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Letter to the Editor: In Support of the Sale of the Rossi Property

The views stated here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of the editors of this newspaper. We welcome supporting or opposing views on any published item. Received February 28, 2024.

The residents of Haddam, as the contentious Rossi property, are at a crossroads.Some wish to go forth with the sale of the property to the developer, opening the site to remediation and reconstruction. Others wish to delay this step, dragging their feet, hoping for a Goldilocks situation.The fact is, there will never be a perfect opportunity to improve the town center. The cost of this progress for the town of Haddam has already been paid, a sum of 2.5 million dollars which now promises to return at least 1.5 million dollars in remediation from the state, 3 million dollars of investment from the developer, and an influx of residents and small businesses at an optimal location, not to mention the future tax revenue.To any onlooker, this deal would seem pretty sweet, and to a Haddam taxpayer, it should seem sufficient. As mentioned at the meeting on the February 24, 2024 the vast majority of town taxes are paid by individuals, not businesses. The biggest reason for this is that Haddam is plainly unattractive for businesses that are looking for a high flow of people. This development will be a stride in the right direction.

Dollar General stores, for example, are some of the only franchises willing to build in Haddam and although some residents don’t care for their plastic facades, few would choose to shoulder their tax bill. It is in this fact that truth really lies. There is a cost of progress that someone always has to pay, and we have before us a developer and state willing to pay some, and a town that already has. In some cases, the cost of progress for us is 2.5 million dollars. In other cases, it is simply allowing a business to move into town. No matter what, progress isn’t free.The Haddam of tomorrow that we all hope for will not fall into our laps; rather, we must work and pay for it. If we will not invest in progress for the future of Haddam, who will? Remember that the direction of Haddam is in your hands when you go to vote on March 5th.

Elias Lowrey, Haddam

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