Newland project is boondoggle
A recent editorial in The Herald criticized the county officials' opposition to the Newland Development scheme to build more than 2,700 homes on the former Bowater seed orchard property along the Catawba River. The Herald also supported the idea of extending Dave Lyle Boulevard from the Galleria, across the river and eventually joining S.C. 521 in Lancaster County. Both of these projects are bad public policy and not in the best interest of the taxpayers of York County.
The Dave Lyle extension is an old idea with a low priority for state infrastructure funding. Newland Development has been successful in getting the project on the radar screen by pledging $8 million in seed money for a very expensive bridge to "nowhere." The road extension and bridge is bait and switch by Newland to get its development project off the ground and paid for by the local taxpayer. It claims that the entire project cost would be $120 million. It is very questionable that right-of way acquisitions, road construction all the way to 521 and a four-lane bridge across the Catawba could be built for $120 million. The true cost certainly would exceed $200 million, with little return for York County.
The York County Regional Chamber of Commerce is one of the few supporters of the extension, claiming that significant retail sales dollars will flow from Lancaster County into York County shopping centers. With John Crosland Development currently building an 800,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art retail complex between Lancaster and Sun City, a significant portion of these retail dollars will flow up 521 toward Charlotte.
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The York County Council is on record opposing the road extension proposal. The Lancaster County Council chairman advised me that they were not opposed the idea but will not support any funding of the project from county tax dollars. Lancaster Chamber of Commerce is neutral, yet not excited about endorsing the prospect of local retail sales and tax revenue leaving their area for York County.
State Sen. Wes Hayes and U.S. Rep. John Spratt hold similar views on the extension. As long as there is not a high level of community and government support for the project, they cannot become involved.
York County's opposition to the project is based on the premise that there are more important projects in the county that need road funding. A second bridge crossing the Catawba is vital if the county is to share in Charlotte's growth. Bridge and road dollars need to be invested on Twin Lakes, Museum and Sutton Lakes roads in northern York County where a second route across the river into Metro Charlotte. This is where thousands of our residents commute and work each day, not into Lancaster County.
Edmund J. FitzGerald
Don't waste surplus money
In response to Lynn Moody's comments made concerning "some facts about turf," I must question her logic about surplus. According to Webster's, surplus means a quantity over and above what is needed or used. To me, that sounds like the difference in what was budgeted and what was spent.
Either way, Lynn Moody has said the "surplus" must be spent on one-time expenses. OK, how about books and supplies for our children this year? How about spending it on a better zoning plan for the district?
It is time the parents of this district stand up and be heard. We are tired of useless spending, ridiculous zoning decisions, and lack of listening from the very people that we voted in to listen to us.
Please, will anyone hear our pleas?
Don't teach students Spanish
Teaching our kids Spanish in school is mandatory, but it takes away from other classwork, like advanced reading. My granddaughter has to have math class in two parts on Thursday to make room for Spanish class. They are cutting other classes some, too, plus giving more homework.
I don't mind teaching English to Spanish-speaking kids. But why take away from math, English and reading? It's bad that Spanish-speaking people are taking our jobs. I know they are, because the plant I work at has laid off about 400 workers in the last five years and replaced them with temporary workers that spoke Spanish and very little English.
They are taking our jobs. All of the people who lost jobs had between 10 and 20 years on these jobs. Don't let our kids lose their class and learning time, too.