By now, I’m sure you and your staff are sufficiently inundated with communication from angry residents in response to your IUPatty’s opining. As a husband of a worried wife in a new home, and father of a month-old newborn, I would happily join in this crowd; I instead write today as a borough official dedicated to making Indiana a safe place to live, work and play.
You see, your editorial on March 28, 2017, merely perpetuates the real underlying issue of this community. In your own words, “Maybe they should instead be figuring out ways to make the most out of the situation, which comes only once each year,” it is an “us vs. them” mentality. You go on to point out the non-ideal conditions which people do not “wish to partake in” and even go as far as telling residents to “make the most of the situation… lock up the house, get out of town.” But then, this is all just a “disappointing side effect to living in a college town.”
Now it’s my turn to dish out some cold hard truth. Students have to get used to living in a town-college. That’s right: for all of you academic types that have forgotten our history, the borough came before the university. While I don’t want to make this letter about pre-20th century history, I believe it is an important reality check.
But now that we have that out of the way, let’s address another glaring interest of The Penn’s staff: economics.
While the editorial attempts to give free business advice to our residents, telling us to set up lemonade stands selling $1 cups to raise money for our college funds, it fails to realize the real economic victim in this weekend: local and state government. That’s right, kids, your mommies and daddies will be paying for your fun-filled weekend of shame and crime sprees for many months to come.
Our borough, which is simply unable to wash its hands and walk away from the responsibility of this weekend, is funded by local taxpayers, who pay for everything from maintaining our streets to staffing police and code enforcement departments. All told, the borough is stuck holding more than an $11,000 bill, through overtime and enforcement.
Then enters the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, another unseen economic victim of your vice. From handfuls of horse-mounted troopers, dozens of cruiser-driven troopers, down to a helicopter keeping an eye from the sky, the financial impact must have been nearing the six-figure mark, by my estimate. Everything paid for, largely, by property-owning residents. Now that’s one expensive babysitting bill.
So, I ask, when we do as you say and give up, lock up and drive away, as “it’s still going to go on” anyway, who pays for all this lemonade when we’re handed the lemons and have no money to juice them?
Bradley Gotshall, Manager
Borough of Indiana
*EDITOR’S NOTE: The Penn was unable to verify Gotshall’s estimate of the weekend’s cost to the Commonwealth. The borough spent a total of $13,939.01, but $5,384.08 will be reimbursed by the county for a total of $8,554.93. An additional approximately $3,000 was spent on code enforcement purposes, according to Gotshall.