Spending priorities ...

Name a taxpayer expenditure that residents of any given community might be closely attuned to and streets would certainly be at, or near, the top of the list. Which is no doubt one reason the topic can produce some spirited conversations in a public setting such as Defiance City Council meetings.

During two recent sessions, the city administration’s proposed purchase of a leaf vacuum was questioned by a couple council members because the expenditure was brought forward at a time when finances already are constricted and street resurfacing plans have been reduced. These were logical objections to the purchase, which council ultimately supported, 6-1.

Certainly, the equipment appears to have some substantial benefit, but at $216,000 it comes at considerable cost. It’s supposed to be more neat than existing equipment and can be operated with less manpower.

In addressing the spending concerns raised, the administration promised a stepped-up street resurfacing program next year. With extra gas taxes from the state, this should not be a difficult promise to keep, but things can change quickly with finances. There are, however, plenty of streets that need attention.

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