Polk County Enterprise (Livingston, Tex.), Vol. 100, No. 94, Ed. 1 Thursday, November 25, 1982 Page: 4 of 42
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[TY ENTERPRISE, THURSIM^
THURSDAY NOVEMBER 25, 1982
The term “infrastructure” has begun to work
its way into the media’s and the public’s
vocabulary. That’s good news. Headers and
viewers understand that out infrastructure is our
roads, bridges, water and wastewater systems,
tunnels, ports, courthouses, jails, schools and
other public structures that are familiar to all.
The bad news-the shock, in fact-is what the word
conveys today: the deteriorating condition of
Nearly half of the nation’s bridges are too weak
to adequately handle their traffic loads.
Almost one of every two paved miles of roads
needs to be resurfaced or completely rebuilt.
About 13 percent of the country’s aging dams
are classified as “high hazard.”
Nearly half of the nation’s sewage treatment
plants are preventing economic growth because
of inadequate capacitity.
Municipal water systems throuhout the country
are collapsing, threatening the quality of the
water people consume, or failing to keep up with
The list goes on.
Because these conditions are an obstacle to
economic recovery and a threat to our standard of
living, “infrastructure” must be more than a
buzzword, it must become a public concern. We
must get to the solutions beyond the shock
because, as with physiological shock, delay can be
fatal. Delay, after all, is what created the decay of
our public works in the first place. “Infrastruc-
ture” must not be allowed to become in the
Eighties what “energy crisis” was in the Seven-
ties. It should not be probed, dissected, committed
and commissioned to death. We cannot afford, to
use a catchphase, “paralysis by analysis.” The
analysis is obvious: roads have to connect cities,
bridges have to carry traffic, water and water-
waste had to be transported through pipes-or
We also must avoid narrow solutions, or
wasting time looking for a panacea. Infrastruc-
ture decay is a national phenomenon as much as
weather is, and like the weather is varies
throughout the country. New Orleans, which is
largely below sea level, has drainage problems.
Houston has jammed freeways. Milwaukee needs
to upgrade its port facilities. Cleveland needs to
repair its water system. Oakland and In-
dianapolis are far behind schedule in street
repairs. Every city and community had different
problems and must find different solutions.
Some states are investigating provate develop-
ment of municipal wastewater facilities. The 1982
Census of governments shows an 11 percent in-
crease in the number of special districts created
to raise funds for and manage such services. The
City of Boston shifted responsibility for water and
sewer operations to an independent commission
in 1977; the sale wiped out an accumulated
operating deficit of $25 million and the Boston
Water and Sewer Commission got maintenance
costs under control through user fees, the most
equitable of all revenue sources. The cities of
Dallas and Milwaukee, among others, keep their
capital improvements planning separate from the
overall budget. Milwaukee performs life-cycle
profiles of all elements of its infrastructure. By
looking at the economic importance of
Wisconsin’s grain trade, the city’s capital Im-
provements Committee saw the need for a $33
million investment in an export grain terminal in
the Port of Milwaukee. Indianapolis soon will
begin collecting a “wheel tax” on licensed
vehicles to help with the street repair problem.
Recently, New Jersey Governor Thomas Kean
proposed the New Jersey Infrastructure Bank
which will make low interest loans to localities for
improvements. The Texas Water development
Bank issues bonds and lends the proceeds to cities
or water and sewer districts that do not have the
same access to credit markets. More city and
state officials are exploring the idea of “selling”
to private firms the depreciation advantage of
capitol ownership while retaining the advantage
of tax exempt bond financing. Many city ad-
ministrators and public works officials now favor
dedication of special new of existing taxes for
capital improvements and, letting freemarket
financing set its own limits, eliminating debt-
service ceilings for local jurisdictions. Kentucky,
and some other states, have increased their
revenues by selling unneeded land, such as rights-
of-way, and other assets. Many local governments
have found that maintenance of public facilities is
more cost-efficient when it is done by contract
with private firms rather than performed by
These are only a few examples of the kinds of
solutions that are emerging. Careful planning and
budgeting, private-sector involvement in fiananc-
ing and development, and the use of user fees
along with more .traditional general fund financ-
ing seem to be major components in successful in-
frastructure rebuilding programs.
We must get beyond the shock of our infrastruc-
ture needs and beyond the buzzwords. There has
to be public support for the diverse solutions that
are appering. Some of the solutions are un-
precedented, but so are our problems. The danger
of trying something new will never be as great as
the danger of continued neglect.
(By H.C. Heldenfels general contractor from
Corpus Christ!, Texas and president of the
Associated General Contractors of America, a na-
tional trade association of more than 32,000 com-
KGB’s new power proven
after Leonid Brezhnev died on Nov. 10,
Yuri Andropov stepped into his shoes as
the head of the Soviet Communist Par-
ty. This is an unprecedented develop-
ment in the long and bloody history of
Andropov was the head of the secret
police, the KGB. His overnight eleva-
tion to the Kremlin’s top job shows that
the KGB has gained increased power in
the Soviet Union.
