It seems that the recent financial downturn has now made the $30-million Homer safety building unaffordable. It is time for Homer to look for alternatives.
We don’t need something shiny and new to make us feel good about ourselves, we must learn to make due with what we have. It’s time to look at what Homer needs, not excessive wants.
One problem at issue is the need for more storage space. If the city purchased property near the current fire station, storage could be expanded without the exorbitant cost.
For several years now, Homer citizens have been requesting a community center. I believe I have solution for both of these problems.
The Kachemak Wholesale mall is for sale and would be perfect to serve the community. There is ample space for extra storage for the fire station. The large grocery store space could be easily transformed into a community center for gatherings, bingo, etc.
Several of the storefronts are already occupied and rent can be used to make the payments on the building. There are many stores that are not rented and could be offered to the nonprofits in town at a much lower rate.
As Homer is hit by the economic downturn, there will be less money available to support nonprofits, instead the city could help lower their costs.
Instead of $600,000 to plan the new safety station, a huge down payment could be made on the building and future payments covered by rent.
This is an inexpensive win-win solution for everyone in the community.