By Marty West
August 10, 2005
I support Proposition One to fund the proposed dock expansion. Studies, funded by cruise ship passenger fees instituted in 2003, have been comprehensive and exhaustive.
The T-Pier was challenged and eliminated as unsafe due to winds and tides; a South End extension became less appealing due to interference with the cannery and traffic congestion at the Deermont intersection; the North End alternative also has drawbacks but the Council selected this option for several compelling reasons.
This alternative is designed to lessen congestion downtown, fund upland development (sidewalks, utilities, traffic flow), benefit businesses outside the downtown core, and increase the number of cruise ships able to dock.
An additional impact will be increased activity in the Newtown area. Careful planning will preserve the character of the neighborhood and provide for upgrades in the commercial area. There will also be a very positive economic impact with good jobs created during the project construction.
Yes, tourists can be annoying as they wander through traffic and yes, there are a crazy number of jewelry stores downtown but increased tourist traffic relates to increased sales taxes. This steady flow of sales tax has meant no property tax increases.
These bonds will be paid through cruise ship passenger revenues, not property tax. I urge you to vote yes for Proposition One.
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