In the Know column: Share your ideas for Alexandria's budget
The City Council is beginning the process of developing the five-year capital improvement plan. The CIP identifies large, long-term expenditures such as road repairs and maintenance, park improvements and equipment purchases.
By Bobbie Osterberg, Alexandria Mayor
Happy Independence Day! Do you feel more independent this year than last? So good to see our summer visitors back in town. Alexandria is bustling with activity. And I’m seeing lots of smiles around town. The summer events kicked off with the State Trap Shooting Competition and Band Festival this past week. There is much to be grateful for and celebrate.
The City Council is beginning the process of developing the five-year capital improvement plan. The CIP identifies large, long-term expenditures such as road repairs and maintenance, park improvements and equipment purchases. It is an opportunity to dream a little. The council welcomes your thoughts and dreams for Alexandria. Input from the public was a factor in approving the building of the pickleball courts at City Park and replacing and repairing residential sidewalks. Large and long-term equipment purchases include the replacement of the aerial and rescue units for the fire department. These planned purchases remove the “surprise-factor” and ensure public safety. Delivery of this equipment can take up to one year after it has been ordered. The cost for these trucks will be around $1.9 million with an expected life of 25 years. Please consider this opportunity to get engaged in your community. Send your thoughts in an email firstname.lastname@example.org
The CIP is just one part of the city’s annual budget. Alexandria is required to have a balanced, preliminary operating budget, approved by the council, no later than the second meeting in September. Building the 2022 budget is well underway and a balancing act to say the least. This is another great and simple way to get engaged in your community. Send us an email. We all know that not every good idea can be funded or implemented but the council would like to hear from you.
Community beautification is a citizen-driven initiative gaining momentum. Members of Alexandria’s arts and retail groups have gotten engaged to share their ideas and energy. Let’s say you just don’t know what might pop-up around town. The council spends much of its time making decisions on matters of math and science. Considering citizen-led art initiatives will be a much-welcome breath of fresh air.
Now a message from this human to all the humans reading this column. I have often said, “These past months have given each of us a great big serving of opportunity.” And with that has come grace. Human pain and suffering, regardless of its extent or kind, is a real attention-getter and catalyst of grace. It is humbling. Yes, it is amazing grace. Graces are those undeserved, unearned, unexpected gifts we get when interacting with one another. The gift of listening for the sake of listening rather than listening for the sake of preparing a response. The gift of random acts of kindness. The gift of a message from another human when you need to be encouraged, inspired, affirmed or held accountable. An offer to help when help is needed. Identify the graces in this day, step back and say WOW, then pay it forward.
P.S. I highly recommend the Wikipedia version (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amazing_Grace) of the story of John Newton (1725-1807), the man who wrote the words for Amazing Grace.
Be safe! Don’t litter.
Bobbie Osterberg is the mayor of Alexandria. " In the Know" is a rotating column written by community leaders from the Douglas County area.