Opinion Piece By Donna Westfall – July 21, 2018 –
Just when you think the government couldn’t possibly spend more money frivolously, they come up with just the scheme. Last Chance Grade (LCG) has been a problem for over five decades. When I hear that $50-60 million dollars need to be spent on reports for watershed, old growth redwoods, native american land, Green Diamond Land, overview of the environment, preliminary design features, archaeological pieces, more and more and more studies I think….. there are some good lobbies at work priming the pump to keep those dollars flowing. The only problem with that is they are utilizing taxpayer dollars, and quite frankly, I don’t think most of us will see a bypass in our lifetime because they’re still predicting it will be constructed maybe before the year 2039.
Is it of any surprise to you to learn that Sen. Mike McGuire announced that SB1 funds, Gov. “Moonbeam” Brown’s latest gas tax passed without any public vote, is promised to be part of the money used for LCG.
Go to the government website on SB1 and if you see the same things I see. There’s NO MENTION OF REPAIRS OR ALTERNATE ROUTE TO LCG. Matter of fact, the only things I saw were $82.3 mil to replace Dr. Fine bridge out by Smith River; $10 million project will revamp fish passage barrier at Dominie Creek and construct new bridge on U.S. Highway 101 near the Smith River community in Del Norte County, and $8.7 million drainage project will improve fish passage and repair culverts at various locations along State Route 199 from north of Elk Valley Cross Road in Del Norte County to south of the Oregon State line. Where are they going to get up to a BILLION $$$ to construct this alternate route for LCG? Maybe I just missed it.
McGuire says gas tax monies. Here was my question to McGuire:
“When the gas tax is repealed in November, then what will you do.”
McGuire’s response was, “We need those gas tax dollars, simple as that.”
Ummmm….. did I not make myself clear?
End of part 1.