Let’s get some answers on 2C
October 24, 2007
This letter is written with the hope that your reporters can get some answers from the city of Aspen regarding Referendum 2C. In the 2007 election information for Pitkin County is Referendum 2C, a proposed bond to build a hydroelectric plant on Castle Creek. The document states that, “There were no statements filed opposed to the ballot issue by the constitutional deadline.” Perhaps that is because not many knew of the project, and the city has provided few if any answers to those with questions. How can voters make an informed decision without some basic information?
I live on Castle Creek, directly across from the proposed project, so naturally I am interested. On behalf of me and the other homeowners on Harbour Lane, I wrote Mayor Mick Ireland, City Manager Steve Barwick and Public Works Director Phil Overeynder an e-mail asking them a few questions. Mayor Ireland was the only one to respond. He wrote that he had requested a staff presentation. That was a month ago. I e-mailed Mayor Ireland to remind him of his promise one week ago. No response. The election is now a month a way. It seems reasonable to me that the city provide the public with some degree of detailed information.
If it is a worthy project, the city should be able to answer a few questions. The questions we asked a month ago were:
1) Does the city plan on informing and involving residents, particularly those most affected by this project?
2) Since the water for the plant will be taken out of the river quite a distance upstream (somewhere by the water plant) what are the riparian, aquatic and general environmental ramifications of the proposed water diversion and resulting reduction of streamflow?
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3) Has the plan been approved by the various federal, state and local agencies that have oversight of watershed development?
4) What is the design of the proposed 3,000-square-foot building?
5) What will be the acoustic realities of the project?
Perhaps our representatives will answer these questions and others if they are asked by reporters.