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Saturday, October 3, 2009

Derailed: Fink's public service

The Union Leader editorializes on the state's decision not to apply for $300 million in stimulus funds for a commuter rail project.
The rails the state wanted to use belong to Fink. When the state didn't let him bid on a separate rail contract this year, instead awarding it to a competitor (who just happens to be a state legislator), Fink ended negotiations over the use of his lines for commuter rail.

Call it selfishness or not, the result is good for New Hampshire. The much-touted $300 billion estimate to build commuter rail here doesn't cover long-term operating costs. The state is struggling to fully fund the court system and state employee pensions. Where will it get the money to subsidize commuter rail?

The "free" stimulus money would simply have obligated us to finance a project that would drain taxpayer dollars forever. Thankfully, this crazy scheme is dormant until the state can find another sucker to pay for it.

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