City will buy park for $3.5 million | AspenTimes.com
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City will buy park for $3.5 million

Aspen Times Staff Report

The Aspen City Council approved the use of $3.5 million from the housing/day-care fund Monday to purchase an 18,000-square-foot lot known as Bass Park.

The city is currently under contract to purchase the privately owned parcel at the corner of Hopkins and Monarch, and had been planning to ask voters for a tax increase in the May election.

But City Manager Amy Margerum told the City Council that her staff was not prepared to ask the voters for a three-tenths of a cent increase in the sales tax to pay for the park. With private developers ready to buy the lot if the city doesn’t, Margerum suggested the city buy the land with surplus money from the housing/day-care fund and ask the voters after the fact, in November, whether it was the right thing to do.

If the action isn’t approved by the voters, the city would have to sell the property on the open market, or find some other source of funding to keep the land.

A committee of citizens active in land-use and affordable-housing issues met last month and recommended that the land be dedicated exclusively to affordable housing. Last night, the council decreed that at least part of the lot should be dedicated as a park.


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