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Co-op not involved in site

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By The Staff

Dear Editor,

The letter by Vincent Chiravalle in the Monitor (“Trinity Site not good for county,” Sept. 9) includes several misconceptions about the issues surrounding the public/private partnership and construction of the new municipal building and commercial building at the 15th and Trinity site. His letter imputes certain motivations to the Los Alamos Co-operative Market (LACM) Board of Directors that are inaccurate, and the board would like to clarify our position.

First, the letter seems to imply that the LACM Board is somehow influencing the decisions about county’s financial contribution to underground parking and even influencing the entire public/private endeavor at the site. This is incorrect. The LACM has been invited by the developers, Deponte Investments, to be an anchor tenant of the commercial building because it would be one popular, vibrant business among several there that will further downtown redevelopment goals set by the county.

The lease space represents an opportunity for the co-operative market to have a appealing space in which to realize our goals of opening a natural foods store in Los Alamos (for which our many owner/members have exhibited infinite patience, thank you!) The LACM is, at best, a potential beneficiary of the county’s 15th and Trinity redevelopment project. We also happen to believe that the project is good for the county, or else we would not endorse it.

Second, the 15th and Trinity site has not attracted serious development interests, or at least successful ones, in decades. Clearly, it is the amount of gross receipts taxes that is of concern to the citizens of the county, not simply the fact that “The county will receive GRT revenue from the commercial building regardless of whether it is next to the new municipal building or not.” Based on the current plan, the developer’s analysis of revenue generated for the county is financially attractive in terms of the redevelopment goals, and county staff is in the process of vetting those numbers.

Finally, other matters raised in Mr. Chiravalle’s letter, including the “overly elaborate municipal building,” the “beachfront property” argument and the county’s strategy of contributing money for a private/public project for downtown redevelopment, are issues for political debate for upcoming county council elections.

But for the 15th and Trinity project, those public meetings happened in July and August and elicited overwhelming public support and a 6:1 majority vote by council members to pursue the project as sound investment for the citizens, present and future, of the county

Member, LACM board of directors