It marks the first time a KGB man
has even attained supreme power in the
Kremin. In past changeovers, the most
the Western intelligence experts would
say was that anyone who aimed for the
No. 1 spot at least had to have the sup-
port of the secret police. Now, the KGB
boys have one of their own in charge.
The last time a KGB boss even came
close to the top spot was when Stalin’s
secret police chief, Lavrenit Beria,
became part of the temporary trium-
virate that replaced Josef Stalin in 1953.
But Beria was so hated and feared by
his associates in the Kremlin that tie
was overthrown and executed within
What will the rise to power of the
erstwhile Soviet spym; ster mean to the
rest of the world? Our CIA sources
don’t buy the conventional wisdom that
Andropov is a closet liberal. They think
( he’ll turn out to be a hardliner. In other
words, they predict a tough anti-detente
policy as long as Andropov is in charge.
How long will that be?
We’ve seen secret CIA reports on the
new Soviet leader’s health. The man is
68 yeas old. By the standards of the
Kremlin Gerontocracy, Andropov is
But he has definite health problems.
In fact, the CIA once speculated that
Andropov was so frail that he couldn’t
possibly manage his two jobs as head of
the KGB and full member of the
Politubro. But Andropov survived. He
gave up his KGB job earlier this year,
but only to devote more time to his
quest for political power.
Andropov’s health problems still re-
main serious, however, he suffered a
heart atttack in 1966. He required
surgery in the mid 1970’s and spent 10
weeks in the hospital, according to the
But as long as Andropov is able to
hold on to his new power, he’ll be a
tough opponent for Western leaders. He
is thought to believe that the central
tenets of Marxism Leninism are not
carved in granite and can be modified.
But as the man who once ran the vast
Soviet slave-labor system. Andropov
can hardly be expected to bring any
kind of Western-style liberalism to the
Andropov may have succeeded in
seizing power quicker than anyone ex-
pected, but he is still going to have to
reckon with the other old men in the
Kremlin. No one in the Soviet hierarchy
willingly give up power. The men who
lost out in the competition to succeed
Brezhnev won’t be making life easy for
the one who beat them out of the top job.
, SCF^IsrafiASTlMS *1982 Copley Nra Sntiec
OPEN SECRETS: What is a genuine
natural security secret? It's often dif-
ficult to tell. Much of the infonnaiton
that the Pentagon stamps “secret” in-
volves embarrrassments, not security.
Meanwhile, real secrets are often
revealed with little concern for securi-
Take the Army Association’s recent
annual meeting in Washington. Some of
the Pentagon’s most highly classified
electronic weaponry was exhibited for
prospective buyers. And the display
hall was crawling with spies.
Army spokesman denied that any
classified information was available.
But salesmen for the Army’s super-
secret Norden battery computer readi-
ly answered all question asked by the
Yugoslav military attache. Other
communist-bloc spies were there tak-
ing notes on rocket launchers, com-
munications sytems and anti-tank
KEY CASE: After President Reagan
was shot last year, the Secret Service
spent millions of dollars trying to im-
prove presidential security. Whatever
was done was not enough to stop the in-
dividual who recently stole into the
Secret Service headquarters in Blair
House-the guest quarters for visiting
heads of state-and took two sets of
presidential car keys.
The case still hasn’t been solved, but
is has opened the odor on what could be
a major scandal. Blair House is pro-
tected by policemen hired on contract-
so called "rented cops.” The federal
government is making increasing use
of rented cops to protect federal
Government officials say they are
saving money by contracting with
private companies for security guards,
But the rented crops are poorly trained,
and have been caught stealing and deal-
ing in drugs.
DIPLOMATIC GRIPES: What are
the most frequent complaints form U.S.
diplomsts stationed around the Lord?
According to an intenal State Depart-
ment study, unfair taxes by host na-
tions lead the list of gripes. Second are
travel restrictions place on the
diplomats. The thrid biggest comaplint
is the lack of access other host coun-
tries officials, U.S. diplomats in EL
Salvador are upset by the poor
telephone service in that country.
WHAT’S NEXT?: Look for the United
States to put South Africa’s strategic
imprtance ahead of concern for its *v'
racial poli es. The rason: South Africa ^
has massive reserves of such needed
strategic mateirals as cobalt,
manganese and chromium.
Letters to the editor
New appraisal problems extend beyond 'clerical errors
. .. > ii tf Tkin u+tli+ir rlicfrmf IVQO Q
To the editor:
This is in response to the article in
Sunday’s Enterprise regarding ap-
Memorial Point Utility District objec-
tions involve far more than a clerical
error in the preliminary tax roll men-
tioned by Mr. Shackelford. This “omis-
sion” did involve some $1.8 million of
evaluation out of a total tax base of
some $17 million in 1981 appraisals.
