our view

The fine print always reveals what is going on.

The Alexander City City Council has planned a vote on a large retail development with a grocery store as its anchor at a special called meeting Tuesday.

While everyone is very much in favor of having more options to eat and shop, caution needs to be taken into consideration when considering what the city is giving up to make a deal with developers.

One side says it’s a great deal. Another says its not.

One side says it’s a sales tax share. The other says it puts the city on the hook for a $7.5 million 5% ten-year loan.

The legal advertisement for the meeting agrees on the amount but many of the details are left out.

What are they?

Often the details of deals are still being worked out up to the last moment.

If it's a loan, it might be a bad idea to proceed with the deal. The city has enough issues with its finances to be tied up in a loan that could hamper much-needed progress on infrastructure. If it is a true sales tax rebate, the council should look closely at the numbers to see if they make sense. Is the city sharing so much the deal could hamper the city’s situation more than help it?

At the end of the day it’s a decision to be made by the Alexander City City Council — approve a deal that developers say will bring a new grocer to the market. But given the debate on the points of the deal, The Outlook greatly urges the six members of the council to listen to specialists it has appointed and hired to study the fine print of the proposed incentive package presented by the developers.

At the end of the day citizens would like options when it comes to shopping but not if it stands to hamper overall progress for Alexander City.