Did you know the State of Tennessee is attempting to privatize the most visited park in the State? Did you know they want to use your tax dollars so that private contractors can make a profit? Why is it that so few citizens know of these plans? Fall Creek Falls is on the States list and they are fast-tracking their plans before the public stops them. If they will do this to the crown jewel of our state parks will they do it to others? Is your state park safe?
There are arguments for and against privatization of government services. On the one hand proponents will tell you that private industry can manage services or projects more efficiently than the government. I will concede that in some cases that may be true. In the instance of Fall Creek Falls I do not believe that is the case. I do not believe it will cost the citizens of the communities impacted nor the State less money to demolish and privatize than to renovate and continue under state management.
There will be no money saved on demolition of the facility as private contractors will be hired to do a majority of the work. They work to make a profit. Renovations on the other hand might be accomplished with employees already employed by the state. (1 point for renovation)
While the facility is closed for demolition there will be no income coming in to the facility to offset costs while renovation could be done in phases.(1 point for renovation)
Employees will be terminated or furloughed while the demolition is occurring impacting both disposable local income and impacting the cost to pay unemployment by the state to those employees. This would not happen in renovation.( 2 points for renovation)
Once reopened the new facility would offer less space for families and couples and more space for business conferences. This inflates the price to enjoy the services and takes them out of financial reach to those most likely to use them. This is counter to the mission of our state parks.( 3 points for renovation)
What we will get is a fancy and expensive conference center paid for with our tax dollars which caters to large conventions and seminars that will be too expensive for most of us to enjoy and which makes a profit for a private contractor who pays minimum wage jobs with no benefits.( how do you score that?)
Not to mention that the loss of wages and sales tax revenue will negatively impact the funding model (BEP) for the area schools requiring the state to make up the difference. This will cause the taxpayers statewide to pay more than is necessary of their hard earned tax dollars to offset this loss.
If it made any kind of economic sense to pursue this project as it is being presented there would not be so much opposition to it. It is a shame that common sense is so uncommon in State government sometimes.
Please Sign the Petition here: (link...)
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