Monday, March 19, 2007

Spend More, Borrow More, Screw the Children!

That's the Doylie philosophy.

...officials with the state Department of Natural Resources as they push for reauthorization of the state's land- buying Knowles-Nelson Stewardship Fund and for a substantial increase in the amount of money the agency would be allowed to borrow to buy land under the program.

Scott Hassett, DNR secretary, argued before the state Legislature's Joint Finance Committee last week that an increase in borrowing authority from $60 million to $105 million a year is necessary because of soaring land prices.

Joint Finance Committee co-chair Kitty Rhoades, R-Hudson, said the DNR may be interested in protecting the land but that the committee has to consider the financial implications, especially when the state is spending more than it is taking in.

"We are also leaving our grandchildren a legacy of debt," said Rhoades of continued land purchases.

Joe Polasek, director of management and budget for the DNR, said that since the fund's inception in 1989, it has cost about $1.2 billion to repay, with interest, the $803 million that has been borrowed for land purchases.

Paying off loans of $105 million a year between 2010 and 2020 will cost about $1.6 billion, Polasek said. [In other words, the State will borrow $1.05 billion and pay $1.6 billion.]

Obviously, buying a bunch of land is really, really, really important, no matter WHAT the cost.

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