As a former federal worker with more than 31 years of service at the Environmental Protection Agency, the Fourth of July is an important day for me.
Since the dawn of our nation, federal workers have played a significant role in America's achievements. The contributions of federal workers will be very much in evidence this week as Americans prepare to celebrate our nation's birthday.
Millions of Americans will check a weather report prepared by the National Weather Service, grill meat inspected by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and fly in skies kept safe by the Federal Aviation Administration and the Transportation Security Administration.
Others will enjoy time outdoors in our national parks, travel with children protected by car seats inspected by the Consumer Product Safety Commission, and visit post offices to mail letters and packages to loved ones serving in the military.
My fellow federal workers and I are proud of the jobs we've done for America for the last 236 years. We wish you, and the nation we love, a happy Independence Day. Please remember us and speak out when you read about Congress' plans to cut our pay and earned benefits.
City should receive
credit from Guard
In a recent article the Itemizer-Observer reported that the city of Dallas is purchasing the old armory site from the National Guard for $122,000.
Unmentioned is whether or not that figure includes any credit for the $3,750 that Polk County and the city of Dallas each contributed back in 1911; each $3,750 represented one-fourth of the total cost of $15,000, which included both the land acquisition and building construction.
Obviously, a dollar went a lot further back then.
I'm raising this question because it is my understanding that under very similar if not identical circumstances the Guard gave the city of Cottage Grove a 25 percent reduction in the price that the city paid for their old armory property (land and building). If the $122,000 figure does not give us a similar credit, I'd like to know why not.
I assume that we're not in the business of giving money away. Saving $30,500 (a 25 percent credit) or $61,000 (a 50 percent credit) would be significant. We could use it for pothole repairs for example.
I'd like someone with the city to shed some light on this matter in a future edition of the I-O. And, while they're at it, they should also let us know the reason for the current excavation on the site (is it contamination or what?), whether the old armory site is now the likely site for the future Dallas Senior Center, and if there is any truth to the rumor that the Carnegie Building is to soon be scheduled for demolition.
Thomas P. Augustyn