Letter to the Editor
Dear Editor:Thank you for writing the powerful exposé, “A Tale of Two Cities: Old Town Basalt overshadows its other half.” How refreshing it was to read an accurate analysis of the appalling discrepancies between Old Town and the West Basalt/El Jebel communities. Not only is there confusion regarding the split identities of different sections of Basalt, the El Jebel area suffers from neglect. Rampant overdevelopment, heavy car and truck traffic and a severe lack of continuous, safe bicycle and pedestrian paths are rapidly transforming our rural paradise into a generic suburban sprawl.The boarded-up old restaurant near the El Jebel intersection has been a long-standing blight on our neighborhood. Abandoned, broken-down cars litter the parking lot. Clearly, these conditions would never be tolerated in Old Town Basalt. Nearby homeowners, working hard to maintain and improve their properties, are forced to pass this run-down neighborhood entrance on a daily basis. A recent disappointment was the failed ballot measure to construct a new public library, which would have been a wonderful cultural and educational community asset for West Basalt. It is ironic that most of the tax revenues generated by West Basalt seem to fund improvements in Old Town, while areas surrounding the revenue-producing Orchard Plaza are essentially neglected. A classic example of the “Tale of Two Cities” is provided by conditions at commuter parking lots in the two areas. The Basalt park-and-ride on Highway 82 near Old Town is completely paved, well-lighted and landscaped, in contrast to the El Jebel commuter lot, where inadequate gravel disappears into the muck and mud. This situation is complicated because the El Jebel lot falls under the jurisdiction of RFTA within unincorporated Eagle County. The complex boundary lines of counties, cities and public agencies make all of these problems more difficult to address. Scott Condon and your editors are to be commended for telling the truth about issues that are too often ignored. Hopefully your article will prove to be a catalyst for change and improvement in our midvalley community. Thank you.Nancy CaponiEl Jebel
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