Letters to the editor – August 16th, 2017

Published 6:47 pm Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Why should he pay?

Editor, Smithfield Times
The Aug. 9 headline, “Bike trail gets costlier” rings a lot of bells. That’s especially so when the subhead is “But county says must build it to protect grant money.” Where I come from, that’s called throwing good money after bad. I do not know one single person in this county who thinks wasting taxpayers’ money on a bike trail is a good idea. I do, however, know a couple nice people from north of the James who might like to come over to use the trail. I suspect they will quickly become bored with it. Then what?  And why should I pay for it? As for diverting money from one project to another, I am reminded of the recent fiasco with a certain defunct airline and a certain airport commission. We can do better. We must do better. Please, no more expensive monuments in this county celebrating wasteful county father’s pipe dreams.

Don Lovett

Grants not free money

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Editor, Smithfield Times
As a resident who travels the roads that will be impacted by the Nike Park bike trail, and a taxpayer, I have been following the progress of this boondoggle for some time. As a side note, I travel Rt. 620 (Broadwater Road) fairly often too. Let me first say, I really have no issue with bicycle riders. I think it’s great exercise and I applaud anyone one who makes the effort. What I do have an issue with is how these bike trails are paid for and where the money comes from. The Headline’s in the Aug. 9, paper was the straw that broke the camel’s back. I can no longer remain silent on this issue. I wonder where our priorities are anymore. In this county we are already facing large tax bills from a water deal that a previous Board of Supervisor imposed on all of us, and we threw them out only to elect another Board of Supervisors that is as careless with our tax money and lack the ability to see the real priorities this county faces. If I read the article correctly, we are going to remove money from the Rt. 620 project (a very worthy project) in order to protect a grant for a project that will be used by a very limited number of people. By the way, I love how politicians always refer to grants as manna from heaven (money that just fell out of the sky). Grants generally come from tax money and in this case, I do believe the grants are government issued, i.e. taxes and as such not free money! I propose that if money can’t be found for the Bike Trail that this project be put on the back burner. Let the bicyclists do like hunters and fishermen did years ago. Hunters and fishermen established a tax to be placed upon all licenses, hunting and fishing products, gun purchases etc. (Pittman–Robertson Funds) that goes annually back to the states to be used for conservation. Bicyclists can do the same! Highway funds are already stretched too thin and the Rt. 620 project is a much more worthwhile need. We should have never taken the grant in the first place.

Buddy Faison
Battery Park