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Dori: Why did we spend $108 million on a Seattle dump?

Growing up in the mean streets of Ballard, whenever we had to make a big trash run, we’d head to Wallingford where there was a big ol’ Seattle dump. Then my wife and I bought our first house in Ballard, and it was a dump of a house. We did a complete remodel and, as you know, when you’re tearing apart and remodeling a house you’ve got to make a lot of runs to the dump. So I again spent a lot of time in the North Transfer Station trash heap. Then they closed it down because they had to rebuild it.

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Now we can see the kinds of amenities they have provided the taxpayers with this project, which was originally budgeted, two years ago, at $96 million. The final price tag ended at more than $108 million.

$108 million for a Seattle dump

How could they spend so much money on a simple Seattle dump?

Well, of course the dump has to have a green roof. Of course they had to have solar panels and a rain garden. They also obviously need artwork and a playground, because where else would you take your kids to play other than the city dump?

Oh, and they also needed a basketball court. Because if you want to get a game on, the Seattle dump is the place to be.

I know what you’re thinking, ‘We spend how many hundreds of millions of dollars on city parks and some of them have basketball courts.’ Yeah. But did we need one at the dump, too? No. But do you know why we have one anyway? Because they can. Because it’s a way to spend your money.

I honestly have no earthly idea why they needed all this. Then again, why did they need public art – including a tangle of rebar from the old station’s demolition. But it’s not just rebar sitting around in a tangle, they painted it orange. Now that’s art. They say it looks like a jungle gym but it’s supposed to “conjure the topographical contours of Wallingford and Fremont,” according to a dump spokesperson. They also said they have a backup generator so if the “Big One” hits and people need to get to a Seattle dump, it will still be able to operate even if the power is out elsewhere.

So $108 million dollars gone — for a Seattle dump. What would J.P. Patches have to say about that?

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