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Despite Cape Girardeau County Commission action in the spring to cease donating public funds to the I-66 project, the county recently received a dubious bill for its "fair share" of costs related to the project's promotion. The county has no intention of paying the $9,200 bill, but the fact the invoice was sent continues to reflect poorly on the lifeless project.

As of May 1, the 6-year-old I-66 lobbying effort, which seeks to garner support for a new coast-to-coast superhighway -- had $20,000 in bills with less than $200 in the bank. The bills primarily are for salaries for an executive director and office and travel expenses. Not only is there no money in Congress for the I-66 project, cities and counties along the proposed route aren't giving much financial support to the project either.

It is unclear what cities or counties received the invoices other than Cape Girardeau County. It is also unclear whether even I-66 backers were aware of the strategy. On the cover letter explaining the invoice, John Mehner was listed as the person to contact with questions. Mehner is president of the Cape Girardeau Chamber of Commerce, which is on record supporting the project. And yet Mehner was surprised that his name was on the letter. He wasn't even involved with plans to send the invoices.

Cape Girardeau County, indeed all of Southeast Missouri, must continue to pursue realistic and multiple efforts to secure better east-west interstate access. But sending bills to counties and cities along the proposed corridor of a single fantasy goes beyond the questionable and borders on the ridiculous.