Is now the right time to build the Tubman center?

August 22, 2011

At a time when governments are looking for ways to finance the urgent needs of communities, I question why money is being spent for projects like the Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad Visitor Center ("Tubman center: a good first step," Aug. 19).

The center may be a great idea, but is now the best time? It will cost $21 million to build, of which $8.5 million will be federal dollars. Is this the best use of the money during a time of severe budget constraints?

How much revenue can this center be expected to generate? It will have 10 full-time employees and its construction will support 225 jobs for one year. Any guarantee of employment for part of a year is helpful, but it doesn't give desperately out-of-work people hope.

We don't need short term-projects. What we need are long-term revenue sources and employment enhancing programs.

Judi Ford, Jacksonville

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