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Brighton Hosts First of Bond Informational Meetings

About 25 people attended a meeting to learn more about the city's proposed 5.6 million bond.

A majority of the 25 people who attended an informational bond meeting Wednesday night expressed some form of concern - from whether now was the right time to pursue a community improvements bond to the the number of projects listed in the proposal as well as the whether the projects themselves should be included.

The meeting was hosted by Brighton City Manager Dana Foster at the Brighton District Library. It was the first of two scheduled meetings approved by City Council members to inform residents about the bond proposal they will vote on in November.

The proposed $5.6 million bond includes plans for residential curb and gutter improvements, residential street reconstructions, new sidewalk installations, sidewalk repairs and a camera monitoring system upgrade for key locations around the city to name a few.

It also designates $1 million for neighborhood infrastructure partnerships in which residents acting together with neighbors can choose to contribute funds for additional improvements and submit a proposal to the city. City Council members will then vote on which proposals to approve and collect the funds before sending the projects out to bid.

The proposed bond millage would pick up just as the 1996-97 bond is paid off, according to Foster. The estimated average millage rate is 1.12 mills which would increase current average debt service for residential customers by $1.18, commercial by $9.05 and industrial by $6.07.

Not all Brighton residents want some of the improvements. Donna Kennedy is one of them saying she didn't want sidewalks or curb and gutters added to her neighborhood near Chestnut and 5th Streets.

"My area is very homey, very country, very pleasant and relaxing," she said. "I don't want them coming in. I bought the house for the way it looks now and I want it to stay that way."

Foster said that if the bond is passed in November, the city would proceed by holding information and input meetings for residents in neighborhoods undergoing improvements and City Council members will listen to their feedback.

Brighton Kiwanis President and resident Suzanne Richardson said she knew the city had to make improvements in order to stay competitive with neighboring communities, but expressed concern about the fate of some of the city's old trees with the new installation of sidewalks and curb and gutter infrastructure.

Foster said the city planned to replace any trees or shrubs taken out and repair any lawn or yard damaged during construction.

Kennedy said she loves her tree and doesn't want to see it cut down.

"I don't want some puny little one. I want my tree to stay," she said. "I know that things need to be improved, but I think at this time they should be fixing the streets that have the gargantuan holes."

The next meeting will be held Monday, Oct. 1 at the Brighton District Library from 6:30-8 p.m. For more information, visit www.brightoncity.org.

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