The Fort Vancouver National Historic Site superintendent’s recent announcement to seek $65 million to rehab the Vancouver Barracks buildings within the park has left me with “sticker shock.” If Tracy Fortmann were to announce that money for the complete restoration of the fort to its glory days of the 1840s, many would consider it folly. Are these old Army buildings within the federal park so historically significant that they should be preserved forever? Do they conform to the purpose for which the park was established?
Every federal agency wants more money. The public should question the need to borrow more money for this purpose. That money would be better spent building a new Interstate 5 bridge.