Bravo for Eagle County |

Bravo for Eagle County

Dear Editor:

My wife and I are former residents of Aspen and Pitkin County. We now reside in Missouri Heights and are happy residents of Eagle County. I applaud the actions of our county commissioners in approving the housing project at the old tree farm. I also applaud Eagle County officials’ refusal to allow Pitkin County officials, particularly the petulant and childish Michael Owsley. The housing project is an Eagle County matter.

It is widely recognized that a nation or a region’s economic growth depends on investment. Economists Sir Roy Harrod, Evsey Domar and Robert Solow demonstrated the importance of investment to a community more than 50 years ago. The economic progress of nations and regions have confirmed their results. Invariably the economies and the citizens or regions’ states and courtiers that limit investment suffer as compared to those that do not.

In the last few years Pitkin County has imposed so many obstacles to growth that all but the most intrepid investors have pulled out. The absence of activity in Aspen today is testimony to the effect of these limits. In two years Aspen will undoubtedly have to boost its already high tax rates when home appraisals are cut to reflect the collapse in real-estate prices. Activity in Pitkin County will continue to slow.

Eagle and Garfield counties have benefited and suffered from Pitkin County’s no-growth approach. As one Eagle County official noted, Eagle (and Garfield) counties have been forced to become bedroom communities for Pitkin County. The citizens of the two counties will benefit and suffer from the consequences. Living standards will rise but congestion will increase.

The housing project at the old tree farm project is part of that growth. Eagle County commissioners should ignore objections from Pitkin County and allow it to move ahead as long as it meets Eagle County standards. It will provide housing to those working here, support for our (lower) tax base and add to the community. The project will also be needed within a few years to house the refugees from the county to the east, who are forced by high costs, deteriorating housing, falling living standards and rising taxes to look for a more hospitable place to live as the rot in Pitkin County spreads.

Philip Verleger

Missouri Heights

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