I am furious about the cold closure of McNeil Island.
Have we so quickly forgotten about the troubles with vandalism and squatters at the old Western State Hospital buildings? Am I the only one who recalls those news stories?
We will see this cycle: crime, drugs and squatters, followed by lawsuits for injuries and creating an attractive nuisance. Then will come the EPA-forced cleanup of the rotting structures. Taxpayers pay for it all.
The article said it would cost $500,000 to keep those buildings in restorable condition. Our state can’t find anyone to lease those buildings and site? There are no state programs that could use those structures? All we can do is let them decay?
If a private citizen abandoned something like that, the state would sue him. This is a huge waste of all the taxpayer money that went into building those structures and roads.
Here’s one idea, just off the top of my head: We just renewed the tax incentive for films and movie making in our state. Make any and all film studios a sweet deal on using those structures as long as they maintain them.
It’s a beautiful island with many possible settings for film. Turn McNeil into the Studio City of the Northwest and start a new industry here.
Anything is better than turning it over to decay and crime.