Spending green to go green
POSTED: Monday, March 1, 2010 - 7:47pm
UPDATED: Thursday, April 22, 2010 - 10:40am
TYLER-We recently received an e-mail from a viewer who says he's frustrated with the city of Tyler's spending habits. The city is planning to spend $130,000 they got from a state grant on a sign on the outskirts of town. But is this kind of spending appropriate in these tough economic times?
Many East Texans say blowing $130,000 on a pretty sign is just plain ludacris in this economy. Back in June 2008, the city of Tyler was one of 10 cities in Texas awarded the Governor's Community Achievement Award, which recognizes grassroots community excellence and stewardship in seven different categories. The city won the award because of projects it did to beautify the city.
Tyler is expected to get $130,000 of the $2 million TXDOT shelled out in landscaping awards to the cities who won.
So was the city of Tyler really shelling out unnecessary green to go green? They say no.
"The city of Tyler didn't receive money, we just told them where we wanted it spent and it had to be on a right-of-way," Kristi Boyett with the city told us.
Under these stipulations, city officials got together and came up with an idea that will make a portion of Tyler prettier and make it more attractive for future economic growth.
"What the board and community leaders have discussed is creating a gateway entrance for Tyler coming off of Interstate 20 down Highway 69 North," she said.
Most can agree that what the city has done for the environment is a great thing. But what gets under some people's skin is why TXDOT feels that shelling out millions of dollars in awards right now for cities planting the most daffodils or adopts the most streets is wasteful spending.
We'll we spoke to TXDOT officials in Austin who would only say little about the spending except for how they believe environmental projects like these will actually help save the state money down the road.