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Eagle County candidates reluctant

Aspen Times Staff Report

Midvalley residents are apparently on their own when it comes to raising funds to develop recreational facilities on the Mount Sopris Tree Farm.

All five candidates for two seats on the board of Eagle County commissioners expressed opposition or lukewarm support for spending funds from the county budget for amenities such as ballfields.

“I don’t believe Eagle County needs to get into the recreation business,” said Mike Gallagher, a Democrat seeking election to the District 1 seat.

He said he is extremely enthusiastic to see through plans next year to build an office building and community center at the tree farm. That 15,000-square-foot, $1 million facility is the top-ranked capital project in the proposed 2001 budget.

Gallagher said he also believes it is appropriate for the county government to pay for the planning process for the recreational facilities. Proposals for the athletic fields and other amenities are included in the plan for the community center.

Eagle County teamed with Pitkin County to acquire the tree farm in a land swap with the U.S. Forest Service in the mid-1990s. Eagle County officials have encouraged midvalley residents to determine what they want at the tree farm, then form a special district to achieve it.

Gallagher’s opponent, Republican Chuck Crist, has made recreation opportunities a central theme in his campaign. However, he balked when asked if Eagle County government should help pay for the facilities at the tree farm.

Crist said the county should help other efforts to “secure funding.”

In the District 2 race, Democrat Arn Menconi is courting support of parents and young adults in part by advocating opportunities for kids. He said he definitely supports providing recreational facilities at the tree farm – he just doesn’t believe he could help anytime soon since the 2001 budget would be set even if he wins election.

Menconi said he would look for ways to assist in developing recreational facilities at the tree farm and elsewhere in the county.

“I’d work very hard to try to get that done,” he said.

Republican candidate Steve Morris also cautiously said that the county could “possibly” fund some amenities.

Unaffiliated District 2 candidate Kathy Warren said the commissioners have the responsibility to work with communities to help them provide services important to their constituents. However, she conceded that it would be difficult at this time to fund recreational facilities when there are so many other needs.

“We have to look out for welfare first,” she said. “Recreation isn’t that top priority.”

Hopefully, Warren said, the town of Basalt will receive a Great Outdoors Colorado grant to get the construction of recreational facilities moving forward. A decision on the grant is due in December.

n See Tree Farm on page 14-A

n continued from page 5-A Carolyn “Tee” Child died on Oct. 7 in Vista, Calif., at the age of 76 in the company of her husband, former rancher and Pitkin County Commissioner Bob Child, and her six children.

Tee was born on Dec. 17, 1923, in New York City. She grew up in Andover, Mass., and in Palo Alto, Calif. She met her husband while attending the University of Colorado at Boulder.

Tee spent most of her adult life raising her family in Denver and on the Child cattle ranch on Capitol Creek in Snowmass.

In addition to managing a large household full of her own children, extended family and numerous visitors, she was involved in many community organizations. She helped found the Basalt Library and volunteered as a “Blue Lady” at Aspen Valley Hospital and as a Girl Scout leader. She belonged to the Basalt Band Mothers, the Country Homemakers Club and the Basalt Literary Sorosis Club.

Tee worked as a typesetter and proofreader at The Aspen Times and was a founding member of the board of directors of the Rocky Mountain Institute, later working there as an assistant to executive director Hunter Lovins.

She loved spending time outdoors playing tennis, hiking and skiing, both alpine and cross-country. She is fondly remembered for her serene and independent nature and for the love she extended to all who met her.

Tee spent the last few years of her life in retirement in Arroyo Grande and Vista, Calif.

She is survived by Bob Child, her husband of 57 years, by her six children: Nancy Anderson of Ojai, Calif.; Don Child of Honolulu, Hawaii; Steve Child of Snowmass; Scott Child of Santa Ana, Calif.; Doug Child of Burnsville, N.C.; and Jeanie Child of Snowmass; a sister, Mary Griffin-Jones of Tiburon, Calif.; a brother, Douglas Murray of Fort Collins, and seven grandchildren.

A memorial service was held on Oct. 10 in Vista. A local service is planned for this summer on the Child Ranch in Snowmass.

Memorial contributions can be made in Tee’s name to the Alzheimer’s Association, 8514 Commerce Ave., San Diego, CA 92121.


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