Letter: Past economic ventures turned out very badlySince 2000, River Fall’s leadership has invested significant resources in three nest eggs: Residential sprawl; Tax Increment Financed industrial development; and binge-drinking college students.
By: Mike Wharton, River Falls, River Falls Journal
Since 2000, River Fall’s leadership has invested significant resources in three nest eggs: Residential sprawl; Tax Increment Financed industrial development; and binge-drinking college students.
They have also invested in brick-and-mortar ego development and green washing of the municipal utility. I am speaking of nest eggs.
The Great Recession cracked our residential sprawl egg.
Years before that, city leaders and staff tossed as garbage, significant and costly investments in plans, recommendations, and long-range growth rate advice.
The ignorance nurtured by the toss grew into an annexation massacre.
Leadership of that day waved its magic wand and River Falls grew by double digits in all the directions that made “cents” for the properly connected, adjacent, landowners.
Residential development will never come back like it was before the bubble’s pop.
City leadership has recognized that fact and so far bailed out a developer and bank through buying hundreds of acres for TIF-based, industrial development on the north and west sides of town.
The biggest part of the failed high school referendum site and what was the final phase of the Sterling Ponds subdivision is our second nest egg.
Both are zoned for industrial giveaway to 1%, members who can pass through the needle’s eye of the River Falls Economic Development Corp.
Our third egg is binge-drinking college students’ and their vomit on the sidewalk.
Our cultured “college party town” identity degrades our quality of life. The policy does nothing important except feed the police department, municipal court, and others who support executing the law.
I think it’s significant as to “why” there are so many used-a-bit shops on Main Street. That’s where we should spend our resources.
The incumbents don’t, but I think everyone with a fenced yard should be able to have hens for their own fresh eggs.