Sunday, May 11, 2008

Such An Obviously Bad Idea

According to the Murfreesboro Daily News Journal, local residents continue to oppose a proposed "bible theme park" to be built with tax dollars and "incentives." However, this comingThursday, the Rutherford County, Tennessee County Commissioners will likely approve the park, despite the fact that:

[m]embers of the grass-roots opposition to the proposed Bible Park USA have compiled a critique of the claims made by the developers of the $175 million to $200 million theme park in the Blackman community.

The 26-page document titled "Questioning the promises: A Bible Park USA analysis" was released Thursday to rebut the claims of developer Armon Bar-Tur and his team.

It has been distributed to all 21 Rutherford County Commissioners — who will have the ultimate say on the park's zoning and financial plan — as well as County Mayor Ernest Burgess, County Attorney Jim Cope and County Finance Director Lisa Nolen.

The document was written by members of the Bible park opposition and edited by Blackman resident Steve Yaeger.

It questions the credibility and transparency of the developer and his team; the attendance projections used for economic analysis; the jobs and wages used for the economic impact analysis; the economic analysis itself, which they say uses inflated numbers; the use of tax-increment financing (a method of using increased tax revenue to pay for the development); and the impact on the quality of life for Blackman residents.

"When forced to reveal details by an increasingly skeptical public, Mr. Bar-Tur used a PR (public relations) firm and surrogates to carefully control public dialog on the matter," the documents states.

The document goes on to say "essential financial details have been highly suspicious or lacking altogether, presented by people who are being paid by Mr. Bar-Tur or directly connected financially to the theme park."

The chance of this thing tuning into a huge clusterfuck for Rutherford County are increasingly high. Just how stupid are the County Commissioners? Have they set aside money to defend the coming First Amendment challenges to this use of tax dollars? Really, are the schools in Rutherford County so well-funded, the roads so well-maintained, the police and firefighters so well-paid that the county has tax money to throw away on a project that clearly violates the First Amendment?

The report says that:

"When you consider the park's narrow appeal (religious vs. recreational) and its location, well off the beaten path of tourism, it's clear that the proposed Bible theme park will not meet the projected attendance totals," the document said.

No kidding. It's unlikely to ever even get built. But that doesn't mean that it won't suck tax dollars away from needed projects.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Happy Mother's Day!!!