To the editor:
It has become clear that the Taylor Run stream “restoration” project is an unjustified waste of public funds. The intellectual dishonesty of city staff in continuing its promotion after recognizing that the criteria upon which it is based is no longer valid is also highly disturbing.
Given that the actual phosphorus levels have been quoted as being about one-fourth of the generic values the city is using, the proposed project is already unsupportable on environmental grounds. However, there has been no discussion about the impact of the other part of the equation – the cost estimate used in calculating the value of dollars per ton of phosphorus removed.
I have seen nothing regarding the pedigree of the cost estimate, an associated risk analysis and proposed contingency funds. Alexandria has a poor record of adhering to initial cost estimates on major projects, and any underestimate in this case will result in the justification of this project becoming even more unreasonable.
The real question is, “Why is Mayor Justin Wilson so intensely behind it?” His record in recent environmental decisions is not very good, so why does he care so much about this, particularly in an election year?
Finally, we can all wring our hands and complain, but any real change will not occur until we have a mayor and council that are more responsive to residents’ concerns and are dedicated to better balancing the needs of ordinary citizens and those of business. Alexandria really must stop being the poster child for “You can’t fight city hall.”
-William Rogalski, Jr., Alexandria