It is estimated that retaining such a firm will cost the Town approximately $5,000, and perhaps another $5,000 to go to court, plus whatever a judgement the Judge may decide.
On August 8, we will have a new hearing on a Demurrer. (legal term for a pleading that objects to our filing.)
What we fail to understand is that our Town leaders could have simply chosen to grant us an extension, free of charge, when we requested it. Everyone (us, our vendors, our community, and the Town leaders) could have come out Winners.
The Town could have also offered us a portion of the $100,000 in Economic Development Authority funds that is supposed to be used to develop business in Mount Jackson. The Town would have looked like heroes; and we would have had our parking lot paved, our doors open, and been contributing tax revenue to the Town by now.
For those who view us as the instigators, we can only respond by saying that we have a pretty good case outlining many other businesses who are operating under all sorts of exemptions, including the farm stand at the north end of Town which is operating under an expired Special Use Permit at the north end of Town. We certainly do not want to shut anyone down, but as Councilman Todd Holtzman pointed out in his letter to the editor, the Council needs to be fair in it's implementation of the codes.
It's a darn shame that this is now costing each of us, and to what end?
We accept the fight as our own, but would like to point out that businesses downtown need to work together and have a collective voice when it comes to Business in Mount Jackson. Many businesses were told to pave their lots a few years back; yet there are many more who are operating with gravel lots. Succeeding in our vision will bring more traffic downtown, which will effectively bring more customers to other downtown businesses' doorsteps.
Again, we can only stress that we did not ask for an Exemption, but rather an Extension for this year only, and to hold a successful farmers' market that operated a total of 9 hours per week.