To the Editor,
Letters have been printed both for and against the Barter deal, but one thread runs through them all. Those for the deal seem guided mainly by emotions and the wildly exaggerated projections about all the riches it could bring to us. Barter hired a consultant all the way from Missouri to try to sell this deal and I assume that’s where those “wonderful” projections came from. The problem is there is little if anything in the way of reality or facts to back up the claims. It’s all rainbows, butterflies, and daydreams.
Those of us opposed to the deal speak of real world facts and figures and similar projects from other places that failed badly. The IRS forms available online show Barter lost $2.5 million over past five years. They are putting zero money into this project. I’d say that’s because they have no money to put.
On other hand, the city would be putting anywhere from $13 – $19 nillion in, and also promising a subsidy to Barter of up to $600,000 per year. Tax credits may reduce the original total but interest on the nillions we’d have to borrow adds it right back in. Barter would have no risk at all, but we’d have millions and millions at risk. One can hardly imagine a more one sided deal.
We all remember the redevelopment commission , known as the RDC. It was created a few years ago to manage the development of Spencers. It quickly showed it didn’t want to follow the guidelines set by the city board. It became a problem and had to be disbanded, but before that it tried to take control of the city board in the election 2.5 years ago. It had big spending ideas and put up 3-4 candidates for commissioner and nayor.
The public rejected those ideas and all those candidates by a wide margin. Many of those same RDC members and supporters are now clamoring for the ultra high risk Barter deal. The public didn’t like that type of thinking then and doesn’t like it now.
Discussion time is over. I hope the commissioners support the majority of citizens who elected them.
John R. Pritchard