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If it’s built, will they really come?

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Letter to the editor

 Looking for a little guidance in voting, I’ve been waiting for an article in the Rome News-Tribune that provides some specifics for the “centerpiece of the Proposed $63.8 million package,” a.k.a. the Ag Center component of the 2017 SPLOST. The headline inSunday’spaper announcing “Ag center plans wide open” with an article that essentially rehashes what advocates of the Ag Center propose might be included offers little in the way of guidance.

An unplanned $8 million project based on the premise of “If you build it, they will come” (or if you don’t, someone else will)? The only consensus for this “project” seems to be that it will operate at a deficit, even though there’s no clue for where it will be built, how much it will cost, how it will function or who will operate it. Other than that, it sounds like a plan.

While the Ag Center may in fact be a value-added project for the community, it’s a big ask for $8 million and a promise to “make it work” with no basis in planning. Unfortunately, this approach risks failure for the other deserving and beneficial 2017 SPLOST projects because it requires voters to support an unknown “centerpiece” that’s a gamble at best and a boondoggle at worst. Smells like politics.