Money slated for Old Dominion Boat Club purchase could be better spent

Money slated for Old Dominion Boat Club purchase could be better spent

By Dave Beck, Alexandria
(File Photo) 

To the editor:

After last year’s four cent real estate tax hike — coupled with the personal property tax increase — one would think city councilors would not need to raise taxes again so soon. However, when a freewheeling spending policy is in effect, nothing should come as a surprise.

With all the attention focused on the last-minute quibbling over funding for programs that total in the thousands at the closing moments of city council’s final add/delete session, no one seemed to care that our councilors are spending about $8 million to obtain the Old Dominion Boat Club’s property (the land value is $3 million plus another $5 million in cash).

And what if members of the boat club decline the deal once all of the details are made known? How much taxpayer money is this city council prepared to spend pursuing eminent domain?

Ostensibly, this effort is so that residents can have another park — another Market Square — and an ice rink. Where does that really generate a return on investment for the city and its taxpayers? Or has this become a project to benefit a tour boat operation and a couple of restaurants?

An originally-stated purpose of the waterfront redevelopment plan was to create a continuous walkway along the Potomac. That is entirely possible without spending millions of dollars that the city cannot afford to lose.