There's an old saying, "You get what you pay for."
That may be the case in the unfolding story of the CVS Pharmacy project in Honesdale and more particularly the intersection of 4th and Main streets.
The issue came to a head last week when an unadvertised meeting was held at Honesdale Borough Hall and involved CVS officials, their consultants and others.
The appearance is that some officials in the borough want to see this project approved immediately. That almost is assuredly the case considering the matter was placed on the last meeting of the borough but then no action was taken.
Why was it placed on the agenda in the first place? Why was it tabled?
Borough councilman Harry DeVrieze thinks there are some monetary motivations involved. He doesn't think the council should take action just to get the real estate transaction completed.
He makes a good point.
DeVrieze thinks the time is ripe for the council to get this intersection fixed properly and once and for all.
Again, he makes a good point.
Corporations all across the United States allocate millions of dollars to change roadways when they construct or change their businesses. Local municipalities take full advantage of these situations to get things done correctly.
And they should.
The bottom line is CVS and others are going to profit from this change of location. That makes it logical they should make sure the intersection is at least somewhat functional.
If this were something unusual, it would be one thing. But it's not. Just look out at Texas Township and see who paid for those intersections. It wasn't the township taxpayers.
But this is just the tip of the iceberg.
The entire process which has taken place concerning this project has been questionable, especially on the part of the borough.
And let's not be subtle here — the borough stands to get a big boost in its budget once the real estate transaction is approved and the permits are issued.
But that should not be the reason for getting the project to move forward.
Public safety is the key issue here and that has to be the basis for every decision which is made by the borough council.
That certainly didn't appear to be the case last week when a quorum of four members was present for an unadvertised meeting. We learned Monday a fifth member was also invited to the meeting.
That is troubling.
What is the rush here?
We've now learned that CVS is willing to pay to have the intersection done the way the borough's own engineer thinks would be proper.
Page 2 of 2 - Though some of that was indicated last week, it wasn't made public that some of the plans have already been drafted and that contacts were made to acquire the land necessary to make the proper changes.
It's now known a price has been agreed to for the land.
That brings up a lot of questions.
Why was that not announced at the meeting?
Is that alternative much more expensive? If so, that would indicate maybe money is a major factor involved.
The bottom line here is this process needs to take place in the proper manner. No secret meetings, no secret deals. No more putting something on an agenda and then tabling it after the cat gets out of the bag.
We cannot stress enough that the CVS project will be good for Honesdale. We also compliment the Meagher family for be willing to put the needs of the community first.
All of that is very positive.
The problem comes with the process and it has been troubling.
The actions by certain members of the council have tainted this process. The appearance of secrecy and the desire for money to start flowing is also troubling.
DeVrieze thinks part of the issue might be the desire to make sure the developer is paid quickly. If he is right, that is no reason to push through a project.
Some might say the CVS project has been going on for a long time — and it has. However, that doesn't mean it should be approved just for the sake of approval.
The process should be done by the book, in public and involving the public. So far, that has not taken place and the results speak for themselves.
Whether they like it or not, the council members have a duty to the public and part of that duty is making sure the end result is what's best for the citizens.
Shoving something through for the sake of money or a borough budget is not what is best and should not happen.
It will be interesting to see how this plays out next Monday night at the borough council meeting. We encourage the citizens to attend and make their feelings known.