This would certainly justify some con-
cern. We are advised that this omission
has since been corrected.
The major source of objections in-
volves gross inequities in property ap-
praisal. Based on the preliminary tax
roll mentioned above, a sampling of
these inequities is as follows:
1. Mobile home lots in Shelter Cove
appraised from $950 to $2,000 that have
sold for $3,500 to $6,000.
2. Permanent residence lots in
Shelter Cove appraised from $2,000 to
$6,000 that have sold for $6,000 to
3. Residential lots in Memorial Point
appraised as low as $5,000-$6,000 that
have sold for $15,000 and over.
4. Two waterfront lots in Shelter Cove
directly opposite each other on a canal
- one appraised at $6,500, the other at
5. Commercial lots in Shelter Cove
appraised for $1,500 that sold for $6,000
Another source of objection is ine-
quities in appraisal of improvements -
mobile homes and permanent homes.
There is a very wide range of evalua-
tions in this category on comparable
homes - some of which are next to each
other and, in one case, essentially
duplicate houses built in the same year.
Then, as mentioned in the reference ar-
ticle, there are several complete omis-
sions of houses.
It all boils down to this - if 1982 ap-
praisals are going to be set at a
market value” then so be it. However,
do it consistently for everyone.
This utility district includes some
1,250 lots. We submitted our previous
tax rolls, upon request, for use by the
appraisal district. These included very
complete records of all property, im-
provements and owners, as well as ap-
praisals for tax rolls prior to this year.
Evidently, these rolls were totally ig-
nored in preparation of the 1982 tax
rolls. We have two principal realtors
who have offered pertinent information
from sales contracts to support ap-
praisals. This source of information
was apparently ignored.
This utility district was assessed over
$9,000 as our “share” of appraisal ex-
penses - this without any representa-
tion on the appraisal board. This was
bad enough as this money had not been
budgeted. Then to receive an appraisal
so full of inequities, inaccuracies, omis-
sions and general poor quality is entire-
We are indeed talking about more
than a clerical error.
John F. Pearsall, president
Board of Directors
Memorial Point Utility District
MYF thanked for support
To the editor:
I would like to thank the leadership,
volunteers and supporters of the
Methodist Youth Fellowship for all they
have done for the youth of Livingston.
They have helped the youth in countless
A glint in the old man’s eyes betrayed
Recognition of the child who played
A small busy boy with a halo of light
Played tricks with the aging sight
The birth of worlds, the end of time
All came too fast within his mind
As the little one bent to pick up a
He flashed a smile at the elder alone
A sudden, hot flush sent mm reeling
Deafness now and fear of stealing
Another glimpse of the special child
Yet on his face crept a curious smile
A bug was chased to the old man’s
Sighted no more, he held to his seat
The awesome calm of life in its ebb-
As night began to lower its webbing
He saw it all with the minds own eye
The face of the one bom to die
A child involved in childish fun
A last gift of sight to a faithful son
137 N. Beatty
Do you have an opinion?
The Polk County Enterprise en-
courages readers to submit let-
ters voicing their views or opi-
The letters will be published in
the Enterprise’s Letter to the
Editor column in Thursday’s or
The letter may be written on
any subject or issue of interest.
Letters which are submited
must be accompanied by a name
and address and will be subject to
normal editing such as grammar,
punctuation and spelling. The let-
ters must be written within the
confines of good taste.
The letters will also be subject
to editing for libelous or
slanderous statements and com-
To submit letters, mail them to
“Letters to the Ektitor,” Polk
County Enterprise, P.O. Box
1276, Livingston, Texas 77351.
ALVIN HOLLEY, PUBLISHER
Entered as Second-Class Matter at the Post Office at Livingston, Texas
77351 under the Act of Congress of March 3, 1867.
Barbara White, Editor
Grace Holman, Family Editor
Beatrice Hall, Special Correspondent
Van Thomas, Sports Editor
Greg Peak, Area News Editor
Don Hendrix, Special Sections Editor
Linda Father, Darkroom Technician
Pressroom Personnel- Adrian Dunn, David Holley,
Paul Holley, Beamon Goodwin
Dorothy Wilson, Composition Supervisor
Hilda Sylestine, Debbie Gay, OUie Wyatt, Eve Bowen
Mike Sims, Felicia Fiscal, Augustine Fiscal,
Mario Fiscal, Diana Fiscal
Linda Dickerson, Ad Manager
Linda Jacobs, Jimmie Morris, Patty Hankerd,
Sue HoDey, Manager
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White, Barbara. Polk County Enterprise (Livingston, Tex.), Vol. 100, No. 94, Ed. 1 Thursday, November 25, 1982, newspaper, November 25, 1982; Livingston, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth781844/m1/4/: accessed October 21, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Livingston Municipal Library.