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Commentaries and editorials

Wasting Millions

by Bill Chetwood
Lewiston Tribune, March 2, 2019

Cruise ships visiting the LC Valley are an important part of the tourism economy, but at what cost? Kudos to the Tribune for the Feb. 14 article regarding the Port of Lewiston, which exposed the planned road trip by the port commissioners and of the expenditures proposed, in which the "goal" is quoted to be "economically and environmentally sustainable" for this $17.55 million plan. ...

The annual maintenance to provide slackwater for Idaho’s only seaport, as quoted by (now outdated) 2012 figures for operating the lower Snake river dams, totaled $44.1 million.

The annual cost of dredging so that the local docks are accessible adds a few million dollars.

The local property taxes for operation and maintenance of the port have been microscopically reduced from the original $430,000 per year. But 45 years later it is still a tax burden. ...

Construction and cost of a basically superfluous 700-foot cruise boat dock at the Port of Lewiston is especially injurious. The proposed project is about half a mile away from Clarkston’s dock, which has proven, with occasional dredging, to be adequate for the activity. A $5.05 million recommendation for a seldom-used dock cannot be justified just by calling it an "access for tour boats" in Lewiston. That is not a plan. It is an expensive unrealistic dream. ...

The little "road trip" by the commissioners is probably educational and "in the line of duty" so it passes the smell test. However, proposing a multimillion-dollar structure of unproven and questionable value makes a mockery of practical economics.

Bill Chetwood, Lewiston
Wasting Millions
Lewiston Tribune, March 2, 2019

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