Letter To The Editor: $2.3 Million Is Minimal?

By GREG WHITE
Los Alamos
 
I have to disagree with County staff that costs of the agreement with TNJ (Los Alamos), LLC for a new hotel is a minimal impact to the County finances. Just because it’s land does not mean we can always give it away for economic development and it doesn’t really cost us anything. Giving land for a new larger grocery store (Smith’s), maybe. Giving land to build housing, maybe. We cannot do without food or housing and those developments generally anywhere in the Country are offered incentives by local governments from land to tax breaks.
 
But a 4th expensive hotel when we are trying to draw tourists has to be questioned. Are we seeking only rich tourists?
 
The parcel in question is appox. the size of 2 3/4 football fields (an acre is 43,560 sq ft, a football field is 48,000 sq ft). It’s appraised value is $1.825 Million. In addition in the agreement appears this clause where we promise to install a traffic signal: “1. Contributions of County. C: County shall be solely responsible for the cost of any and all signalization and roadway improvements once State traffic warrants are met for the intersection of NM 502 (Trinity Drive) and 20th Street.” An additional cash cost to the County of appox. $250,000 to $500,000 and a yearly cost of $8,000. Refer to: https://wsdot.wa.gov/Operations/Traffic/signals.htm
 
All the construction companies, equipment and room furnishings, and all other supplies have to come from a list of vendors or be of specific manufacturers and model numbers approved by Marriot. So the County will see NO GRT from those things. And the jobs will no doubt be of minimal wage and filled by people who do not live in Los Alamos like the other hotels already here. You can see they are constantly advertising for help in all ares. So little to no wages paid will be spent in the County.
 
The tax revenue for the County per year will be about: $19,000 in property tax, $300.000 in GRT from room rental, the restaurant and convention ctr. at the best, and lodger’s tax of $177,000. That’s a little less than half a million a year which means it’ll take at least 5 years just to recoup our costs before we see any benefit.
 
No this project comes with great costs to the citizens of LA County. Please come to the Council meeting on Aug. 27 and make the need for an affordable, hotel for tourist here.