I-98: leave the city where it is
Monday, December 20, 2010 - 3:16 pm

To the Editor:

I agree with the letter from John Danis about the proposed I-98. I am also opposed to this ridiculous plan. People who support this project can be divided into three groups:

• Benenficiaries – DANC (Development Authority of the North Country) board members, major construction companies (some of whom may be from other states or even other countries) and some of the other proponents of this highway will make money. So they see it as business. The jobs they are talking about creating will likely not even be for local people. These major construction companies from all over the world will bring in their own crews. In some cases it’s not all about money. Some of these beneficiaries will benefit politically or in just making a name for themselves. All at taxpayer cost and a hefty sum at that.

• The Uninformed (or misinformed) So many people just believe what certain people or groups (like DANC), who seem to be in authority, tell them to believe. These people who are receiving misinformation from such groups and authorities are then under the belief that it will benefit them and the North Country as a whole. They think it will bring money and prestige and jobs, etc. But what will be lost? Other information not released is the complete loss of some communities that are not near access ramps to this interstate. Those communities could become ghost towns. Also, the public doesn’t realize that eminent domain will be used. Simply put, if you own a farm or a house or a business or any property that this highway will be running through or even near (this highway will need a lot of right-of-way on either side), you will be forced to sell your property and leave. Think about the width of any interstate that you have been on. Think about how wide that really is.

• People who like what the city has to offer. For these people who want interstate, big box stores (like Walmart and Lowes), and big chain restaurants (like Appleby’s), all of these things can be found in the city. If you want what the city has to offer – move to the city. But don’t bring the city here! All of us who live in the North Country choose to do so. Most of the people I know continue to live here because it is rural and pristine and beautiful. And it is not the city! Leave the city where it is.

Tom Allen, Potsdam