As one who was “born and bred” in Little Falls and is currently a full-time Little Falls homeowner, taxpayer, and part-time resident, I have taken some interest in the recent controversy surrounding the proposed Zaida housing project.

After reading all the letters to the editor published on this website and reviewing all the publicly available information on the project and its proposed effects, pro and con, on the Little Falls community, I find myself asking an important question.

“How might the Little Falls community benefit over the short and long terms from the Zaida project?”

The answer to this question is of critical importance to determine whether the Zaida project should be allowed to move forward and hinges on the answers to a few related questions.

  1. What current problems in Little Falls would the Zaida project address?
  2. To what extent would the Zaida project reduce or eliminate these problems?
  3. What current problems would be made worse by the Zaida project?
  4. What new problems might the Zaida project create?

While answering these questions will require an open and honest dialogue from both the developers promoting the project and the citizens currently opposing it, I believe the primary burden for getting this dialogue started lies with the developers. They are the ones who stand to gain financially from the project and are in the best position to provide some answers, particularly to Questions 1 and 2 above. They are also the ones in the best position to provide the type of transparency into the project’s financial returns and how some proportion of those returns might be reinvested for the benefit of the Little Falls community.

I look forward to seeing how the debate about the Zaida project progresses.

Michael McCarthy
Little Falls, NY 13365