Monday, June 04, 2007

Letters: Don't dock taxpayers again

Commercial Appeal [link]
Letters to the Editor

When will the Memphis City Council wake up? A new commercial boat dock? The Riverfront Development Corporation is asking us to spend $18.8 million of city taxpayers' money (not to mention federal earmarks) on something that simply isn't needed (May 25 article, "Beale St. plan restored / City Council puts it back on capital improvements budget").

The part that might be useful ("a place to buy a Coke," as RDC president Benny Lendermon says) could be accomplished far more cheaply with soft-drink machines or licensed street vendors in Tom Lee Park, on the cobblestones or in Jefferson Davis Park. The new hotel at Beale and Wagner will have a restaurant.

Beale Street Landing is a leftover from the repudiated land bridge plan that would have ended the docking at the cobblestones. A new landing is no longer necessary. The steamboat operators hate this floating dock idea. Memphians and tourists think it's fun boarding at the historic cobblestones, and simply want improvements like better walkways, seating and historic information.

Beale Street Landing is an artificiality we can't afford, a make-work, job-protection program for a corporation whose middle name is Development.

Meanwhile, the rest of Memphis languishes, with a high crime rate, a shortage of jobs, poor health and bad roads.

Michael Cromer

This $29 million boat dock is being promoted as a tourist attraction, as in, "Hey let's go to Memphis, they've got a great boat dock," but it is understood that it will be used as a base to transport folks to Tunica for gambling. Hmmmm.

This project is being discussed as money well spent, but we have an empty unpaid-for pyramid, a three-story garage that was supposed to be four stories and a monorail that's not even open year-round that leads to a recreation area with closed shops and restaurants. All paid for by taxpayer dollars. Are we throwing good money after bad?

This project is being promoted as benefiting all Memphians. All Memphians need funded hospitals, libraries, parks, jobs, and good, clean, safe schools and homes before they need a $29 million boat dock.

Our council members are scheduled to vote on this Tuesday. $29 million? Tell them we've had enough.

Kay Guenther

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