Gated Communities Not A Burden On The Community



This letter is written in answer to Karol Shaw's "Gated communities smell of feudalism."

As a member and homeowner at The Rim Club, I feel obliged to reply to the above letter, which brands my neighbors and me as "feudalistic" and being "idle-rich," accuses us of not shopping in Payson, suggests we mistreat and underpay our employees, and, far worse, declares that we "do not accept beer-drinking cowboys." The overriding implication is that we don't pay our way and therefore, I suppose, that we should be banished from the area.

Without even considering Chaparral Pines, the far larger of the two "indicted" communities, I'd like to call attention to a few facts about The Rim Club. At the moment, we have nearly seventy homes either already built or in the construction process. Using the writer's own figure of "a million-plus" for each home, that comes to over $70 million thus far pumped into the community over a few short years, and more than four times that much when the home sites are built out over the next several years. Call it $300 million going to local builders and literally hundreds of local electricians, painters, plumbers, stonemasons, landscapers and appliance dealers, each of whom will, in turn, spend his or her share on groceries, clothing, tires and haircuts. As the well-known "multiplier" principle of economics teaches, a dollar spent means several dollars re-spent.

The writer also suggests that we each pay $7,000 in local property taxes each year. By extension, the Rim Club residents will collectively be paying well over $2 million annually in local taxes to provide local services to the entire community, much of which is for schools which we don't even use. Likewise, since many of us are not here full time, we make a proportionately lower demand on other local services, such as police and hospitals and use less of the potable water.

All told, it doesn't seem that we're all that big a burden on the community.

Shelby Yastrow, Payson

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