The Commerce Journal

April 20, 2012

Cost to build trails is the question

Staff Writer
The Commerce Journal

COMMERCE — To the editor:

I just read Opinion/ Guess Viewpoint  of Joe Johnson (BIKER) in Caddo Mills enjoyment of the trails in Florida and Missouri. I have heard that he is a nice guy and grew up around the local area and I respect his opinion. Nothing in his opinion explained how these trails were built and paid for.  So here is my opinion. If someone would research the total cost it took to build this enjoyment using Our taxpayers money it would be in the the millions of dollars level, I am sure.

This is big business for the Railroad Companies. Bigger Governmental Departments needed:  The National Parks Services, Wildlife Departments and State Parks, Department of Transportation, and other private companies that engineer and construct the Rails to Trails. (but these private companies can help build highways and other things needed to support this type of construction).

These trails are built with our taxpayers money whether it be with diverted federal highway gasoline tax money, (10 percent was mandated by Congress to be for Non Highway Projects since 1991) which includes hike and bike, trails to rails to trails and some good projects like cleaning old courthouses, scenic parks, area parks and main street projects.  Earmarks and Stimulus money by Congress could also be involved.  Like the Bridges To No Where.

When will our government stop spending on unnecessary, unrealistic, unreasonable, wasteful types of projects that do not make sense?  We have a National debt that keeps climbing to an all time high, now some 16+ trillion dollars. Can we not put this money to better use on new free use highways/ bridges and maybe reduce the number of pay toll roads that are being built at a record pace?

I hope the lenders do not call on the payoff on the notes.

Please think about the above, this taxpayers money is being offered to a Private not for profit group to build this hike and bike trail through OUR Hunt County.

Can you think of a better use for the money? Why not use it in the State Parks that are asking for donations due to lost business from the economy?  Or to help with rebuilding the State Park in the Bastrop area that was burned by wildfires last year?  Then maybe we need to tell the government at all levels. This is not free money!

Do not forget about the citizens, taxpayers, and/or landowners that live next to this trail, their lives will be changed forever.

There will be a meeting Monday, April 23, 2012 at the Kingston Baptist Church (located on Highway 69 North , 3 miles south of Celeste, corner of Hwy 69 and Fm 3427).  Please attend if you would like more information.

Mike Lewis

Celeste, Texas