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Easiest not best

Carbondale needs revenue and convenient shopping. It doesn’t need a big-box store with all the baggage that a store that size needs to have in order to be successful, i.e. acres of parking, large loading docks, numerous low-paying jobs and accessibility for high-volume traffic.

Carbondale needs a long-term solution to its revenue problem. A big-box store is the easiest solution, but Carbondale deserves more than the easiest solution.

How about shopping on a smaller and more personal scale, like an antique mall, a large outdoor activities retailer, or clothing stores? How about imposing a bed tax and encouraging the growth of bed-and-breakfasts and small hotels?

A few years ago the chamber of commerce proposed promoting Carbondale as a “Gateway” to outdoor recreation. Carbondale was going to be marketed as a starting point for the wonderful hiking, biking, rafting, skiing opportunities we have in our back yard.

Now, just a few years later, an out-of-state developer with no real track record of previous developments comes to town and offers to help us solve our financial troubles. Now Carbondale wants to sell itself as a regional shopping center.

The best solution is not the easiest one. We don’t have to accept this developer’s plan for Carbondale. We have the choice to make him go back to the drawing board and come up with a better plan.

A no vote on July 15 is a yes toward a better development. Vote on July 15 and think about the options.

Amber van Berlo

Carbondale


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