Why build to compete?

To the Editor:

I was approached by several people asking that I write a letter regarding the city of Fairmont and the community center committee considering competing with existing private industry by including a fitness center in the proposed community center.

After some consideration and discussion with some Fairmont businesses, I chose to write a letter and hand carry it throughout the Fairmont business community. I have prepared a letter with 79 signatures of retailers, manufacturing corporations and service organizations that I obtained during the fourth week of October. Of those I was able to contact, 18 chose not to sign the letter because no local employee was authorized to sign, a conflict of interest existed with the city government or they had no preference on the issue.

This letter was presented to the Fairmont City Council and the committee at its Monday (Nov. 26) regular meeting.

It was an interesting time-consuming experience for me. I suggest that the city and the committee consider a similar exercise to identify the reasons why local employers have difficulty obtaining or attracting new employees to Fairmont.

The content of the letter follows:

The undersigned members of the Fairmont business community are protesting and questioning the legality of using the proceeds of the Fairmont special .5% sales tax to compete with several established existing Fairmont businesses.

The proposed community center is planned to include a physical fitness center which would be in unfair direct competition with the three existing established privately owned fitness centers. The owners have invested a significant amount of funds and time making these businesses viable in our community.

This does not represent our combined opposition to a community center, but we do oppose including a business which will compete with private industry.

Ernie Nuss

and the 79 other signees

of the petition letter