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Can Federal Way afford luxuries like the PACC? | Letters
The proposed development ideas for Federal Way are creating an extremely challenging situation.
What the solutions will be are illusive. We are locked into a $10 million grant from the state, $5 million for land for the Performing Arts and Conference Center (PACC) and another $5 million for land earmarked for mixed used development nearby which would consist of stores and shops with high-end apartment rentals above them and a city-sponsored park in a public/private partnership.
Public/private partnerships most often spell success for the private developers involved and unceasing, increasing, expenses for the city and taxpayers involved (that’s us).
At a time when the economies of our city, state, national, and world are in crisis, with shackles of every kind on true free market development (including the shackles of mandates tied to state and federal grants), applying for yet more government grants (see the front page article “Credit card for PACC” in the Aug. 16 Federal Way Mirror) - which ultimately come from our tax dollars - is extremely risky.
We in Federal Way and King County are already paying handsomely for Celebration Park and the Aquatic Center as mentioned in Glen Morgan’s blog article from the Freedom Foundation this past week, but have now added the new Federal Way Community Center to the mix as well.
All of these facilities are lovely to have in the community, but the situation does beg the question of whether we can afford the extremely high maintenance costs for more luxury facilities such as PACC.
Such projects may need to come from the private sector once the blocks to a true free market economy are removed and proper incentives created for businesses to come, boom, and expand. Take a look at Olympia’s history (and others) who chose a similar path in Glen Morgan’s blog post titled "If Federal Way Builds It, The Citizens Will Pay" at http://myfreedomfoundation.com.
This is serious business that can have extremely widespread effects on all of us. We may all need to speak up. Please come to the special PACC presentation at 6 p.m. Thursday, Sept 5 at in the council chambers at City Hall, 33325 8th Ave. S., to learn the details, ask questions, and share your thoughts with everyone.
Patricia Conant, Federal Way