LETTER: ‘shocked and appalled’ over Carvana

To the Editor,
I am shocked and appalled to learn that the Planning Board of Southwick is considering ruining our town for the promise of $900,000 per year from Carvana, the Internet auto dealer. They want 137 acres of Southwick farmland where they will pave over 66 acres and put in a mega car lot.
Southwick is known as an agricultural and recreational town. With a massive commercial business here that will change the town and unintended consequences will likely make the town take in less money from our current tax base as small auto dealers won’t be able to compete and house values will drop with the decline in quality of our town. Therefore, the new money won’t amount to that much and would never be enough to warrant destroying our beautiful town no matter how much was involved.
We’ve been on mandatory water restriction here since April. Where will that 25,000 gallons come from? What about the towns that depend on Southwick’s wells for their water?
There is the heavy anticipated traffic. There will be endless truck traffic plus the 4-500 people coming and going to work each day. Will it be a 24 hour, seven days a week operation? Will the trucks run all night?
What about air quality? Has an environmental study been done to evaluate the impact of 66 acres of pavement and heavy traffic?
The Native Americans planned for the next seven generations when they sat in council. With more and more people living in the area we will need more food. We need the farmland! We cannot depend on everything being grown elsewhere. With the demand for more water for growing corn rather than soybeans in the Midwest, the Oglala aquifer can no longer recharge.
Phil Hall, a remarkably good dairy farmer with several agricultural endeavors, lamented to me years ago regarding the bad judgment of paving over so much of the East coast with its fallow land and almost guaranteed rainfall. We must not make a mistake that will do so much harm now and far into the future.
Carolyn Mills
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