Liberty, NCA Great Place to Live.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Do You Support the Mega-Site in Liberty?

Interesting conversation going on Facebook over the megasite proposal. (Join in!)

Overall, the mega-site is a good idea. It brings jobs, it secures the future of the town and its youth. However, it must be something that adds to people's lives. This requires a strong incentive package to garner public support from the developers to the people of the area. These sweetners need to include public transport infrastructure (buses), guarantee of a minimum wage above ten dollars an hour for even the janitorial staff. Commitments to town infrastructure, like new libraries and parks. To simply accept the destruction of natural resources, without an investment in community is exploitation. However, I'm certain our local government is fighting for these key concerns with regards to this project.

One notable thing that was posted in the group was Liberty's academic profile.  In Liberty, a mere 200 people have a college bachelor's degree, and only about 50 people have master's degrees. The lack of an educated base within our geography suggests that we've failed to invest in the future with our own children, or that our youth are not being retained for jobs in other areas. The future of the area will be decided by our ability to attract individuals with the skills and minds that will better the future of the area. While not ideal, this mega-site offers the opportunity to transform people's lives. If incentivized properly, this site could offer education and training to these individuals and give them a path to prosperity.

There are outspoken proponents of the site though. One website, northeastrandolphpropertyowners.com , suggests we stand up for rural America. One opponent chose to respond to the support for the site by saying:
"Liberty has always been, and always will be a small town! Period."
Which of course is untrue. Everything, always changes. Millennials don't want homes, they want apartments near their jobs. They're giving up cars for public transport. Even if we forget the numerous small towns that are now mere dust patches along Route 66 in the mid-west, towns that we're bypassed for prosperous interstates, towns that missed their opportunity, we must not reject the risks involved when shouting "period" to becoming antiquated.  Churchill once said that to be perfect is to change often, and I agree.

But I don't fully support the mega-site without heavy incentives. I also believe it should be closer to the core of the town of Liberty. Perhaps partially built underground, reshaping our dilapidated infrastructure. It should be close enough for individuals to walk to, and for it to be integrated into the town. The companies that make up this megasite need to be a part of the social fabric of Liberty. It must be a socially responsible entity that sees the future of the town and its people prosper, just as it does. In fact, if I recall, I'm pretty sure that's the American dream.

What's your opinion?