Part 11: Fit The Ninth : Hear My Train A-Comin'
Fit The Ninth : Hear My Train A-Comin'
By now the town had most of the basic services required to support the next boost in population; the only thing holding it back was money, but the recent boost in the yearly income from the prison should be sufficient to keep expansion happening at a decent rate.
First, I started to allocate more lakeside land for housing. Eventually I wanted to make the area on the other side of the lake a high value dress circle area, but I would probably have to reconfigure the police coverage so that the area was sufficiently protected, but this could wait a few years.
I decided to have another go at establishing more farms, this time across the river to make use of the Maxwell Smart Bridge.
Greta, the city's official fangirl, popped around to tell me about how great the schools were again. I yawned.
And a interesting looking new apartment building was erected opposite City Square. Just the sort of thing I wanted to see downtown.
Orville once again turned up, though this time he wasn't bearing any gifts. He just wanted some harebrained safety scheme brought in.
But what's the point? We don't get earthquakes in Funkytown!
That's a rather cavalier attitude to take. Especially when you know there's a VOLCANO across the river.
It's been dormant for millions of years, the faultline is hundreds of kilometres away now. I think it's just another unnecessary planning regulation that we don't need.
But what if you're wrong?
I'll just have to wear it in that case.
There's no need to be like that!
By this stage, one farm had set up. Hopefully it wouldn't be ousted by more factories like the last lot.
We also got a whirlpool, which did absolutely no damage, but since we were officially in a state of emergency I took the opportunity to sound the siren. At least a several times. I just loved to watch people scatter all over the streets like ants. Maria just sat there and fumed because she knew I was going to get away with it.
Another stack of cash was deposited into the city treasury.
So, for 1911, I decided to bolster the transit system to support the growing population; firstly a new station at Fifth Street...
... as well as another one in the factory area.
... and they were hooked to form the first complete rail loop around town.
Consequently, it made sense to build up the area around Fifth Street station.
And, oh damn, there goes another farm.
I thought I might as well give up on the idea of farms in Funkytown, they just didn't like the pollution. Eventually these factories would, again, be rezoned for housing once the city spread that far, as, prison aside, it'd probably make another high value district.
Randall informed me that the first hospital was at full capacity.
Again, due to the town nudging over 25 thousand.
And while I was checking that, I noticed that the second school was already full as well.
Something which Randall made no bones about.
Still, with the health system still quite serviceable, I was going to stall on the building of a second hospital, as usual.
I checked the budget just before the end of 1911 to make sure things were on track. Residential taxes matched the contribution from the prison operators, whilst commercial activity still only formed a small part of the tax base.
I decided to break up the grid a little around Fifth Street, eventually another park would fill in the square, to complement the original Garden Square.
Finally we rolled around to 1912, which mean more cash. I approved more apartments for downtown...
... as well as along Fifth Street.
We now had the option of introducing a subway rail system, but with the tunnels costing §150 a pop, and with the surface rail serving adequately, I couldn't quite justify it at this point in time. It was defintely going to be utilised at some point in the future, however.
Finally, the proposed City Hall station was laid down, as demand began to warrant it. The rail system had virtually doubled in the past year. The rail would extend to the port (as would the residential development, even though the areas close to the port would never be upper class) and I would probably also loop it around to the Main Street line to make a figure 8.
Malcolm Landgraab popped around to get on my case about expansion, as if he wasn't keeping on top of things. More, more, more, that's how these operators worked. I assured him that the city was throwing all sheets to the wind and he seemed to be satisfied by that.
Conversely, the fez guy, Feargal, whatever his name was, still wanted more parks, even though I'd actually planted some since he last made the same request. I'd also had some soccer hooligan around that week wanting me to put down a pitch so they could break each others' knees or something, the damned things weren't cheap, though, at §2,500, but I told him that the next time I felt like filling some open space I'd consider it.
After Feargal left, I met with Bernie, who had an intriguing idea for once.
Legalized gambling, huh? Well, I don't know, I consider it an idiot tax, which, you know, Bernie, may not be such a great idea for some.
Aww, c'mon, it's only a little bit of fun!
OK, lemme consult with my advisors. Errh, Randall, why are you advising me on this? This isn't exactly your field of expertise.
I don't really know, but I was summoned here for something or other, so I guess I'll offer you my opinion.
You just don't want to be a spoilsport.
Did I mention you could tax gambling revenue?
Really? Well that changes everything! OK, Bernie, I'm going to take a punt and back your suggestion.
Indeed. I mean, what could possibly go wrong?
Funkytown had burst past 30,000 citizens.
And due to my cunning business acumen, we would be receiving more even more funds to fuel the growth of the town.
The ordinance wasn't going to draw in as much a month as the prison, but it did open up some possibilities...
Gambling wasn't without its drawbacks, but I considered them to be minor.
I also decided to pass the ordinance for the Farmers Market, since it cost nothing. They could set up stalls at Garden Square every Saturday morning. It might also keep farms in town, though I didn't think I was going to try again with that.
So, midway through 1912, the budget was looking very healthy.
As was the population, which was now 33,000. (I tried not to think too much about how we were getting outstripped by our neighbours, however.)
The city kept growing...
and yet with so much room left to fill.