25-50 years ago | AspenTimes.com

25-50 years ago

Sara Garton

The Pitkin County Hospital (see 1955), known as Aspen Citizens Hospital during the mining era, was built in 1891. Located where Common Ground housing now stands, it served the community until its demolition in 1961. (Courtesy Aspen Historical Society)

Aspen’s water woes continued, and they were getting some bad press, as the paper reported,Mr. Fred Hendy, President of the Aspen Water Company, went to Grand Junction last Monday, where he met with members of the State Board of Health about the water service in Aspen. …Mr. Hendy emphasized to the board that the total improvement as recommended by the Department of Health would cost $370,000 and that at this time present rates would not warrant the spending of that kind of money.After a full discussion, the board ordered its engineer, Mr. George Prince, to make a complete survey of the Aspen Water Company system and report back his recommendations as to how the improvement could be made in the quickest possible time considering all the factors involved.

The Board directed Mr. Hendy to cease supplying water from its Roaring Fork pumping plant situated at the east of Hyman Street on the Roaring Fork river. A well close to the river was furnishing a small amount of water during periods of peak use last summer. … The water, while not pumped directly from the Roaring Fork, has never been chlorinated. It was this water that the Board directed the Aspen water Company to quit using. …Radio reports and the Denver Post news story inferred that the furnishing of all water was meant by the Board, but this is not the case. Water from Hunter Creek and Castle Creek is being chlorinated at all times.The Pitkin County Commissioners issued a harsh decree against the hospital (see photo) before the election 50 years ago.The Board of County Commissioners voted unanimously to reject the resolution to levy 3 mills for 8 years to raise a total of $150,000 [for a hospital building fund] at their mid-month meeting Wednesday.Instead the Commissioners voted unanimously to levy 1 mill for 1 year and then take a look at the situation a year from now. …

The Commissioners told the Hospital Board that they appreciated the fine work the members had given and that they were in favor a hospital and a good one, but that considering the overall picture of the tax burden imposed by the various taxing units such as city, county, fire district, school, state and other special district, could not impose a 3 mill levy for the 8 years as requested.Discussion of great ideas and great books has been a part of Aspen’s scene since it was a mining camp. The paper enthusiastically reported on a new group’s first meeting,The first meeting of the Aspen Great Books Discussion Group was held last night in the Bamboo Room of the Hotel Jerome. A very impressive gathering of 35 Aspen souls turned out for this first truly Aspen gathering of Great Bookies. The topic was “The Declaration of Independence” and as the meeting closed a rather lively exchange of ideas was taking place. The temporary leader, Bob Craig, has received applications from a total of 41 persons and announced that he would conduct a second group because of the enthusiastic interest shown.

This news filler published 25 years ago in The Aspen Times reports starkly different numbers than 2005 hurricane numbers.Hurricane Frederic, which visited U.S. shores in September 1979, holds the record for costly damage. The staggering bill of $2.3 billion in damages was toted up in just a few coastal counties of Alabama and Mississippi. Despite the devastation, only five people were killed in the storm.An ambitious report by the Rio Grande Task Force about what to do with the publicly owned property was published in the paper.

(T)he task force explained it had “considered in excess of 50 uses proposed from time to time for the Rio Grande area. These proposed uses have been narrowed to the recommended list.” … Site one, behind the courthouse and the First national Bank, was allocated six preferred uses. These included a performing arts facility with conference use, if this does not compromise the performing arts program. Also recommended for site one is a law enforcement building, a parking structure, transit facility, visitors center, and commercial lease space.Uses listed for site two, immediately north of site one, are playing fields, which can be used for winter skating and a pavilion for use as a warming room and other community functions.Site three, located east of site two, should hold a regional care facility and library, the report adds.On site four, north of sites two and three, there should be a greenway park and a restaurant, the report concludes.

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