Is Montesano Mayor Vini Samuel unable or unwilling to provide an appropriate forum for meaningful community input on a proposed rest stop? Questions and concerns continue to swirl around this project, questions the mayor apparently doesn’t want to address. So this guest author is organizing a community meeting to address the issue at length. The following is uncut and unedited. Used by permission. – Ed
This is a follow-up to a letter I wrote regarding the proposed Rest Stop that was published (in the Vidette) January 19, 2017. Since that time, more details have emerged and this project is even more ridiculous than originally thought. Did you realize that this project, if funded, would spend nearly $2 million dollars for a total of two toilets?
In my previous letter I said that the City gets about 3 cents for every dollar spent, well, it is closer to 2 cents. That means that if the increased revenue in town was $2 million, the City would net $40K. If you remember, the mayor originally estimated the maintenance costs at $50K, but that has now somehow been revised to a little over $17K. Even if this estimate is realistic, the City would need $850K in increased revenues to break even! Not likely. This project is based on Voodoo economics and needs to be stopped now.
I asked the mayor if she would set up a Community Meeting to discuss this project. She said that if the funding was approved, she would. Fellow citizens, if the funding is approved it will be too late.
On January 30, 2017 a group of us, four in all, went to meet with the State Legislators and DOT to let them know that this Rest Stop project was a train wreck waiting to happen. We presented them with some written material and encouraged them to NOT fund the project. They seemed to listen to us, but who knows?
I think we need a community meeting to get some real answers to some of our questions and provide the mayor and City Council with some community feedback. I haven’t talked to a single person in town who favors this project, outside of the mayor and City Council. Consequently, I am going to set up a meeting and invite the public and city officials to discuss this issue at length. I will let you all know when a meeting and meeting place is set up.
Remember, we are talking about a two seater Rest Stop for roughly $2 million dollars of taxpayer money. It is doubtful that the City would generate enough additional revenue to even cover the costs of the maintenance. Does this make sense?