Letters to the Editor

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TILLICUM: Boondoggle over Camp Murray gate

Letter by Edmond B. Dennery, Lakewood on July 25, 2011 at 11:07 am | 1 Comment »
July 25, 2011 1:49 pm

After a failed attempt last year, Camp Murray again plans to relocate its main gate to a position buried in a residential area of Lakewood’s Tillicum neighborhood.

The proposed location would not fit a basic requirement for a military gate: ease of accessibility and egress. Vehicles attempting to access the Camp would be forced to use streets that are narrow and even now difficult to traverse. The streets are lined with power poles and, in case of a severe disaster, could be rendered impassable.

To mitigate increased traffic, the city requests that Camp Murray pay for five speed bumps to impede traffic on Portland Avenue, tear up portions of the street to facilitate parking and construct a roundabout at taxpayer cost of at least $1.2 million.

What the military and the city have failed to tell people is that an elaborate gate for Camp Murray is not necessary. Right now, once a vehicle is admitted to Joint Base Lewis-McChord, entry to Camp Murray is unrestricted through a gate on the undeveloped, easily accessible southern boundary of Camp Murray.

According to those who have presented information about the gate plan, the reason given for not considering this site is the unwillingness of Camp Murray and JBLM to work out a plausible solution.

It is incomprehensible that our military entities can’t discuss items of mutual interest. All that would be needed is an inexpensive sign reading “Welcome to Camp Murray.” This would save the taxpayers $4.3 million.

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