(The following Letter to the Editor has been submitted by Leslie Sand of Decorah):
"I want to express my support for HyVee coming to Decorah, in the form of renovating and using the former K&S/Quillin's building.
1) There is an existing building in need of renovation and a tenant. This project will not require new building, nor will it be on a floodplain. This is a "green" solution.
2) It will improve the tax revenues, which are drastically needed.
3) HyVee is a desirable grocer. People will come from out of town to shop there. HyVee is based in Iowa and is employee-owned.
4) Decorah needs another grocery store. We have lost Jack & Jill and now Quillins. Oneota Coop serves a more limited segment of the population. While many people do flock to town to shop Walmart, many other people resist going there. HyVee will be open on Sundays.
5) I don't believe their presence will hurt downtown retailers. For instance, people may pick up a bouquet of flowers there, but those generally will be more "impulse" buyers who would not otherwise be making a trip to our current florists. Our current florists will not lose their wedding and funeral business.
6) Has there been a proposal that shows what departments this store might have? I would guess that this would be one of the smaller HyVee stores and may not include a restaurant, pharmacy, etc.
7) I have heard that there are complaints about the incentives offered. I'd like to see figures on past comparable projects, such as Fareway and Walmart. How do those incentives compare in today's dollars? Were the costs of those incentives recovered? I was unable to attend the recent meeting at TBocks that addressed some of these concerns.
Supporters of this project need to contact our city leaders, email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org, while there is still a chance to bring a new company to town, with jobs that include company ownership."