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A parable: How infrastructure investment benefits a community | Letters
Here’s what readers are saying in Thursday’s letters to the editor.
A rendering of the housing development project planned for 850 Fifth Ave. S, St. Petersburg, which is set to add 50 affordable housing units to the city.
A rendering of the housing development project planned for 850 Fifth Ave. S, St. Petersburg, which is set to add 50 affordable housing units to the city. [ Pinellas County ]
Published Nov. 11

Here’s how it works

How the new infrastructure bill will boost Florida | Editorial, Nov. 9

It is hard for average folks to understand how spending borrowed money on roads, waterways and bridges help increase the nation’s long-term value. So, let’s use a simple example. You live in a community that has all the raw materials one on side of a dilapidated bridge and the facilities to turn that raw material into useful products on the other side. The government prints the money to fix the bridge. They have no backing for that money. Half the money is used to pay local idle labor and half is used to buy material already sitting on suppliers’ shelves. All the way through the project the various governmental entities collect fees and taxes, the local laborers earn their pay and local suppliers use their portion to order new products to replace their depleted stock.

In the end, you have a brand-new bridge, and the entire community sees the value of their properties increase and investors see the value in spending money where they know productivity will improve due to the new structure. Now that the new bridge is finished, the structure itself represents the value of the money spent. That money is no longer without value and if needed the bridge could be sold and that money returned to the government. It sounds counter-intuitive, but the once non-backed money is now backed by the actual, tangible bridge itself. That’s how what seems a contradiction, turns empty money into money with value.

Brian Valsavage, St. Petersburg

Recycle those hangers

Hang on! Dry cleaners need your hangers | Column, Oct. 30

I have a solution for the cleaners’ hanger shortage problem. For each item brought into the cleaners for service, a hanger must accompany it. It’s called recycling. Do your part.

Patricia Connolly, Palm Harbor

Unaffordable housing

St. Pete to add $17M affordable housing project | Nov. 9

While I’m glad to see St. Pete is adding affordable housing, but I simply don’t understand why it costs so much; $17 million for 50 units is $340,000 per unit. At this rate, the proposed $80 million over 10 years would equate to a total of only 235 units. Instead of tearing down older low-rent buildings to build high-end condos, those buildings could be renovated at a much lower cost and remain low rent. A modest studio apartment with private bath and kitchenette would provide stability, safety and dignity, something every human being deserves. Let’s start with the basics for as many as possible.

Diane Love, St. Petersburg