Rec center is waste of city tax dollars

Letter to the editor

Posted: Wednesday, June 01, 2005

I can't really advocate putting overweight kids to work digging ditches, but Brad Rider has a good point in his May 29 letter about what some members of the City Assembly intend to do with our tax dollars.

What is going on here? This town has needs of much more fundamental importance than an extravagance like the proposed swimming pool/water park "community center" to be located at Dimond Park in the Valley. Not that such a project isn't desirable to some people, but why does it deserve such a preponderance of sales tax revenue for such a long period of time, superseding the type of infrastructure improvements like that cited in Mr. Rider's letter?

In my mind it doesn't. The price tag for this project is in excess of every dollar spent on building, operating, and subsidizing often-criticized Eaglecrest over it's entire 30-year history, including Fish Creek Road, and that's just to capitalize it. On top of that, there is (or was) a private alternative in the form of JRC's proposal, which they turned down.

The priorities are wrong here. Taxation of this magnitude should benefit the entire community, not just an interest group. We should build a second channel crossing or improve our town's garbage disposal and recycling systems or improve the airport first.

I'd also put in a pitch for tax issues being specific to individual projects rather than the grab-bag form they've come to resemble. Let's see if this gold-plated albatross can fly on its own.

Rick Kaufman

Juneau



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