One of the things we always enjoy when we have the opportunity to travel outside our little corner of the world is the chance to explore places we have never visited before.
While on our recent sojourn we visited the New Richmond Bridge Park located at the historic village of New Richmond in the northwestern part of Allegan County, Mich. The centerpiece of this historic park is a fully restored swing bridge that spans 400 feet across the Kalamazoo River. This bridge, which was originally built in 1879, was restored to its original splendor in 2004. It is listed in the National Register of Historic Places and connects park property on both the north and south sides of the river.
Needless to say, we found the park most interesting and are somewhat chagrined to admit in all the years we spent in Allegan County at the family cottage on Lake Michigan we had never before even seen the swing bridge. And we must admit that we were also taken with the sign posted prominently at the park that read:
“Revenue derived from oil gas and mineral production from state owned lands provides funding for this public recreation site. Funding is made possible through a grant provided to the citizens of the State of Michigan by the: Michigan Natural Resource Trust Fund, Michigan Department of Natural Resources and Environment.”
We could but conclude that development of natural resources in Michigan results in revenue used to benefit not only residents of Michigan, but visitors from Ohio and New York as well.
Thus we find it doubly distressing to have returned home to discover that battle is still being waged here over the benefits of natural gas development. In fact, we were completely taken aback by the comments made regarding the possibility of both Otsego County and Bassett Healthcare being able to use compressed natural gas in order to save energy costs. According to an article in the Aug. 14 edition of The Daily Star, those opposed to such a move are on the record of saying that there would be “... fears if Bassett becomes a customer of Boston-based XNG (Xpress Natural Gas) it would lead to more businesses and homeowners converting to natural gas in Cooperstown, with a network of underground feeder pipelines needed to supply them.”