New building site a good idea

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By The Staff

Dear Editor,

The residents of Los Alamos County have a lot to consider with the proposed location for a new Municipal Building plus retail and community space at 15th and Trinity streets. The buildings’ conceptual designs and location are available on-line (www.losalamosnm.us), at the public library, and at the county annex building.

This project and the decision on the proposal are on a fast-track (decision no earlier than the Aug. 26 County Council meeting). I am on the board of the Los Alamos Co-operative Market (LACM); the Co-op has some 350 members and has been working toward opening a natural foods grocery in the county for several years.

The 15th and Trinity proposal includes the Co-op as a street-front anchor tenant with ample retail space, a great location for local and commuting traffic for grocery shopping and doing county business, and integration into a new community downtown extension without sprawl. The site would provide modern space for our county employees, a new restaurant on the canyon, create a plaza central to the buildings for public events, contribute toward a canyon rim public trail, have some great views utilizing the natural beauty of canyons and vistas, and much more.

From the Co-op board’s perspective, the 15th and Trinity proposal is certainly a win for the Co-op and goes far in providing a boost toward Los Alamos becoming a more self-sustaining community by stemming retail leakage to Santa Fe. And note that anyone can shop at the Co-op, while new members are always welcome.

The decisions facing the county about the 15th and Trinity site are clearly bigger than the Co-op Market. The board’s broader evaluation, however, foresees a vibrant synergy in this public/private development project and an answer to our members’ desire to have a natural foods store with food, soft goods, and year-around access for local and regional food growers. Check out the Monitor front-page article for Friday, Aug. 1, and the county website for architectural drawings.

There are three more County Council informational meetings, in which we can participate, on August 7 (6 p.m., Community Center), August 19 (White Rock), and Aug. 26, when a decision by the council may be made. Council meetings are always fun! Information can also be found at the Co-op’s website at http://www.lacoopmarket.com/

Los Alamos