New fencing is too much
The letter from last Sunday’s paper expressing concern about the new fences along I-65 was right on target. While some of the funds to pay for the fence reportedly came from private sources, no doubt much of the costs were from one or more “grants,” which in reality means taxpayer money.
Decorative improvements made to the exits over the past several years do make an attractive impression on visitors, but this lengthy fence is over-the-top. It will require perpetual maintenance and will last only a few years compared to the heavy steel fence which was there. And as your writer pointed out, each year this fence will have to be cleared with herbicide, as it is unlikely that workers will use “weedeaters” for clearing the 10-plus miles. Any first-year business student learns to calculate the “continuing cost” of any improvements to a facility or property prior to installing them. Maintenance of this fence will cost us thousands of tax dollars for many, many years to come. Perhaps our local leaders should have considered these costs prior to approving the project and given the taxpayers a choice as to whether this is an expense we wish to absorb.
The writer also mentioned installing the fence removed thousands of trees and bushes along the way. The old fence and trees really did provide a significant sight and sound barrier for folks living along Cumberland Trace, McFadin Station and several neighborhoods, businesses and apartments parallel to the interstate. It is actually surprising how much this vegetation reduced the sound for much of the year.
Installation of this fence without considering its physical, environmental and financial impacts to the community is a waste of taxpayer money and shows a lack of thoughtful leadership.