Saturday, September 12, 2015

Doh! After Killing State Funding for State Parks, Republican Lasee now begging for money, or lose $37 million in District Tourism Revenue.

If the Republican guardians of taxpayer money keep making ideologically driven "small government" spending cuts, they're going to find themselves in the same place State Sen. Frank Lasee (la-say) found himself in recently. He's behind the eight ball with his constituents and business interests, who are hopping mad about the possible impact of losing tourism cash, $37 million to be exact.

Republicans went merrily along with Scott Walker's bizarre attack on our state parks, defunding them completely, and relying only on entrance fees. That hasn't worked anywhere in the country, and now, Lasee is finding out why. But Lasee does mirror conservative voters statewide who hate to see the poor using their tax dollars to enjoy life just a little:

An "I told you so" is in order Frank, as you grovel for money to save Eagle Tower:
Peninsula State Park located near Fish Creek in Door County is one of Wisconsin’s greatest treasures. visited by approximately 1 million visitors annually drawing tourists to Door County and surrounding communities.

The park’s crowning jewel is Eagle Tower, a 76 foot observation deck located atop Eagle Bluff. 

I'm hoping Lasee succeeds in getting Eagle Tower rehabilitated, but I also hope he and his legislative plundering pirates decide to return public funding to the parks. Fat chance:
On May 20th the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources closed Eagle Tower following an engineering report that highlighted minor structural deficiencies. 

Over the past several weeks my office has heard from many constituents and business owners concerned about the DNR’s closure of Eagle Tower and future plans for this historic site. With an economic impact to the local community that totals nearly $37 million, it is essential that all park attractions at Peninsula remain open to the public. 

The DNR has not yet made a final decision on the future of Eagle Tower – their initial indications have been negative. To encourage the department to repair or replace Eagle Tower and to show community support, I have scheduled a public listening session I fully support the rehabilitation or, if necessary, replacement of Eagle Tower so that future generations may enjoy this historic site and share in the grandeur of Wisconsin’s State Parks. 

Having Eagle Tower closed is unacceptable.  With your help we can convince the DNR that Eagle Tower is an irreplaceable local treasure.

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