Friday, May 25, 2012 — Regarding the recapture of the FERC license, it seems some folks want to focus solely on the money spent instead of the accomplishments that have been achieved or planned. Few would argue $5 million is significant money. But what if we solely focused on the money spent when considering new school facilities, ambulance purchases or the installation of water lines? The expenditure is only one part of the equation. The outcomes and the improved quality of life are the other. The focus also needs to be on outcomes and improved quality of life.
Much has been accomplished and many more outcomes are projected, thanks to our commissioners. Below are a few direct accomplishments that immediately come to mind:
1. First and foremost, public health will be vastly improved as a result of the commissioners efforts. PCBs and other toxic landfill runoff (like cyanide) will be more aggressively addressed. How does one put a price on the value of these public health improvements or the lives of our citizens?
2. Additionally, dissolved oxygen and water quality will be improved in a more significant way as a result of the 401 case. The final 401 will require much more extensive effort, resulting in improved water quality and enhancement of our precious natural resources. It will also translate into more significant capital investment and subsequently increased tax revenues.
3. The Badin Business Park and jobs were not included in the Relicensing Settlement Agreement. Tax and employment benefits of any redevelopment of the former smelter site are a direct result of the commissioners’ intervention. If Alcoa/APGI had originally intended to make these investments they would have been included in the RSA.
You cannot discuss expenditures or outcomes without the other.
Ron and Nancy Bryant