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Regarding Ellisville development

To the Editor:

Wonder how much money it would take to entice enough businesses, and subsidize them if necessary, to revitalize the core business district of Ellisville? I am guessing that $10 million would be only a drop in the bucket.

We now are treated to the election celebration of  how “We stuck it to Walmart.” We denied those rich Waltons that $10 million. Expect to see that slogan again every election in the future.

Walmart is really about creating a “destination” – a reason for large numbers of people to decide to travel to their locations. That is the real reason that the Walton family is rich. We used to be a destination on our own as a population growth center but no more. So we have to pay (the TIF) to create a “destination.”

A group of small stores will never become that traffic attraction, not with many other recognized destinations within 10 miles.

The downstream benefit of creating the destination is that once enterprising business people see the traffic coming to the “destination,” they will figure how and with what to capitalize on it. No, they don’t get the TIF money directly, but they benefit from it – and so, ultimately, do the taxpayers as the businesses around the destination come on line.

So, opportunity lost. And the “We stuck it to Walmart” celebration continues and, likely, so will the emptiness at Clarkson/Manchester/Kehrs Mill roads.

And the leaders of the “We Stuck it to Walmart” will probably get to move on to the county government circus.

Tom Lawrence

Ballwin

 

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