Village not C’dale’s best interest | AspenTimes.com

Village not C’dale’s best interest

Dear Editor:

I often travel to Carbondale to visit good friends and to enjoy the atmosphere of a wonderful, small town.

The Oregon county where I was born decades ago, and now reside, has small towns, too. Some of the most vibrant ones died on the vine from a lack of value-based growth and loss of sustainable family-wage employment. These towns have “grown,” as there are more people, more buildings and an amazing reduction in open space replaced by parking lots and other reasons for sprawl.

But they are not as vibrant. Speculative real estate transactions and expansions, for the benefit of a few, eliminated smart development options that would have built around a business core and existing values. Historic downtowns are drained, funneling traffic to the fringes. Small, family-owned restaurants are out, and Applebee’s and Red Robin are in. The local, small-business retailer that sponsored our students and athletic programs is out, and Pier 1 Imports is in. It looks like good ol’ Bonedale may be taking a similar turn for the worse

with the latest Village at Crystal River proposal. The good news is that the people who matter most, town residents, get to vote and decide.

As if the choices were not already distinct enough, by approving the VCR proposal as is, shoppers there will get to pay a special added tax on everything purchased! This tax is for the honor of paying the developer to build a CDOT required roundabout, required only due to the development, and certain to add plenty of grief to the drive in and out of town for at least one construction season. The $2.5 million project will actually cost $5 million in tax dollars with interest paid to the bond holders over 20 years. And just for fun, ask who might be included as a bond holder and recipient of said interest paid for with tax dollars. The developer? (Yes.)

I live where a sales tax remains unconstitutional, but I understand the need for a better grocery store to draw tax dollars back to the local government. But is it really necessary to subsidize a 24-acre development on unbroken ground just to get a new City Market? Were I able to vote on this VCR proposal, my choice would be clear. The vote is no, for the best interests of the people and the town of Carbondale.

Miles Barkhurst

Myrtle Creek, Ore.


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