Built like a Ponzi scheme
July 10, 2009
The Basalt Town Council was recently criticized by two midvalley sewer districts for our new growth plan. Mayor Leroy Duroux’s incisive response to that criticism was brilliant in its brevity and focus. (“Sewer district raises stink over Basalt growth control,” July 7.)
Backstory: One sewer district president, Robert Clark, came to the public meeting regarding a large development proposal in El Jebel. He raged against Basalt’s new growth plan, praised the developer’s plan, and explained how the sewer district needed the money from the new development. When asked what his board considers an appropriate rate of growth he didn’t have an answer.
Mayor Duroux had an answer. Referring to the critics he explained, “… they’re not in the land-use business. They’re in the water and sewer business.” Exactly. We don’t grow so sewer districts can build new plants to accommodate new growth.
The midvalley sewer districts have set up a business model that depends on new growth or they’ll collapse. The first fellow to do that was Charles Ponzi. The most recent was Bernie Madoff.
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