According to the Louisville Courier-Journal, the developers building the new Noah’s Ark museum in Kentucky are asking for the gummit to build ‘em a road to the place. The State Transportation Cabinet, as they call it there, is officially stating that no commitments have been made, which I’m sure means, “The deal’s done and we’z gonna build that road before you ask about it again” or words to that effect.

This is not that unusual or abnormal, actually. State transportation departments normally make road improvements when new things are built. Why, in Kentucky, the state spent 45 million dollars on roads to support a race track ten years ago.

What is important here is that we recognize that when somebody does build a big-ass religious facility, be it a church or a creationism museum or just some whopping big cross that people come from miles to see or some quaint grotto with a tea shop, there is a public cost, and taxpayer money is used. Which I have no problem with because the tax revenues raised by new developments generally offsets the costs of improving infrastructure.

Or does it?

From the NCSE:

The news prompted a further editorial from the Louisville Courier-Journal (December 29, 2010), which previously (in, for example, its December 2, 2010, editorial) expressed serious concern about the state’s entanglement with the park. The new editorial complained, “Ark Encounter, the creationism theme park proposed for Northern Kentucky, looms as a more expensive proposition than state officials first suggested,” citing both the request to the Transportation Cabinet and the prospect that “sooner or later someone is likely to want help building hotels, restaurants and service stations for park visitors.”

The editorial also alluded to two ongoing controversies involving the park. First, the developers have applied for development incentives that would allow Ark Encounter to recoup 25 percent of its development costs by retaining the sales tax generated by the project. The estimated budget is 150 million dollars, so the incentives would amount to 37.5 million dollars over ten years. “[Governor] Beshear argued that the state would not be out any money if the park failed,” the editorial reported, adding parenthetically, “Actually, the state would be out taxes the park could collect before it went under, but who’s counting?”

Second, there is the question whether the park would be able to discriminate on the basis of religion in hiring if it receives the state incentives. Answers in Genesis already requires its employees to endorse its statement of faith. Governor Beshear told the Louisville Courier-Journal (December 9, 2010), “We’re going to require that anybody that we deal with is going to obey all of the laws on hiring and not discriminate on hiring.” The editorial commented, “In other words, if a gay Muslim with an advanced degree in evolutionary biology wants a top job at the park, he’ll be welcomed by the creationists with open arms. Right?”

Kentucky: Don’t be a stupid state.

Comments

  1. #1 Jay
    January 3, 2011

    The stupid starts to burn white-hot when you note that ~36,000 Kentucky State employees had to eat six unpaid furlough days in FY ’11 (they’ve had four, the other two are upcoming – the KY FY starts July 1) in order to help balance the state budget with an estimated savings of $24M.

    Gov. Beshear seems to have some problems with basic arithmetic, methinks.

  2. #2 ian
    January 4, 2011

    Sure, you don’t save that much, but the payoff in terms of sticking it to pampered public employee unions is priceless!

  3. #3 Victor
    January 4, 2011

    Well, they’re just bending over backwards for that place, aren’t they?

  4. #4 Stephanie Z
    January 4, 2011

    Aw, Greg, your perpetually titled troll seems to have made a return.

  5. #5 Greg Laden
    January 4, 2011

    Yeah, I let it through. I’m trying to increase the total Google Hits for the phrase “Greg. You are an idiot.”

  6. #6 Irene
    January 4, 2011

    Between Ed Brayton’s flock and this gentleman you have an impressive group of hypocrites and psychos squarely lined up against you.

  7. #7 sinned34
    January 4, 2011

    But I like both Ed Brayton and Greg Laden. I didn’t know I had to choose between them! Christians have proven that you can worship both God and Mammon, so I’m pretty sure I can still read both (except for Greg’s Linux Evangelicalism and Ed’s NCAA basketball tripe).

  8. #8 A Bear
    January 4, 2011

    You forgot to mention Gov. Jessee Ventura and his new TV show
    “Conspiracy Theory” when mentioning notable Minnesota pols.

  9. #9 Marion Delgado
    January 5, 2011

    Think of the gophers!

    If all these replica arks keep getting built, what will the gophers build their little gopher houses out of?