Caller correct about Brown Street bridge

Published 1:00 am Sunday, October 23, 2011

To the Editor:
I do not know the person who called “Sound Off” concerning the Brown Street (funnel) bridge replacement, but they are, without a doubt, absolutely correct! Anyone with any common sense at all can see that the body of water between John Small Avenue and the dam at Park Drive bottleneck at the Brown Street bridge. The water is flow restricted once again at the dam and then at the trestle crossing at the mouth of Jack’s Creek. If all of these obstacles were removed, yes, ye nay sayers, I know the trestle cannot be removed, but that area can be widened and the natural flow of water would return as God planned it in the first place.
Anyone who is a native of Washington and Beaufort County knows that when the water is pumped out of the “holding basin” and into the river (during high water) it accomplishes nothing as the water still comes into the city from Runyon and other creeks that are around the city.
Now I say all of that to ask this — why waste the money to replace the Brown Street bridge? The replacement price, I am told, was originally $600,000. I now understand that it will be considerably more. As an idea, would it not be an advantage to the people to continue the walkway, now under construction, completely around that body of water and place a floating fountain in that body that would in turn aerate the water and help to beautify that area? After all, to replace the bridge, will only benefit a complaining few.
I know the city has received a grant to replace the bridge, but what is a grant but taxpayers money? I didn’t vote for replacement, nor was I asked to. A grant is like “Section 8” housing and other welfare programs. It takes money from working people and gives it to those who choose to “live for free.” I do not intend to get into a wetting contest on the subject of welfare. There are many people who really need help, but, oh so many who misuse and abuse the system.
Back to the bridge, it does not need to be replaced, take it away and construct a nice wide walkway there, continue the walkway completely around the water and then everyone can better enjoy an exercise area, the Veterans Park and surrounding area.
P.S.: On the subject of grants, why do we need a consultant (more wasted taxpayers’ money) to tell us how to replace the rotting boards at the Washington Civic Center? There are plenty of excellent contractors in this area who can do that work without a consultant.