Big boxes not worth the revenue generated
Carbondale has so much going for it, it’s a shame to even entertain the idea of turning it into another Aurora. We will never have the kind of shopping that folks are driving to Glenwood and Grand Junction for now. At best we will approach the simple self-sufficiency of Basalt’s gracious shopping district.
I can see no boot in entertaining the proposals as put forth by the developer. To force these unresolved issues on the ballot at this late date can only do harm for the townspeople. As much as I would love to see a vote on the big box issue, we don’t have a clear plan here and will not get an alternative from a developer who has shown little concern for the laws and needs of Carbondale.
By Sept. 10, through the hottest part of the year and in a rush because of the developer’s strategic timing, Carbondale Trustees are being asked to put together four vital questions in their final form for an election.
1. Do we want two giant box stores and a mall as drawn and specified by a firm that has asked for variance on every aspect and shown only contempt when asked to create a design that fits Carbondale?
2. Will we allow a special taxation district to be formed that is able to command the funds of the town but is outside the control of the town?
3. Do we accept that the debt to be incurred by this district will be serviced by Carbondale’s sales tax revenues and other entities yet to be conceived?
4. And finally, can we incur an indebtedness of $8.5 million to pay for squeezing another lane onto the existing bridge and widening 133 to the development’s driveway for the 3,000 cars a day generated by the box stores and the mall? (This could actually work for half that traffic increase if a roundabout at the 82/133 intersection was part of the equation.)
We do not get to vote on the last question, however, as that is left for a representative in the district we are asked to form.
These four questions are much too complex to be adequately addressed in this amount of time, and I feel that the Trustees have better things to do than to jump to task for a group that is obfuscating the issues. I definitely don’t want this developer to be calling the shots for my indebtedness no matter how much I want to live 5 blocks away from two big box outlets and a mall.
There is an answer for our financial needs, but this is not the way to find it, embroiled in the heat of an eleventh-hour deadline. We will never need revenue so much that it is worthwhile to permanently reduce the quality of life in town.
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