Theater over streetlights

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Re the news story headlined "Salt Lake City set to impose streetlight fee" (Tribune, Nov. 29):

Faced with a shortfall in the general fund to cover streetlight repairs, the proposed solution is a new fee on all properties.

I understand the shell game and semantics used to cover it up, but the way I see it, the City Council essentially traded capital improvement funds that could have been used to maintain streetlights for funding the recent approved Utah Performing Arts Center.

And, they will continue to do so: As the City Council's own internal memo of Nov. 11, 2011, pointed out, "many CIP projects are deferred in order to make the (UPAC) plan pencil."

We can't just nickel-and-dime property fees every time there is a shortfall in the general fund — especially given the now-unfunded $5.3 million per year hit that the general fund is going to take when the Steiner ice sheet payments come home to roost starting in 2016.

Murry Mullenax