Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Bike path deserves community support

    On May 21, Blaine County residents will have the opportunity to vote for a levy to support the repair of the bike path.  I strongly urge you to vote “yes” on this levy.  
    As a caveat to my voice of support, I would mention that I do not favor frequent levy and bond raises as a means for municipalities to skirt their fiscal responsibility to produce a balanced budget and direct funds in the interest of future spending requirements.  I believe that too often we see this tactic, especially with vital services that taxpayers have difficulty shunning.  
    The levy to support the bike path does not fall into this category. First, when construction on the bike path began in 1984, it was through funds raised by a levy as well. Since that time, the BCRD has received a set amount to maintain the path, while its obligations to the community have only grown.  The bike path is an asset that can be maintained, but ultimately more substantial repairs are needed following the 30-year lifespan. Although the budget might have tried to account for this, it would have required a higher permanent tax, as well as a longer term commitment to new infrastructure. Second, what was once a trial infrastructure project in 1984 has become a heavily used, vital component of our community.  Visitors and residents alike both use the bike path for transportation and recreation.  It provides a healthy alternative for a commute to work as well as a safe route for our children to travel throughout the valley.  
    The construction of the bike path in 1984 was a bold and wise initiative supported by our community. The levy on May 21 is our opportunity to protect this important asset well into the future. Please join me in voting “yes” in support of the levy.  
Tyler Davis-Jeffers

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