Free Trade And Fairness Should Apply To All

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Editor:

I am responding to the article on the downtown redevelopment. While Karen Greenspoon may be patting herself on the back for her efforts, I would like to know what kind of return the town expects on the money spent (including her salary and office space which has a budget of over $100,000 for 2003).

True some of the money comes from grants (where some of the people on the board that make the grant decisions are the same people who own the businesses and stand to profit from any improvements), but a lot is tax money paid by the town residents (think tiny park at McLane and Main Street for $50,000).

I thought that the whole goal was to make the area a destination spot. Vice Mayor Dick Wolfe in an April 6, 2001 article by Jerry Thebado in the Payson Roundup said "it won't be long before the redevelopment district is a thriving destination spot for residents and visitors alike."

Maybe my idea of a good time is different from other people, but I don't see an engineering firm, an auto shop, a chiropractic office and a hair salon as being destination points, regardless of whether they have a new painted front or not. The Ox Bow may attract some people, but a bar is a bar whether it is on the Historical registry or not.

The new businesses that are going up, including the gun shop, dental office and animal clinic, hardly qualify as destination spots either. One would also question whether impact fees that were reduced or waived (the town calls this underwriting) to bring these businesses downtown will ever be recovered. Also what does this say to the owners of comparable businesses in town that had to pay these fees and then try to compete?

Bringing business to Payson to increase the tax base is a wonderful idea, but the principles of free trade and fairness should apply to all.

Vernon Randall, Payson

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