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Say 'no' to nonsense grants

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The Carroll County Board of Supervisors and the county administrator need to spend more time listening to public opinion and less time trying to manipulate it.
We were told that the sewer was going to Galax because that would be cheaper than Hillsville.
But what they didn’t disclose was that an engineering study showed that although the price charged by Galax was less, higher infrastructure expenses would increase the cost so that going to Galax is both more expensive and more vulnerable to breakdowns (some of which have already occurred).
The truth: it went to Galax because Rural Development, the lender, nonsensically required it.
We were told that the investment in Wildwood must be a good idea because the Tobacco Commission is a litmus test — it only invests where success is likely, and they gave money for Wildwood.
But the Tobacco Commission also invested in Amerlink, a failure of which the board has been highly critical, and a recent state audit is highly critical of Tobacco Commission investments, finding especially poor results for projects such as industrial parks.
(We were also told that our existing shell buildings are not useful, today, while the Tobacco Commission was investing more than a million dollars in a new shell building for Lee County).
Now we are told that we should spend more than $5 million to build a road that is generally acknowledged to make no sense, and that will seriously damage properties of 19 citizens, in order to get more grant money.
When will they learn to just say “no” to grants that don’t make sense?
When will we have integrity to tell the federal government we don’t want to squander money that contributes to federal waste? A grant should be a means to an end, not an end in itself.
Citizens made their feelings clear at a public hearing on the road: they don’t want it. If their wishes are ignored, then what was the purpose for the hearing?
The same board that silenced criticism at their meeting has chosen once again to ignore the wishes of those who elected them.
Mike Goldwasser
Hillsville