Impact of a Homeless Shelter on Downtown?

The following is the text from a recent Letter to the Editor submitted by our Head of Strategy, Barry Slaymaker, discussing the plans of the City of Refuge and Dalton’s City Council’s impending decision on the rezoning of the property –

Let me begin by saying that I, along with almost all of the opposition to the rezoning of the building on Morris Street for City of Refuge, support their local mission and understand the need for the services they provide. Monday night’s city council meeting showed that there is significant support for City of Refuge in the community, but this support focuses solely on their mission. When probed for specifics about the plan for the Morris Street location, both from an operational and financial standpoint, proponents are unable, or unwilling, to provide them. We can all appreciate that the situation for the City of Refuge is fluid; they have been given a project far beyond the scope of what could have been imagined. However, the city, the community and the downtown business and property owners should not be the parties that are ultimately taking the risk of the project. Our community’s leadership, both past and present, have taken great steps to make opportunities for private investment in Dalton not only available, but financially viable. This investment will slow, if not stop, if we do not proceed with caution. This project will have an unimaginable negative impact on downtown revitalization. Let’s not take a step back by failing to follow the vision for Dalton. Let’s not create another roadblock when our path has been difficult from the start. Very large employers are looking at Dalton for new investment every day; let’s not give them another reason not to choose us.

 

These questions largely remain unanswered and the potential impact on our community is still unknown. However, we believe that the value of Dalton’s industrial, retail, and office space is severely threatened by the plan and its downstream consequences.

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