Says waterfront plan won't work

COURTESY TO THE BELLINGHAM HERALDNovember 8, 2013 

Waterfront property is always an exceptional value, right?

The City Council is finally waking up to the fact that it may not be so.

A few years back they made what I believe is a sweetheart deal with GP allowing them to skate on obligations associated with years of polluting the air, water and shoreline of our city. Now, left with a parcel contaminated with industrial waste, they contemplate the costly act of preserving some of the abandoned relics of production, because they are cute and part of our heritage.

Wake up folks -- this stuff is industrial junk and should be recognized and treated for what it is.

And, this is only the beginning -- the entire site was built on swampland and supported by a forest of untreated wood piling, all of which is near or at the end of its functional life. Any new works of significance will need to be expensively pinned to the deep seafloor to make them seismically safe.

Any wonder why the titans of commerce are not lining up to take the development plunge. Of course not, they are waiting for someone else (city, the port and the taxpayer) to clean up the pollution and deliver nice, neat, stabilized pad sites.

In my opinion, this scheme will never pencil out.

My advice; knock it down, bury the junk and contamination, haul in topsoil, plant some grass and trees and stop the hemorrhage of tax dollars.

If heritage is all that important; call it GP Park.

John Matzinger

Bellingham

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