Home Depot, BigHorn or nothing? | SummitDaily.com

Home Depot, BigHorn or nothing?

Summit Daily/Brad OdekirkMounts Royal, Wichita and Chief are on the west side of the 9.4-acre parcel in Frisco which town officials are proposing a Home Depot store.

FRISCO – The Frisco Town Council could vote tonight on what to place in front of voters concerning the 9.4-acre parcel.If the council selects a proposal already on the table one from Home Depot and the other from local BigHorn Center Partners Frisco residents would then vote “Yes” or “No” in January.Before any kind of vote among the council, the members will meet this afternoon in a private session to work out issues related to the two proposals.Council members will discuss recommendations made by the Economic Development Advisory Committee (EDAC), as well as those made by town staff members who have been reviewing the two RFP (Request For Proposal) candidates.

But the council isn’t limited to those two options, according to Frisco town manager Michael Penny.”They could also say we’re not going to (choose Home Depot or BigHorn),” Penny said. “In my memo, I gave them three options for the purpose of discussion.”According to Penny, those three options for the council to ponder are: Don’t do anything and leave the parcel alone. This could lead to higher sales taxes in the future, Penny said. At a community forum earlier this year, some residents said this is what they have preferred all along.– If character is the biggest issue, place a mult-use, village concept similar to BigHorn owner Don Sather’s proposal on the ballot to lessen the chances of a “big-box” appearance on the parcel, located between Interstate 70 and the Frisco Transportation Center. Unknowns, such as if other, smaller businesses in the “village” would compete with Main Street, have hampered this proposal.

If competition to Main Street is the biggest issue, then select a single retailer like Home Depot for the January vote. Last week, a gathering of Summit County citizens heard the pros and cons of big boxes like Home Depot entering their community from representatives of other towns, which decided big boxes were the most effective way to build a retail base.Penny also encouraged the council to think carefully about the decision, saying “we shouldn’t make our selection just because of a ballot date. If we need to take more time, than we should do that.”At its last meeting, EDAC recommended the town side with the Home Depot proposal, saying their plan for the parcel met more of the criteria set forth by the RFP. Criteria met included considerations of providing public amenities and financial benefits to the town, long-term economic sustainability, overall aesthetics of the area, and complementing rather than competing with existing businesses.”Everyone knows that whatever decision the council makes will end up in a public vote,” Penny said. “The council developed these goals, and now they have these two projects in front of them.”

Penny said that during the private meeting the council will discuss sales tax revenue information provided upon request to them by both Home Depot and BigHorn Center Partners.If the council does vote to finalize what option will be on the ballot, it will still need to decide the language to use. That could be done during one of the next two meetings – Sept. 27 or Oct. 4.If a vote is postponed, then the January vote could be rescheduled.Keely Brown can be contacted at (970) 668-3998, ext. 203, or at kbrown@summitdaily.com.

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