Make the recycling center a good neighbor |

Make the recycling center a good neighbor

Dear Editor:

Here is a previous letter sent to Aspen City Council about the recycle center:

“I have been an owner of property at 601 E. Bleeker St. in the vicinity of the recycle center since 1986. As an Aspen citizen, my associates and I appreciate the opportunity and convenience that the recycle center offers. However, the operation has not always been a good neighbor. The ugly view, trash containment, noise, congestion and weather-related problems have been an issue.

“When it was announced that the Obermeyer Place project along with the city had agreed to renovate the recycle center, as part of the area redevelopment, it was enthusiastically welcomed. Our public park does not seem like the appropriate place for such a facility. However, a state of the art facility, as the city described it, could be a tremendous asset.

“Let us not forget the over 100 owners and lessees within the new project that have paid into the pool of money that supported the recycle center redevelopment. Those financial participants and neighbors to the project should have a large voice. It is not the Aspen way to leave an open recycle sight in the middle of public parks. I maintain that operational and ecstatic issues should stand to the forefront. A roof will make it tidier, cut down on debris and operation costs, and yet can be aesthetically pleasing. Enclosure is a most to trap flying debris but it can blend in with nature.”

Here is an e-mail to Ben Gagnon and Bentley Henderson on Aug. 23:

“I was so disappointed when the recycle center got sidetracked. Such a shame to let such hard work go down the drain. Where is the city plan now to have a ‘state of the art’ recycle center? Was that just lip service by the city? The city and residents deserve more. How much money did the city get from Obermeyer? Is that being held in a separate account specifically for the recycle center redevelopment? Let us not forget that money was put into the coffers from residents/tenants of Obermeyer Place, who now look out over a mess. Please help!”

Ben Gagnon, the special projects planner, e-mailed that the recycle center was the responsibility of Bentley Henderson of the asset management department headed by the assistant city manager. Of course, no other response was ever forthcoming.

The point of all this is that ACRA, the primary promoter of Aspen, has no voice, so what are the chances for an ordinary citizen? The city and county are worried about building projects to equip more bureaucrats. I guess that is what we should expect from an ex-commissioner, now mayor, and a declared socialist. Our local government has their own agenda and far too fat. Over the 25 years that I have been doing business here, the local government has done everything possible to inhibit the local business climate. It is a true testament to grassroots capitalism that it can overcome, in spite of the local political climate.

Gailen Smith


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