Spend city funds for basic island services | Letters, Dec. 17
December 16, 2008 · Updated 4:42 PM
Bainbridge City Council wants to replace the street and sidewalks in downtown Winslow, costing taxpayers at least $12 million.
We cannot afford the $12 million Winslow Way project in tight economic times as these. The project has changed names many times as council members Snow, Peters, Franz and Stokes insist on including this project in the 2009 budget at the expense of basic island services and desired community projects.
1. They cut all emergency funds and all of the “rainy day” fund account.
2. They are cutting all other basic island road maintenance (we’re five to 10 years behind, according to Public Works Director Randy Witt).
3. Delaying much needed Rockaway Beach and Wing Point Way repairs.
4. Eliminating those projects that we want in favor of Winslow Way: non-motorized transportation improvements, senior center improvements, etc), projects that people have said are much higher priorities than Winslow Way project.
The raise in taxes and fees for this project will drive many families off Bainbridge who are on limited budgets and fixed incomes. The goal should be to make the island more affordable, not less. With a recession here the city should not be starting long-term projects, especially ones that would enrich only a few property owners and developers.
Why should the people of Bainbridge finance the Winslow Way upgrade? Certainly we can do the repairs for far less than $12 million? In other cities, have the merchants that benefit pay for their own utility upgrades.
Why do the four members of the council continue to push for a project we don’t need, don’t want and can’t afford? To change the downtown would change the small-town atmosphere and charm of Bainbridge, and would make Bainbridge just like every other place.
Most people like Bainbridge the way it is. Do we want rows of three- and four-story condo’s lining both sides of Winslow Way?