Something smells |

Something smells

Dear Editor:

Better circle the wagons and hold your nose … turns out that the company that will market the bonds for the purchase of the Pan and Fork trailer park are paying for advertising to convince the voters of Basalt to approve that purchase, thus their motivation (along with the Town Council) for a successful election. Does the term, “conflict of interest” come to mind? Do you notice a certain odor?

Now all of this rush to buy the site for $4.5 million is being steamrollered over us citizens by a Town Council that says that it cannot tell us the details of this deal until they know that it has been approved (after which time of course, we cannot do anything about it … an interesting aroma).

Hey citizens, do you remember that a couple of years ago the Roaring Fork Club offered to buy the Pan and Fork, appraised at $2.7 million, provide five acres free to the town for a 36-unit affordable housing village, build the housing and relocate the “trailer” families to the new site located next to Guido’s Tree Farm? In addition, RFC agreed to donate a section of the Pan and Fork land to the town for a river side park (with no cost/liability to the taxpayers).

Jacque Whitsitt and Ann Freedman (Entrance to Basalt group) lobbied against that deal and the Town Council subsequently voted it down … that would have solved the whole problem with no cost to the taxpayers of Basalt. Now, at a new price of $4.5 million plus uncertain other expenses, these same folks are telling us that we need to rush to buy this property and to saddle the taxpayers with all of the expenses and risks that may occur, rather than that being a private developer’s responsibility.

More questions:

1. If this is such a good deal financially, why not let a private developer do it? The Town Council had one not long ago.

2. Why the stonewalling against letting the citizens know the details of this project before we vote?

3. Who are the members of the Entrance to Aspen (ooops ” I mean Basalt ) group?

4. Isn’t it outrageously inappropriate to advocate for your position through the very bonding company that stands to profit if the vote is successful?

5. How did the appraised value increase from $2.7 million to $5.8 million in such a short time and who is the appraiser?

6. Why not delay this election until the voters have all the information and there can be major citizen participation in this decision?

7. Why is this such a “rush” deal for the town at $4.5 million when we know that this property cannot be sold without replacing the mobile homes, according to a town ordinance?

It looks like the citizens of Basalt need to get in the way of this steamroller by voting against this project. Advice: Keep a tight grip on your nose, this project smells worse every day!

Randolph Colman