The increasing cost of electricity has made many people ask a simple question - 'am I getting value for money?'
It's a question that Griffith's councillors ought to be asking because it's definitely something many ratepayers are wondering.
Council gave its "in-principle" support to spending $600,000 on Tuesday for a rose garden in the CBD.
Of that $600,000, which is only an estimate, around $300,000 would be coming from ratepayers' pockets.
The remaining amount would be from government grants - taxpayers' money.
Even before a plan was created for the garden the budget was already tipping past the $100,000 mark.
No one in Griffith would argue that there's things which could be done to improve the approaches to the city, or villages like Yenda.
Spending $600,000 on one project surely begs the question of whether we're getting value for money.
Updating a few signs on the Burly Griffin Way or the Kidman Way might not sound as nice as a rose garden, but they will be noticed.
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Investing in road maintenance might not be as attractive as pretty flowers but better roads benefit all of us.
Council could even create a tourism fund to better support local events, not only would volunteers be glad to see that investment, it would help attract more people.
The other forgotten aspect here is maintenance, spending a huge amount of money on a rose garden is one thing.
But it's something that will have to be maintained by council's parks and gardens staff for many years.
It will have to be watered, it will have to be pruned and when the plants are affected by disease or pests, they will have to be treated or replaced. That's not to mention other factors at play like weather or vandalism.
None of these costs have been factored in to the rose garden project and meanwhile, only a few kilometres down the road we have a massive body of water which needs attention.
Lake Wyangan used to attract tourists of all kinds to our area, there's already been money set aside for this project thanks to the sale of water, but wouldn't it be better to solve one problem, before moving onto the next project?
Surely there's more worthy ideas where this money might be better spent, because at the moment it just looks like window dressing.
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