One-library folks wrong on facts |

One-library folks wrong on facts

This is Part One of a letter written to address the ad currently running in the Aspen Times and the Aspen Daily News entitled “Let’s Get It Right!” and is paid for by “Citizens for One Library” (COL).

I find it ironic that the ad is entitled “Let’s Get It Right!” when it doesn’t appear that COL has gotten it right. It’s easy to claim something is wrong – the hard thing is to come up with a better solution! I don’t think COL really has one. It’s just smoke!

If you are eligible to vote on the Basalt Regional Library District Referendums 4B and 4C I hope you will consider the following items which are mentioned in the COL ad:

1) COL’s Criticism: Two Libraries Don’t Make Financial Sense!

The Facts: The two-library plan is more cost-effective than any of the one-library plans examined by the Library Board. By making use of the existing library in Lions Park the District and every taxpayer saves on land acquisition costs. By borrowing now District and every taxpayer saves money by taking advantage of the current low interest rates. By building now the District and every taxpayer saves on the construction costs.

Question: How does COL expect to save money by building a new library on expensive land in downtown Basalt?

2) COL’s Question: Is Leasing Really a Good Idea?

The Answer: Advances in technology are having a tremendous impact on how we get information. 35 years from now libraries will have computer systems that will store vast amounts of knowledge in digital form. We will be able to access this information from anywhere using a wireless device that fits in our pockets. To pay a premium price for land that probably won’t be needed in 35 years is not good economics. The Library Board thinks it is better to spend $150,000 for a three-acre building site that will serve our needs for the next 35 years. I agree.

If it turns out that it makes sense to keep the El Jebel library building, the lease can be renewed for 20 more years at the same rate with a cost-of-living adjustment. The town of Basalt offered a “discounted” price of $460,000 for a one-half acre site on the Levinson property with little room for parking or expansion that would have required a two-story building which is more expensive to staff and, therefore, require much more of the taxpayers’ money!

Question: How much does COL expect to pay for a three-acre building site in downtown Basalt?

End of Part One. I will be voting YES on 4B and 4C and I hope you will too, for our children’s sake and our tax savings. Stay tuned for Part Two.

Don Voltmer


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