Carbondale’s blurred vision | AspenTimes.com
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Carbondale’s blurred vision

Dear Editor:I recently had an eye exam, my first in many years. As my eye doctor so eloquently shared, “Shaine, you’re getting up there now, let’s check for bifocals.” After my reactive pride flare-up insisting I could see just fine subsided, I really enjoyed the clear vision.Carbondale is in need of bifocals! There is still a lack of clarity on the details surrounding the extra sales tax revenue that Home Depot is projected to bring in.It amazes me how easily people fixate on the income without questioning the details. Developers try to convince a community that the project will be their salvation. The technique is to draw the focus away from the details and throw out a really big carrot. Keep the community focused on the carrot!Perhaps answering a few questions might provide some clarity:What’s Carbondale’s current annual sales tax revenue?If any, what are the deficiencies in Carbondale’s budget?Is the public clear that by having big box Home Depot vs. the Flex Zone that the projected increase in sales tax revenue is about $550,000, and this number is based solely on Home Depot’s (optimistic?) projections?When considering the revenue projected by Home Depot in the framework of Carbondale’s overall annual sales tax revenues, what is the percentage gain?What’s the combined annual sales tax revenue from Ace Hardware and the Roaring Fork Valley Coop? If they decide to stay in Carbondale with Home Depot there, what’s the projected loss of sales tax revenue? What’s the loss if they move?What are the additional expenses that Carbondale will incur as a result of increased traffic from autos, trucks and semi’s?Home Depot will sell products that other locally owned Carbondale businesses currently sell, beyond the scope of what Ace and the Coop sell, resulting in decreased sales tax revenue. What is that projected number?What will the costs be to build employee housing for the additional workforce Home Depot suggested it might add to the community?After all the financial impacts of Home Depot are taken into account and subtracted from the projected revenue stream … what’s the overall percentage that Home Depot’s presence will increase annual sales tax revenue?As a community, we must stay focused on some of the core values set forth by the economic roadmap that was created to preserve the integrity of Carbondale:We want Carbondale to be the heart of the valley …It isn’t necessarily beneficial to accept whatever comes along. It must be consistent with our community vision. Patient and resolute, proactive. We must live within our means. The quality and character that we desire for our community must come ahead of other considerations.The final question is – consider this with absolute clarity – after considering the overall percentage that Carbondale’s sales tax revenue stream may be increased by the presence of Home Depot, is that increase worth the inevitable changes associated with its presence and do we really need it?Shaine EbrahimiCarbondale


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