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Why the change?

July 12, 2012
Messenger News

To the editor:

On Jan. 20, 1961, during John F. Kennedy's inaugural address, he said "Ask not what your country can do for you - ask what you can do for your country." Breaking this statement down to the local level, he might have said, "Ask not what your city can do for you - ask what you can do for your city. "

I can't help but think during the 1960s, the residents of Fort Dodge supported our community better financially than what we see today?

Case in point - in 1965, we purchased our first home at 1247 N. 25th St. In 1966, the city decided to replace the asphalt street, between Fort Dodge Senior High and Cooper Elementary with 6-inch concrete pavement. These two blocks were ordered by the City Council, not by petition of the residents. There were no objections of this project on file at the Oct. 18, 1966, public hearing. The project, SA-2-66 was completed by Aug. 8, 1967. The interesting point was 57.9 percent of the total project costs were paid by special assessment to the homeowners. The 40 to 50 homeowners of these two blocks benefited the most from these improvements and were willing to share the costs. Forty-five years later, these two blocks are still in good condition.

Why the change? Today it seems many homeowners have the philosophy: "Ask not what you can do to help the country (city) - ask what the country (city) can do for me!" Who benefits the most from the new street/sidewalk, storm sewer, etc.? The adjacent property owners and we feel they should also be assessed a portion of these costs.

Jan and Phyllis Wilson

Fort Dodge



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