Rails to trails projects - Are they worth the investment?
Michigan, and other states have seen a change from railroad grades to walking biking trails over the last several years.
While the old industrial infrastructure is converted to ‘cool cities’ attractions, communities are being asked to pitch in for tourism, and by golly, to commit for more of that brownfield dollar abuse as well. From today’s ticker:
“The new trail route is estimated to cost $5.3 million to complete. According to TART Trails Executive Director Julie Clark, $3.6 million (or 68 percent of the construction budget) is already earmarked in brownfield funding for the project. TART will seek an $800,000 commitment from Garfield Township trustees at their 6pm meeting tonight (Tuesday), leaving an $877,000 funding gap, or the remaining 17 percent of project costs. The city could help cover those costs, and partners could also apply for state grants, which “have funded the Boardman Lake Trail since day one,” Clark said.”
Its only money right?
One commenter says:
“Kudos to the City and TART. Trails are big money for cities, both in enhanced tourism and in adding value to properties. This will open up a lot of cool opportunities and add value all around Boardman Lake.“
I guess its “big money.”
Add to this the suggestion of creating a new parks authority, it only starts there.
I also hinted at the ka-ching of ‘excess moneys that local communities get to use. It keeps them on board and in line. For example, in this case:
In July 2010 Michigan received $498.6 million in federal Hardest Hit Funds (HHF) in response to the housing crisis that led to an unprecedented decline in home prices and high unemployment. MSHDA created the Michigan Homeowner Assistance Housing Corporation (MHA) to oversee distribution of the funds through a program called Step Forward Michigan.
“The Step Forward program has helped unemployed and under-employed people remain in their homes and in our state as they searched for new jobs as our state recovered,” Gov. Rick Snyder said. “That’s important for families who were struggling as our state started its recovery.”
While the title reads:
“Michigan’s hardest hit families have received $241M worth of assistance since 2010″
While All Is Not About ONE MAN, This Example Of Pay For Play Is Clear
There is an explanation I have always used for my sincerest dislike of the MEDC, its mission, and how it takes advantage of the taxpayer for political payoff.
“If a business owner finds it necessary to take taxpayer dollars to start, maintain, or expand their enterprise, then that business model is already in trouble. If there is no NEED for the money to survive, then it is simply a matter of theft.”
Its hard to be any clearer than that.
Any politico who uses the term “Jobs created” when discussing the MEDC grants, is trying to justify the stealingthat must happen first, and is central to the MEDC program. In the history of subsidizing business, one would think that the predictions of ‘job growth’ with accomplished results would speak for itself. In fact, one might think such mechanisms insofar as they are touted, would make the news at least once a month if not weekly as a raging human interest success worthy of celebration.