Frisco isn’t in a crisis
December 6, 2005
RE: Home Depot will make a positive difference (Daily Mail Dec. 6)For some reason Andy Gentry believes the town of Frisco is in a crisis. It is not. In fact, the town has a significant amount saved. I know it has more cash socked away than I do, and I guess that they have more socked away than most residents. This is good.In regard, to the town cutting the police budget, this budget has significantly increased within the last two years. The number of officers on duty has significantly increased. Maybe we have too many officers on duty for a town of 2,500? In addition, the sheriff’s department (which is supported by property taxes) covers the town of Frisco, too. The town of Frisco receives fire protection services from Lake Dillon Fire Authority. These services are based on property not sales taxes. The town does not provide any fire services.Sewer and water are provided with tap and usage fees. The sewer is a separate organization from the town. The town does provide water services but this again is not affected by sales taxes.Health and human services are not provided by the town. The county has a public nursing program, ambulance, emergency medical response coordination and other services.The town really only provides community planning, real estate purchases and road maintenance using sales tax revenue. They have plenty of money to provide these services.You conclude that Home Depot provides a sustainable revenue source. It will provide sales tax dollars only. Any local, investor-owned business will provide sales tax dollars, too. But what about the quality of the dollars provided?Home Depot plans to achieve $30 million in revenue each year. According to its 2004 annual report, they have a 10.8 percent operating profit margin. As a result, they plan to generate approximately $3.3 million in profit each year from this store. Most of that profit will not stay in Frisco but go to Atlanta (Home Depot’s corporate headquarters). That is what the big boxes do. They exploit the local communities and send the profits back to their corporate locations. Yes, I know they have promised some crumbs to the community. Home Depot is not the best investment for the community. According to the Frisco Economic Development Strategy, spring 2003, “For every $1 spent in a community, approximately $0.67 stays in the community if spent in independent business vs. $0.17 if spent in a chain and $0.06 if spent in a big box store.”The funds generated by Home Depot will not circulate in the community but leave it. Home Depot has promised to make contributions and gifts to Frisco. According to the above study paid for by the town, most of the money they generate will leave town.Obviously, the Frisco Town Council has focused so much on the possible sales tax revenue that it has not seen the larger picture, including the information received from their highly paid consultants in prior years. Economic development is more than generating sales tax revenue. It also includes generating investment which continues to grow within the town instead of Atlanta. You have a right to vote “Yes” on Home Depot. Please examine all the issues prior to voting. Look at the consultant’s report paid for by the town of Frisco. It is on their web page. Learn what services are being provided by whom in the town. Read the annual report about Home Depot (it is on their web page). Hopefully, you will realize that local businesses invest in the community in many ways. Big box retailers only take money out of the community. Frisco can do better.