Village is a win-win | AspenTimes.com

Village is a win-win

Dear Editor:

The Village at Crystal River development is the beginning of the redevelopment of the Highway 133 corridor. If this project is approved the first phase of improving Highway 133 will be completed.

This could include a major sculpture in the roundabout. Jim Calaway, a local supporter of many community improvements here and in the valley, was contacted by residents supporting the arts to approach a world-famous sculptor about a piece for Carbondale. Jim followed through, as he always does, and contacted the gentleman. Consequently, there are tentative plans to raise funds privately to include this in the roundabout if the highway is improved. There is also a landscape plan (trees lining Highway 133) being prepared starting at the bridge and carrying through to Main Street. It’s now or never!

This project is the start of Carbondale being open to serve all its residents with stores that were identified in the road-map report as being desired by the residents, including the new expanded grocery store.

The focus on the developer’s projections for dollar sales is a red herring. Neither the town nor its residents are investing any money in this project. If it fails, it is the developer’s company that will lose its investment. The bank or investors who hold the debt for the highway improvements are the ones at risk, not the town or any resident of Carbondale. We have no investment nor any risk; we are not part of the security. We end up with a portion of Highway 133 improved even if the sales tax to pay off the public improvement fee is never fully realized. The highway improvements have to be in place in three years for the project or lose town approval to build.

The residential units will not be built until there is a market. Only people who have never run a business could be afraid of this issue. Banks are not loaning money to build residential developments. The residential might turn into a continuing care community facility for senior citizens, something of interest to many of Carbondale’s residents. Basalt, by being open for business, is fast moving toward such a facility. I would suggest, with all we have to offer, Carbondale is a better location.

Vote “yes”; let’s continue to make Carbondale a better place to live for everyone as the road map laid out is not just for a select portion of the community.

William Lamont

Aspen


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