Levee repairs, not jobs, are the priority

July 16, 2013 

The metro-east levee work is supposed to be about protecting our area from flooding, but U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin and U.S. Rep. Bill Enyart seem to think it's about protecting jobs.

The two Democrats just sent a letter to an assistant secretary of the Army complaining that the Army Corps of Engineers isn't using a Project Labor Agreement on its portion of upcoming levee work. They urged PLAs on future segments so wages and working conditions are set for their union supporters.

"Frankly, this decision is baffling to a community that has so strongly pursued this project," they wrote.

But there's nothing baffling about it. A Corps spokesman said PLA's were carefully considered. However, "The Corps' job is to ensure the federal investment delivers the best value to the nation." In the Corps view, a PLA wasn't going to accomplish that.

Everyone knows that our nation has too few funds available for the many needed public works projects nationwide. The Corps should do everything possible to ensure that tax dollars are spent efficiently and effectively. We wish Durbin and Enyart would do the same.

Belleville News-Democrat is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service