Sunday, June 28, 2015

Government without Common Sense

We've seen some pretty stupid things happen in and around Adams County over the years, but the planned infrastructure changes at the south end of Fairfield take the cake.  This project is right up there with a retirement community off US 15 north of town, which will never, ever, reach even 50% occupancy [while soaking the taxpayers because the developer will likely file for banruptcy, thereby sticking the taxpayers with a large overdue bill thanks to TIF]!  It is also up there with the other TIF project at 15/30 interchange.  Better that project move to the proposed casino site where the infrastructure costs will not approach the level of what is currently planned for the TIF loan.

Now comes news that local developer Bob Sites wants to build a grocery store [and who knows what else] across from the small shopping center on the east side of Fairfield Road just yards south of the grounds of Fairfield High School.

Just imagine, a nice spring day, you are out in the afternoon for a drive down 116 to see the mountain blooms, and you come to Fairfield.  Immediately you drop your speed to 25 mph for the next mile, starting at the traffic light installed at the north end of town where the entrance to the new 100 home development is built, and after clearing the light and most of Fairfield, you drop your speed again  to 15 in front of the school.  Then a red light for the new grocery store shopping center.  But before you get to the light, 20 school busses come roaring out of the school driveway, some going north, some south.  The light will change three times before you clear it.  Your quest has been dashed, along with your mood, and unless you are very familiar with the back roads around Fairfield, you are forced to retrace your journey back through the lights, back past the school, and good old 25 mph Fairfield.

Fairfield has a long established family style grocery store, and it will likely be put out of business by the new grocery store south of town.  There will be talk about a bypass around it all, but that is all it will be for at least a decade into the future, likely more.

The area that really needs it is Carrol Valley.  They need a grocery, a drug store, and another gas station [hear me Giant?] and they need it down near the entrance to the Ski Liberty resort.  Putting it there would not further burden the already over-trafficked area at the south end of Fairfield where the school is located, and of course the need for a light there would be eliminated.

Where are the heads of the planners these days?   There are so many common sense alternatives to the current projects.  Instead they play to the developers and the Economic and Industrial Development Corporations [who already waste your tax dollars as tax-funded government entities]!  Obviously the planners and local and county government officials can't see where there is no light!

Moving the Walmart project a quarter mile east to where existing roads are already wide enough, and a traffic light already exists, would cancel the need for TIF financing, and create less congestion around an already awkwardly configured interchange.

As for our hypocritical buddy Rick who wants to put scads of senior citizen residences up 15 an exit or two, we would hope and pray that his project fails and leaves him broke.  Dear Rick and his partner in conspiracy from Maryland formed a PAC and drafted five candidates to run for Gettysburg School Board under the guise of a "no new taxes" pledge.  It was easily exposed, as was his lack of due diligence in vetting his candidates, and "The Gang of Five" lost quite decidedly.

The hypocrisy exists because he is asking for TIF money to complete his project, and that means asking the School District [and the County and the Township!] to essentially waive any newly realized tax increases as the value of the land and project goes up, forcing all those taxing bodies to raise taxes to keep up with increased costs for everything, including infrastructure, fire, police, and emergency services, and so on.  "No new taxes" indeed!

We will leave you with these two thoughts from a decade ago:
"Greed knows no limits, and has no character. Greed endures no absolute moral values, and has its own ethics. Greed has no memories but vengeful ones. Greed has no friends and no family, only partners, and partners are expendable. Greed consumes and corrupts absolutely. Greed is blind to itself."
"Arrogance is a fool's disease!"

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