Letter: The myth of economic development in La Grange Park

Published: Thursday, April 4, 2013 10:31 a.m. CDT • Updated: Thursday, April 4, 2013 10:41 a.m. CDT

To the editor:

With La Grange Park elections approaching, some residents feel that a change in leadership is needed to bring about rapid progress toward economic development and commercial revitalization. This feeling is inappropriate because it is based on feelings rather than analysis. It is based on a myth.

The expectation is that economic development will result in increased sales tax receipts through increased sales. The basic sales tax has a 1 percentage point addition that goes directly to the village. For each additional $100,000 in income we need, $10 million dollars of new taxable sales are needed. We need multiples of that amount! Our sales tax from $10 million of new sales probably would not even cover adding two people to the village payroll (fire, police or public works). It would probably not cover repaving more than a block or two of our backlog of many blocks past due for repaving.

And what about related village costs or inducements? How much sale does it take to solve our shortages?

New sales of $10 million is equivalent to $2,740 per hour for 10 hours per day, 365 days a year. Is this achievable? Where? How much new traffic is predicted? How much would it cost to provide for traffic movement and parking?

How much sale increase is achievable at the Village Market, or near the 31st Street tracks? Exit and entry at the 31st Street and Barnsdale Road is not suitable, and doing otherwise disrupts residential traffic and the neighborhood.

A bridge or underpass at the 31st Street tracks would probably destroy all shopping there. If a 3 percent slope is used on the slopes at each side of the tracks, they would probably each occupy at least the equivalent of one long block. What would this do to traffic? How would people access the businesses and their homes?

If a specific workable plan for economic development can be presented, how long would it take to recover from the losses and changes during implementation?

Don’t rush into economic development — it could destroy the village. Demand full analysis before action and vote wisely not for reckless economic development.

Fred Weiss

La Grange Park

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