No free ride for development | AspenTimes.com

No free ride for development

The $1.2 million a year (the Crystal River Marketplace developer’s estimated sales tax revenue) is a lot of money for Carbondale, but not if we have to pay the costs of development.CDOT’s lowest estimate for road upgrades on Highway 133 is $36 million. Without the proposed ordinances, which would provide the Carbondale Board of Trustees with a mechanism for requiring mitigation for the impacts of development, this cost would be incurred by the town.If the entire amount of our increased sales tax revenue is spent paying for road upgrades, then we will be paying for at least 30 years before our community sees one dime.It’s simple math: 36 million divided by 1.2 million = 30 years.However, we could actually be paying more money for a longer time, because:$36 million is CDOT’s lowest estimate.$1.2 million has not been supported – only claimed by the developer.$1.2 million does not account for current sales tax revenue from existing stores, whose sales, to an unknown percentage, would be redistributed to new stores.This 30-year equation does not account for interest on the $36 million bond.Without the ability to mitigate, Carbondale would also pay additional costs for added police and fire protection, as well as increased demands on our water and other resources.These additional costs cannot even be assessed without the studies required by these ordinances.Carbondale needs more revenue.And that is why we need these ordinances.Carbondale cannot afford to give development a free ride.Kathryn Diamond CampCarbondale

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