Furthermore, the developers have offered to donate part of the property for a new school if their request for greater density is granted.
As a taxpayer, I would much rather have an intelligently designed development with a variety of housing options and with a school site readily available and free, than another crop of McMansions and the need to find and purchase land for a school. In addition, more houses will result in a greater tax base, thus lessening the burden on the rest of us. Indeed, the development plan of Williamsport Ventures, LLC fulfills Herald-Mail editor Bob Maginnis' "New Year's Resolutions No. 11: Come up with a plan to build some affordable housing here before the entire county is populated by workers who commute to the big cities."
Yes, it would be nice to keep what is left of the county's agricultural base, but it would also be nave to think that this property is where the line should be drawn. It is within a half mile of the Allegheny Energy property, within a mile of an Interstate 70 exit, and Interstate 81 exit, and the Artz farm, which has been sold for development. It is within two miles of Prime Outlets and within three miles of St. James Village and the development along Sharpsburg Pike.
From any spot on this farm, one can hear the traffic from Interstate 81. The owners have a right to sell their property for the maximum amount of money that they can get for it, and the taxpayers have a right to see to it that the powers that be manage such a development in our best interest.
Our best interest clearly is a free school site and a lower tax base. If someone feels strongly enough otherwise, let him buy the property at the going rate; then he or she can keep it waving in corn stalks forever.
A prayer for the ages
To the editor:
Have any of our presidents ever really prayed for our troops in foreign lands?
President Franklin D. Roosevelt once asked the people who heard him on the radio to join him in prayer.
"Almighty God, our sons, pride of our nation, this day have set upon a mighty endeavor, a struggle to preserve our republic, our religion and our civilization, and to set free a suffering humanity.
"They will need Thy blessings. Their road will be long and hard, for the enemy is strong. He may hurl back our forces. Success may not come with rushing speed, but we shall return again and again, and we know that by the grace, and by the righteousness of our cause, our sons will triumph.
"These men are lately drawn from the ways of peace. They fight not for the lust of conquest. They fight to end conquest. They fight to liberate. They fight to let justice arise and tolerance and goodwill among all Thy people. They yearn but for the end of battle, for their return to the haven of home. Some will never return. Embrace, Father, and receive them, Thy heroic servants, into Thy kingdom. Give us strength too - strength in our daily task, to redouble the contributions we make in physical and the natural support of our armed forces.
"And, O Lord, give us faith, give us faith in Thee, faith in our sons, faith in each other, faith in our united crusade. Let not the impacts of temporary events of temporal matters of but fleeting moment - let not these deter us in our unconquerable purpose.
"With Thy blessing, we shall prevail over the unholy forces of our enemy. Help us to conquer the apostles of greed and racial arrogance. Lead us to saving of our country and with our sister nations, into a world unity that will spell a sure peace - a peace invulnerable to the scheming of unworthy men and a peace that will let all men live in freedom, reaping the just rewards of their honest toil.
"Thy will be done Almighty God, amen."
I equate Franklin D. Roosevelt's prayer to Abe Lincoln's Gettysburg Address.
Arthur P. Keifer