The Army Corps of Engineers, the organization whose incompetence caused the levy failures in New Orleans, has learned its lesson. Never again will it allow anything like Katrina happen.
So, Tremain Albright will have to do without his tree house. It cost him $14,000 to build. But he made a mistake. He thought that a variance he received back in 2007 was still valid. So, he spent the money.
Well, silly him. The ACOE is going to tear it down. If there is any back talk, the city of Bonners Ferry, Idaho, will lose $128,000 in federal funding.
The city takes Uncle Sam’s money, so it must do Uncle Sam’s bidding. There is never federal money without chains attached. Lots of chains.
What is the threat that has concerned the ACOE? The tree house is too close to the water. If it fell out of the tree, it would threaten the levy.
The ACOE learned its lesson in New Orleans. Protect the levies!
“I still feel like this is just an action of big government,” Tremain said. “We were totally helpless. The city’s helpless, and they are pretty much held under the gun.”
If the city were to stop taking federal money, it could get out from under the gun. But that would mean asking local taxpayers to pay for the boondoggles the city’s elected officials at federal expense.
There is an ancient saying: “If you take the king’s shilling, you do the king’s bidding.” It’s true.
Lesson: Get you tree house variance renewed annually.