LETTER: Rest area is bad idea

Dear Editor,

Did you realize that the proposed Montesano rest area project would cost nearly $2 million dollars for a total of two toilets?

The mayor originally estimated the maintenance costs at $50,000, but that has now somehow been revised to a little over $17,000. (Isn’t “Montesano math” wonderful?)

Even if this revised estimate is realistic, the city would need $850,000 in increased revenues to break even. Not likely. This project is based on voodoo economics and needs to be stopped now. Remember, the Elma rest area costs almost $200,000 a year.

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. If the funding is approved it will be too late.

On Jan. 30, four of us went to meet with the state legislators and Department of Transportation to let them know that this rest area 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?

We need a community meeting to get some real answers to our questions and to provide our elected officials with 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. It does no good to attend a city council meeting — there is no discussion, only comments. I will announce the details when a meeting is arranged.

Remember, we are talking about a two-seater rest area 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?

There is a reason why DOT stopped building rest areas so many years ago — they are very expensive to maintain.

Doug Iverson