Where will the workers come from?
December 10, 2005
In response to the letter “Home Depot Will Improve Frisco,” Bob Levin states, “(Home Depot) will bring more jobs to the area, which will bring more business to existing businesses … on Main St.”The problem is, first, no one in the town government or associated with Home Depot has ever answered the question, “Where will those employees come from and where will they live?” According to research by the Northwest Colorado Council of Governments, Summit County already has several thousand job vacancies that remain unfilled every winter because of an insufficient labor pool combined with generally poor local wages and extremely high housing costs. It is sheer folly to assume that there will be enough people to fill the hundred-plus low-paying jobs at a new Home Depot. (The Avon Home Depot has never been fully staffed.) And whatever employees do work at Home Depot will spend their paychecks in whatever town they live, and that certainly won’t be Frisco because of its prohibitive housing costs. They will take their paychecks home to Silverthorne, Leadville and Park County. Add that to the fact that, despite its sales tax revenue projections, Home Depot will be sucking millions of dollars in profits a year out of our local economy, and you see that any economic arguments in favor of Home Depot deserve serious scrutiny, especially when combined with increased ancillary costs associated with Home Depot, such as expanded public works responsibilities, increased law enforcement and the human services cost associated with low-paying, seasonally adjusted, generally part-time employment.There will be no improvement to Frisco if Home Depot comes to town. I encourage the citizens of Frisco to vote “No” on Dec. 13.