Crown Mountain a must for midvalley | AspenTimes.com

Crown Mountain a must for midvalley

Where is and what is Crown Mountain?

As one member of the organizing committee of the Crown Mountain Parks and Recreation District, I have been asked many times these two questions. There are people who have lived in the valley all their lives and do not know where Crown Mountain is.

First, it has nothing to do with the royal family of Aspen Skiing Co. fame. It is the mountain just south of the “old Sopris Tree Farm.” Most old-timers just call it “The Crown” ? hence, the name of our district.

The new midvalley district is being formed in response to a variety of very real needs that have developed over the past few years. With a burgeoning population, our recreation needs far exceed the few facilities available.

We have no way of preserving land and creating the wonderful parks so visible in the Aspen area. At this time, we have no other way of raising the funds needed to build the pools, rinks, and recreation facilities that the midvalley resident would love to see.

In short, we need the organizational structure to be able to do what needs to be done. I am very much in support of creating this district, and I don’t have kids! I say that because many people who do not have children have asked, “What’s in it for me?”

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The answer is that it is not all baseball and soccer fields. Over half of the 128 acres is open space, complete with river access, a trail, a possible “doggy area” ? could be called a “park!” With the passage of Questions 4D, 4E and 4F, this, and other potential “parks,” will be in your very real backyard.

What about those buildings? At this point, they are rotting away. If we ever want to do anything with them, or create new ones to house skateboard parks, hockey rinks or a senior center, now is the time to act … er, vote.

Finally, yes it is a taxing district, and there is another money vote on the ballot that must be considered. It is Referendum 1H on your ballot. Please do not think that this question is anything like ours.

It sounds great; money to preserve open space. This question was created on the “other side” of Eagle County. If passed, would it benefit our side in the same manner as 4D? NO WAY!

I doubt if we will ever see any of that money over here. I am not against the idea, but please understand our needs will not be met by that referendum.

I honestly believe this measure is a must for the midvalley area. If you want your property values to go up, improve the area. This district is very much a winning deal, for very little tax money from you (about $75 for $300,000 assessed value).

I hate taxes as much as you, but it is critical that we create this district so that we can go forward and make the midvalley area an even more wonderful area in which to live.

Willard L. Clapper

Aspen