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Become informed and vote

RE: What goodies will Home Depot get? (SDN Sept. 30)In his letter, Mr. Sherman asserts that I assailed Mr. Miller for his skepticism in regard to the town’s recommendation to the ballot of the proposed Home Depot development. That is incorrect. I took exception to the disinformation and demagoguery disseminated throughout his piece, things that were abundantly evident again in Mr. Sherman’s letter. We are trying to wrest contributions that will be a direct benefit to this community, with no quid pro quo on the part of the town, as a condition of the sale. It certainly does put the large in largess, but I do suggest we get it in writing. I would expect the project to be in conformance with whatever the very public planning and zoning process begets. Home Depot has very clearly indicated their desire to work within that process to deliver a unique and innovative project for this site.It is right that the sales tax revenue generated by Home Depot, should it materialize, be considered available by future councils, a substantial portion of which is elected every two years, to spend “as they see fit.” That is how current sales tax revenues are spent. The immediate goal is to protect existing levels of services, programs and infrastructure. The amenities listed in the ballot question should only be investigated after several years of consistent returns have demonstrated that the headroom exists within the budget to warrant such discussion. This is not a plebiscite on any amenity package. It is an opportunity to address the very real possibility of future budget shortfalls by cultivating sales tax revenue from a legitimate retail parcel. Funds derived from the sale of the parcel, should it come to pass, will be allocated to a different set of priorities and may be so addressed within the ballot question. Future councils should have the ability to reprioritize the spending of these dollars within the capital budget, or to allocate them for housing, or to alleviate existing debt or to aggressively pursue strategic parcels either for open space as part of possible future economic development strategies or to reserve some portion to assist in the consolidation of a Colorado Mountain College campus here in Frisco. The point is we don’t know how future councils will need to prioritize their spending so we should not restrict the funds today.Finally, I see that it did not take very long for the specious specter of peninsula trammeling to be hauled out. This straw man won’t hunt, but let’s discuss. Expanding the capacity for people and services at the Nordic Center, as well as Nordic trail improvements, are on the radar screen. These are already happening or probably will happen regardless of Home Depot, as it is necessary for the continued viability of one of Frisco’s signature recreational amenities. Phase 2 of this enlargement has been indefinitely postponed because of the concerns people have about the commercialization of this very special area. The 2 Below Zero Sleigh Ride building, already located on the peninsula, is in need of serious upgrades and will probably be a part of the 2006 budget discussion. A Little League baseball field and a soccer field are being pursued, but we are exploring options other than the peninsula. Apart from the present pine beetle scourge, the peninsula is not in any imminent danger. What you have is not a recipe for manipulation, but for participation. Do the hard work of democracy, become informed and vote on Dec. 13. You can contact me at bswest1@qwest.net.Editor’s Note: These views are Dan Fallon’s and do not necessarily represent those of any other council members.


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