I find it very disappointing that our city is still pursuing the roundabout at Five Corners. Arguments can be made on both sides that it is “innovative and smart” and might “catch on,” and that it will improve the flow of traffic at the intersection. We have been told that the wait time, at peak hours, is an additional 105 seconds, just over a minute-and-a-half that will disappear once the circle is in place. At what cost?
This is not enough of an inconvenience to justify the probable expenditure in excess of $2 million of our tax dollars. I am aware that if we choose not to move forward with the project we are liable for the grant monies we have already received and will have to refund them, around $70,000. I also understand that if we move forward, the City will be liable for approximately 13.5 percent of the total cost of the project, a very large number.
This percentage is to come from our already anemic street fund and we have needs that are much more pressing than Five Corners. We need to look at history and cost overruns in the recent past. We are still living with the Haines Wharf overruns and will for some time.
We are setting ourselves up for the same disaster at Five Corners. 13.5 percent may seem like a small percentage, but the rest will come from the federal government in the form of grants, i.e., our tax dollars. The federal government is $15 trillion in debt and growing at an unsustainable rate. This does not include the unfunded liabilities that push the total well past $70 trillion.
We need to set an example of not spending money we don’t have at all levels of government. Edmonds needs to lead. Aren’t we the city that made it a priority to ban plastic bags and became a leader nationally in this regard? Aren’t we a city that values its history?
Five Corners has been a landmark for decades and has served us well as is. Aren’t we the city that is trying to set the standard for being green with our solar projects and recharging stations? Let’s set an example nationally by both saving something that has served us well and showing the rest of the country that we are fiscally responsible in the process.