Warm Southern Breeze

"… there is no such thing as nothing."

The Power of One Small Idea: How Alabama could hit a home run WITHOUT raising taxes in the budget crisis.

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Sunday, May 17, 2015

Creativity is in short supply in Monkeytown, Alabama.

I refer, of course, to Montgomery.

And to be certain, there is a backstory on the nickname.

Seems the Montgomery Zoo was originally located in Oak Park, and then named Oak Park Zoo. The zoo also had an island of monkeys, which once escaped. Hence, the nick name.

For what it’s worth, the Montgomery City Planetarium, formerly known as Gayle Planetarium, is also located in Oak Park. I encourage you to go there, sometime! I have.

But back to the creativity thing.

Alabama is in dire straits fiscally. But, then again, that’s nothing new. Governor Bentley has promised (and broken) numerous pledges in his first & second campaigns. The one bothering most folks is the “read my lips… no new taxes” promise he unwisely made while campaigning for a second term.

It may not be the lie the second time around, as much as it is the entire deception thing from the get-go. Because he, the AL GOP, and the entire Legislature knew all about this well in advance. They knew there would come a day when the monies they “borrowed” from the Alabama Trust Fund must be repaid. That day has come… and is now gone. They’re essentially reneging on their promise, which not only makes them liars, but thieves as well, since money is involved.

So, you’re damn skippy the people are hopping mad!

Again, to be certain, Alabama is in a pottage of porridge – which bluntly means, they’re so broke, so out of ideas, have painted themselves into a corner, and now, they’re backtracking – flip-flopping more vigorously like fresh fish out of water. Previously, President pro tempore of the Senate Del Marsh & Ethics-Felony-Indicted Speaker of the House Mike Hubbard spoke AGAINST any kind of gaming… when they were campaigning for office. Now, they seem to like the idea of Gaming Gone Wild. And like desperadoes on the lam, they’re now coming up with some utterly inane ideas – most notable among them is Del Marsh’s idea to legalize lottery & casino gambling statewide, and use the proceeds to pay for the Alabama Department Of Corrections Prison System, and Medicaid.

Yeah… Florida, Georgia, and Tennessee all have Lottery for Education, and Del Marsh thinks Alabama needs a Lottery for Prison. Something about that just doesn’t sound quite right. But there again, that’s the Goat Hill Gangsters for you.

Enough opining. I shared the background to bring the reader “up to speed” on the issues.

Here’s a creative idea.

Sell water to Georgia for Atlanta from the Tennessee River.

The Governor could enter into a legal agreement with the State of Georgia, and Atlanta in particular, to sell water to assist that metropolitan area’s phenomenal grow needs.

It’d be a Win:Win for numerous reasons.

1.) The contract could be one of long-term duration (ex. 50 years), an;

2.) Rights of way for the pipeline could be leased;

3.) Construction could stipulate Alabama Labor, Contractors & Materials be used;

4.) All maintenance costs would be borne by Georgia and/or Atlanta;

5.) Alabama could set the terms for price, volume, dates, and times of usage (draw);

6.) Alabama would actually earn income from wise management of an abundant, natural, renewable resource – water;

7.) It could assist in resolving the so-called “Water Wars
(concerning Lake Lanier; see also:
http://www.waterwar.org/history.html
&
https://www.southernenvironment.org/cases-and-projects/tri-state-water-wars-al-ga-fl
&
http://www.atlantaregional.com/environment/tri-state-water-wars)
which have been a costly ongoing feud involving Florida, Georgia, and Alabama in Federal Courts for several years;

8.) It’d be an Infrastructure project, benefiting both states;

9.) Alabama businesses and local economies would be boosted;

10.) It would be a fairly stable source of income.

Distance from the AL/GA state line is roughly 5.5miles+/-

Distance from the AL/GA state line is roughly 5.5miles+/-.
It’s about the shortest route to the river from the state line, and the most readily accessible.

The pipeline could dip into the Tennessee River in an area near Bridgeport, Alabama, and extend across the AL/GA state line on toward Atlanta. There appears already to be major electrical transmission lines in that path, so the possibility exists that the land could serve dual function.

Mind you, this is not an “instant” fix, it is a LONG-TERM INFRASTRUCTURE project.

There are other much-needed remedies, such as:

• A NEW Constitution to replace the bloated, cumbersome, 1901 Constitution with 800+ amendments (the world’s longest), and restrictions that hamstring local communities from managing themselves, and detracts the Legislature’s time from more pressing state-wide matters

• The need to Expand Medicaid (which by also attract significant additional business opportunities, and jobs would pay for itself), and

• The need for a complete overhaul of the ADOC Prison system.

There are many, many more pressing problems, but those are perhaps the top three.

This idea is but a small one which could prove significantly beneficial to Alabama.

BUT!

You gotta’ THINK, and THINK CREATIVELY.

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