremony at MIT Remembers One of Boston's Finest Raw: Students Hurt in Colo. School Bus Crash Deadly Avalanche Sweeps Slopes of Mount Everest
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Obituaries
Poll
Kelly Lafferty's video on Tom Miller