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Is anyone promoting the proposed Trinity Site development willing to mention the two-ton elephant in the room? This elephant represents the situation at LANL, brought on by privatization incurring tens of millions in new gross receipts tax (GRT) obligations to New Mexico and unprecedented management fees being paid out of the LANL budget. Currently no one understands what the effects of the FY2008 federal budget will be on LANL. However, it is obvious that privatization, management fees, GRTs and other associated costs will not be absorbed by a downward spiraling budget without grave impact to LANL’s mission and employment situation. Job losses caused by FY2008 budget shortfalls are projected to continue for several more years as the DOE downsizes the national laboratories.Instead of addressing the elephant in the room, the county and the school district continue down the path of developing a 1980s shopping center, apparently hoping that cheap Chinese products, typically offered by “national retailers,” will keep Los Alamos afloat, will support funding the county’s $100-million construction program, and will add to the school district’s operating budget. Compounding this is the proposed construction of approximately 300 more homes when the housing market is soft.There may be good reasons to move school and county functions off Trinity Site.
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