- Associated Press - Thursday, September 10, 2015

COLUMBUS, Neb. (AP) - The city of Columbus’ plan to spend more than $300,000 on a golf cart storage building has drawn criticism from some who say that it’s a waste of tax dollars.

John Curry attended the council’s Tuesday meeting to protest the building’s construction, calling it an “atrocious” expenditure and arguing the local sales tax used to fund the project disproportionately impacts low-income residents, while only a small percentage of the city’s population plays golf at the Quail Run Golf Course, the Columbus Telegram (https://bit.ly/1L48Gy6) reported.

“I’m embarrassed that the city council would pour money into a project like that,” Curry said.

One councilman responded that most residents don’t play tennis or swim at pools either, but those amenities are supported by tax money.

The city has set aside $50,000 in sales tax revenue each of the past five years, with another $50,000 included in the 2015-16 budget, to pay for the building that’ll house 60 electric golf carts.

Supporters of the project say it’s a necessary expense to extend the life of the carts and reduce maintenance and replacement costs by protecting them from harsh weather.

City Administrator Joe Mangiamelli estimated the city could save $387,000 in cart replacement costs over the next 25 years by storing the carts in an enclosed building.

City staff members say golf carts last typically four to six years, but that it could be extended to 10 years or longer if better cared for.

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Information from: Columbus Telegram, https://www.columbustelegram.com

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