Letter to the Editor:

Will Madison County follow in the path of the Bethalto School district?

Get The Latest News!

Don't miss our top stories and need-to-know news everyday in your inbox.

On Wednesday, the county’s Central Services committee discussed a $259,820 single bid (no competing bid) from GRP / Wegman of Bethalto to consult on the renovation of the old Wood River Township Hospital building.

Several years ago, the Bethalto School district received a similar $299,000 bid (without a competing bid). After consulting with GRP, the district spent more than $26 million.

The result – $32.8 million of long-term debt, which is 90.5 percent of the district’s $36.2 million debt limit.

The district is experiencing stress. It’s kind of like when one spouse discovers the other spouse maxed out their credit card. The business manager resigned, along with two school board members.

No one asked the voters. Legal loopholes were used to issue bonds without voter approval.

In 2001, the county spent $800,000 to purchase the vacant building.

Article continues after sponsor message

Do you remember the 1986 Steven Spielberg film starring Tom Hanks and Shelly Long? It’s kind of like that – the county purchased its own “Money Pit.”

It’s my opinion, the county made a mistake by buying this property.

In 2019, there was a growing consensus on the county board to move out of the building, consolidate in buildings already owned by the county or rent space if necessary.

Then COVID came.

Now, the county has no debt, and some are tempted to begin new projects.

Kurt Prenzler

Madison County Board Chairman

Opinions expressed in this section are solely those of the individual authors and do not represent the views of RiverBender.com or its affiliates. We provide a platform for community voices, but the responsibility for opinions rests with their authors.

More like this:

3 days ago - Meet New Bethalto School Board Member Natalie McCoy

2 days ago - Meet New Bethalto School Board Member Dana Aronin

Jun 28, 2024 - Bethalto School Board Moves Up Meeting to Fill Vacancies

4 days ago - Bethalto Names New School Board Members, Addresses Recent Personnel “Issues”

Jul 6, 2024 - Civic Memorial Partners with Local Hospitals to Offer New Medical Careers Classes