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The Valley Reporter
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Waitsfield, VT 05673
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I can tell you why

08/02/2007

 By Logan Cooke

In last week's Valley Reporter, I was reading about many articles citing poor economy in The Valley and people asking one thing, why? Well, I am no genius when it comes to economics (and many other things) but I think I might be able to tell you.

Drive down Route 100B and take a look at some signs. One might stick out -- "KEEP 100B QUARRY FREE." There is your answer. Every time something tries to get done by business owners in this Valley it leads to a bunch of commotion from people. Like for example see the letter "The fight is not over" from the July 6, 2007 edition of The Valley Reporter. I do not know the author Walter Sainsbury, nor do I have anything against him, but he says, "I'm concerned that the proposed 17-acre quarry would not only severely diminish property values but it would also quell interest from tourists entering the Mad River Valley via 100B."
      
What? A quarry that is over two miles out of the way from any attraction in The Valley and is off the road is not going to be a deterrent for tourists. And with there being few houses near the quarry, property values will not go down much either. Now, it is not just Sainsbury that mentions these things but others as well. Air, noise and water pollution -- listen, this quarry will have the same affect on these things as the farms that give The Valley its charm. What many people don't realize, there is a quarry similar to the one proposed by Mr. Rivers on the beltline going into Berlin, right next to Walker Volkswagen. I never hear explosions or see harmful water streams coming down from it and I also see very few trucks as well.

The problem with this Valley is everyone wants to have things without ruining The Valley's historic value. As The Valley is growing, the commerce and economy is not, which is hindering things altogether. And it is not all the citizens' fault. The select boards and review boards are being completely ridiculous. Yes, there are some things that they are doing well, but there are also many things that they are doing wrong. For example, Jake's Auto was trying to put in an addition and was fought to death about it by Waitsfield. Or, anyone remember that little patch of grass by the VG? How much of our money was spent fighting for such an insignificant amount of land? Or when Small Dog Electronics got fought because they had an open sign too close to the road? And now it is the signs restaurants are advertising with. This needs to stop. This Valley is scenic. And none of the above including the quarry is going to change that, but if this sort of stuff continues, then it won't matter whether or not The Valley is scenic, because there will be no one left to care either way. While everyone is trying to keep this place attractive for tourists and keep the beauty, they are driving away all the things that are most important to this Valley -- local business.


Logan Cooke lives in Waitsfield.
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