In response to the letters to the editor concerning the Price Club that have been appearing lately, I would like to set the record straight. I believe the City Council (despite what some would have you believe) is trying to work for the benefit of everyone using city services, including the Willow Ridge residents.
To provide these services, it takes money. Approximately 55% of the income to the city comes from the sales tax. It is estimated that the Price Club would gross $100 million annually. This would generate $650,000 from sales tax to our city's general fund. Not only would the Price Club generate income to the city, it would provide citizens a place to shop at discount prices. Also, it would serve as an anchor to attract other retail businesses to the area, which would generate sales tax.
Not all the Willow Ridge residents are opposed to the Price Club. I suspect the small group you are hearing from is using the issue to build a political base to use as a springboard in the next election. I have no quarrel with anyone running for office but not at the expense of the people who live here and pay taxes.
If this city cannot generate the needed income to the city, either the people will have to pay more for services or services will have to be cut. Sales tax is the most painless way to generate needed income. We all pay sales tax, and I would like to see Signal Hill get its share. Why let some other city get it?
Looking back to 1977 when a former council allowed residential to be built in our commercial area (one of those projects was Willow Ridge), a negative declaration was adopted by the Environmental Review Board that the project would have no significant impact upon the environment. In other words, it would not interfere and could co-exist with commercial zoning. If that applied then, it should apply now.
Every effort will be made to mitigate any negative impact on residents of Willow Ridge. The plans will have to be approved by the Planning Commission and the City Council. I would urge the residents of Willow Ridge to provide positive input during the planning process to make the Price Club the desirable and beneficial project they would like to see.
--LOUIS A. DARE
Mayor of Signal Hill