Village should reflect Carbondale’s values |

Village should reflect Carbondale’s values

Dear Editor:

Driving from the Clay Center down Main Street recently, I had this great feeling I describe as: “I just love this town!”

On a recent Midwest trip, I had the pleasure of shopping in a wonderful grocery store, The Fresh Market.

I felt grocery-store envy in a store smaller than City Market with far more fresh food and healthy products at affordable prices, all beautifully displayed.

Do we really need 58,000 square feet for City Market to give us the “upscale store” that I didn’t know we were asking for?

I thought we simply wanted a store offering better quality, organic food.

Why consent to build a giant store for a national corporation like Kroger, which has not seemed particularly invested in our community or our nonprofits? If they really cared about serving us better, why haven’t they done so already in the space they currently have that is filled with all kinds of non-food products and lots of extremely unhealthy, processed foods? A 58,000-square-foot store means it will take us even longer to shop as we pass by more aisles of unnecessary stuff. Midvalley folks are not going to drive to Carbondale for this.

What City Market really needs is competition from a smaller, high quality, affordable store like The Fresh Market or perhaps, a Sunflower Market. The current Village at Crystal River proposal will simply homogenize our town and leave an empty shell of a building across the street.

Carbondale has attracted a community of talented, skilled and intelligent young people. It appears that so many of them oppose this project. They represent the future and we should listen to them.

I wonder what it would feel like for all of us, on both sides of this issue, to feel excited and supportive of the new development at the Village?

What if it featured a healthy food market, a conference center, an alternative energy institute, a straw bale, unique hotel attracting tourists and workshop/conference attendees? A development like this would reflect the values that make Carbondale unique. It would also provide jobs, bring income from tourists and students and not just count on locals shopping there. There is no shortage of ideas for sustainable, innovative, exciting and income-producing development!

It would just feel so great to drive by there and say, “Yes! I love this town!”

Diane Kenney


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