Trail project would be ‘frivolous waste of money’
Imagine you’re a Centre County Commissioner and offered $6.1 million of taxpayer money to spend on the county’s 163,000 inhabitants. Would you include a 2.5-mile bike trail between Bellefonte and Milesburg on your priority list?
Our elected commissioners certainly view the trail as a priority. They expended $85,000, primarily taxpayer dollars, to “study” trail construction and are now moving forward with a “steering committee” (at taxpayer expense) to bring the $6.1 million project to fruition.
Since $6.1 million is roughly equal to the cost of building a new paved 2.5-mile two lane road, I sought more information about the project. I read the “study” and briefing packages forwarded to me by Commissioner Mike Pipe. Based on the information provided, I developed a list of questions that I presented each of the commissioners on June 25. I’m still awaiting a response.
Since I can’t get answers from the commissioners, I would like to summarize key findings related to the project. The construction cost is excessive. While a small number of private dollars helped pay for the study, none are identified to fund construction or pay the $18,500 annual maintenance cost. The study failed to include a survey of Centre Countian support for the plan. The commissioners failed to provide evidence that such a trail would benefit the county in any way.
With our roads decaying and some 43% of Centre Countians unable to make ends meet, according to a recent CDT article, such a project is a frivolous waste of money. Stop this madness now!
Snow day law highlights need for broadband access
One reason the governor signed the no snow days bill into law was because it means no school makeup days in the spring. The downside is the fact that students without broadband access will still miss days of school since they cannot do assignments if teachers assign online homework during what used to be snow days. While I do not argue the merits of this new law, it reminds me that Pennsylvania must bring internet equity to all students as a top legislative priority and not unintentionally leave them even further behind.
Highway dedication should be rescheduled so more can attend
Last month I wrote and complained about state Rep. Stephanie Borawicz and her staff failing to follow up on the delay on the signs for the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Highway of Central Pennsylvania, only to find out that her staff failed to realize they were the ones responsible for ordering them. Then I was notified that the dedication was scheduled for 10 a.m. July 17. Why is it that just eight days before the dedication, there is finally a press release by her staff? The dedication is scheduled in the middle of the week and early in the morning while many are still at work. Why didn’t they think about those Vietnam veterans and others that have jobs and may have wanted to attend? Isn’t a veterans dedication of anything supposed to be at a time when the most can attend? One would think so. This is another demonstration of the lack of caring that some have about Vietnam veterans. This needs to be rescheduled so more Vietnam veterans can attend. It is, after all, their highway that is being dedicated. A little longer wait won’t hurt anyone to get more Vietnam veterans to attend.