Mineral Springs, like any town, will gradually need additional municipal
facilities. Most obvious, of course, is a town hall.
We are pleased to have fulfilled that need in May 2009! Other facilities that
may eventually be required to serve our residents are some sort of community
center, parks, sports fields, and playgrounds. Again, in keeping with your
town council's (and my) philosophy of low taxes and very limited services,
many of these facilities may not be considered until far in the future.
However, we must keep that future in mind as we set our spending priorities,
recognizing that facility costs - especially land prices - will continue to
increase, in many cases faster than the overall rate of inflation. In fact,
that is the primary reason that I continue to support the policy of "land
banking": that is, seeking opportunities to buy land now for
facilities that will need to be developed in the future. It is also one of
the reasons that I believe in not spending town funds on services
that most residents don't want to pay for.
At the time of our incorporation in 1999, I estimated that we would need a town hall in five to ten years. We've done very well on that timeline: just under ten years from our incorporation, we were privileged to move into our recently-completed town hall. We were extremely fortunate to have benefited from the generosity of the fire department: we occupied our temporary office at their building for six pears, and for ten years they allowed us regular use of their meeting room for town functions, occasionally even moving their activities such as firefighter training in order to accommodate us.
As the population, both in Mineral Springs as well as throughout the Springs fire district, increases, the "space crunch" will begin to become more evident. The fire department is expanding their facility to accommodate more meetings, more trainings, more activities, and more equipment. The town could no longer wait; Mineral Springs needed its own facility by mid-2009...and under my leadership, we reached that goal on-time and on-budget. As the UNCC Vision Plan is implemented and our downtown plans evolve, we will have the opportunity to develop even more detailed plans to meet future needs.
Even without building one of the oversized monuments to government waste that some of our neighboring municipalities are considering, we were required to spend over six hundred thousand dollars on land and a building to meet our basic needs, and I feel very strongly that Mineral Springs should not go into debt to build this or any other facility. It is for that reason that I recommend that your town council continue to budget very conservatively, so that we are able to continue to place some funds into savings every year in preparation for meeting these important capital needs without borrowing and without tax increases.