To the editor:
Each year I make it a point to review the proposed budget to see where my tax dollars are going, and each year this exercise raises the same question for me; “What is the train station parking lot really worth to the village?” One would think that in reviewing the village budget this simple question could be answered, but it cannot.
In order to determine what the train station parking lot is really worth to the village, we need to calculate its net annual profit or loss by subtracting its expenses from its revenues. This seems like a very easy calculation since the village budget is made up of two main components; revenues and expenses.
Unfortunately the village budget only isolates the revenue side of the train station parking lot equation. Its expenses are spread throughout a variety of expense appropriations making it impossible to calculate its net profit or loss.
I would argue that the operation of the train station parking lot carries significant expense to the village in the form of but not limited to:
We really need to take apportionments of these expense appropriations applicable to the operation of the train station parking lot and finally understand the true benefit of the village being in the parking lot operation business.
Some may argue this is a daunting exercise that in the end cannot be accomplished accurately. To those I say how do we do it for the Water and Sewer fund in the village budget each year.
How can we make any intelligent decisions about future expenditures regarding the train station parking lot without being able to compute the return on investment?
Let this serve as a challenge to our newly elected village board to finally determine “What is the train station parking lot really worth to the village.”
— Kieran Murray