Success certainly breeds success, but it’s also true that failure, or even controversy, can breed a bad reputation.
That’s what has some wondering what the long term impact is going to be over some recent top news stories.
Just this week the KLN Snack Food Company put out an open letter expressing disappointment that Waterford community leaders weren’t moving on plans to extend water and sewer service one mile to the old Troyer Farm plant.
That is seen as critical by the Minnesota chipper to move into the building and re-energize the once thriving Troyer operation and the hundreds of jobs involved.
The project will already miss the company’s July opening date, to the point where KLN had to go to the state for a special permit to use well water in the meantime.
Faced with community pressure and the urging of Erie County Council, Waterford supervisors this week agreed to commit to the project, but even that only passed by a 2 to 1 vote.
All of this comes on the heels of the opposition to the Rail Terminal project in Harborcreek; opposition so fierce the developers pulled the entire plan of creating a hub where shipping containers could be switched between trains to trucks.
It was a 60 million dollar project creating sixty jobs. But citing noise and traffic concerns, the people of Harborcreek said, “No Thanks!”
I would never argue with someone’s right to oppose a project if they honestly believe that the harm outweighs the good or that the investment won’t bring the return.
What I would like to offer is a gentle reminder, that the effect of these decisions is cumulative, and if you string enough of them together, it will create a bad reputation for the region as a tough place to do business.
If that happens our communities won’t have to worry about opposing the next project that comes along.
There won’t be one.
**UPDATE** The next night from when this was written the Waterford Water Authority did not approve the new line. KLN still promises to open in July on the permit that allows well water to be used. But in a public statement the company continues to wonder why it's so hard to do business, especially when they have agreed to incur the initial cost of the water expansion