It is good news that the city of Astoria is gaining another 1,530 feet on the RiverTrail. As we reported last week, the city received $50,000 in grant funds after committing $12,000 to the project.
Prior to the City Council's decision to make this investment, there was objection to the effect that the money would be better used to save part of a firefighter's position.
The kind of leveraging ($50,000 for spending $12,000) is only available for a limited period. Thus this was a use-it-or-lose-it proposition.
We understand the consternation of citizens who are concerned about the reduction in the firefighting force, but this is something the city has been discussing and studying for at least a decade. Virtually everyone who has watched this process knew this day would come, as a product of the tax limitation measures passed in 1990 and 1996. For a town of 10,000, Astoria is unique for the number of professional firefighters it has funded.
In these tight times, small towns and cities must leverage their resources. The four-to-one match that yielded the RiverTrail expansion is a financial boon.
The RiverTrail is part of the city's furniture. The trail virtually expands our living space and our opportunities. Like the Aquatic Center, the RiverTrail makes this a healthier, more attractive place to live.