Building of soccer club’s field a big mistake
I admire citizens who stand up to inexcusable actions by government officials. The biggest methanol plant in the world and the McCarthy Mahal (a failed new expensive County building) were DOA due to educated, passionate citizens who care about their community. That is why I am writing about a soon-to-be big mistake in rural Gig Harbor. The Harbor Soccer Club has offered to infuse our community with a huge lit soccer complex and tons of traffic —all after cutting down a lot of huge old trees.
A real giant fir tree is becoming rarity in our area. I asked around where the soccer club would get $1 million. And low and behold, they already have $1 million in the bank, but this was not mentioned in the article. Not sure where a little ole sports nonprofit got that much money. My neighbor was not excited about that since they pay a pretty penny for their daughter to play soccer. The nice woman at my favorite coffee place asked if the recreation soccer players get to play on the nice field as much as the premier teams — a good question.
Another question was why wasn’t the Performance Golf center not going to work? It is right off the freeway, easy access, already cleared, parking, enough acreage for a world-class sports facility to be shared by all and close to restaurants and shopping. Ask the tough questions, demand all the answers and do not let your elected park board hide behind a nonprofit and promises of a spray park as they put millions of your tax dollars to use for a soccer club.
Rachel Landson, Artondale
Toll payers on peninsula are paying for state’s mistakes
I am a member of the governor’s volunteer Citizen’s Advisory Commission charged with oversight of toll setting on the Tacoma Narrows Bridge. My comments here represent my own opinion — not necessarily that of the entire Commission. Bruce Beckett, the current Chairman of the CAC, just had an oped piece on the tolling of the Tacoma Narrows Bridge published in The News Tribune. The limitations on word count for such a piece constrained the content of that article. That notwithstanding, those of us on the Gig Harbor peninsula and the peninsula in general should read Beckett’s fine effort with particular interest. There is an admitted double entente in the use of the word “interest.”
Having worked for years to gain some form of equity for the regular users of the bridge and continuing to do so on the CAC, I need to point out there is a dirty little secret that has not received adequate attention. The state of Washington locked in high interest rates by paid disproportionately by the regular bridge users, i.e. us on the peninsula. They did this by using non-callable zero coupon bonds when they financed the bridge. This is debt that cannot be refinanced. Though the actual calculation is complicated, in a simple assessment for the $614 million of zero’s originally sold, the toll payers are currently paying something approaching $9,000,000 a year in interest over what they could be paying had the state sold bonds that could be refinanced at the current low rates.
My recollection of the traffic studies done before the new bridge was built, something on the order of 90 percent of the traffic starts and stops on the west side of the bridge. That means our community is paying 90 percent of the excess interest. It is time for the state to step up and pay the additional burdens caused by their mistakes.
Michael B. Murphy, Gig Harbor