Part 3: Mayoral candidates talk about the issues
The Community Investment Trust Fund set up by the Fond du Luth Casino and the city -- which was intended to fund street improvements -- has been used over the years for things like the Heritage Center and low-income housing. What is your position...
The Community Investment Trust Fund set up by the Fond du Luth Casino and the city -- which was intended to fund street improvements -- has been used over the years for things like the Heritage Center and low-income housing. What is your position on taking money from that trust fund for things other than street improvements and street maintenance?
It's the "community investment" trust fund. Those funds should be used for investing in the city's infrastructure -- streets would be our first and foremost priority.
There are times, though, when opportunities are presented where the city's contribution can leverage a greater private contribution to public amenities. Both the Kroc and the Heritage centers are good examples of city government developing a partnership with a private group to create a larger project.
I have a plan that will at least double our financial commitment to the street improvement program by the year 2011.
Our streets and infrastructure have to be a priority.
We need to curtail our dipping into the Community Investment Trust Fund for everything.
If we manage our budget properly, we will have the funds necessary to support our city staff, our community parks and recreation programs and important projects like the Heritage Center, etc.
What the candidates told the Duluth News Tribune about the state of the streets.
"We get a minimal rate of interest on that CIT fund that's regulated. We need to look at what we can change to get different investments in that huge fund to produce more like an 8, 9 or 10 percent interest rate."
-- Charlie Bell
"Now there's great opportunity that we can invest those monies (in the CIT fund) with the state Board of Investment and we can get a greater rate of return."
-- Don Ness