Bad choices by Basalt council
Dear Basalt Town Council,
If “the community” has appeared to be silent after the suggestion that you find other means to purchase the Community Development Corp. parcel, it is only that we are livid with anger! Livid that you would dismiss the results of the bond request. You may have wrongly misinterpreted the results to suggest that this was only a money issue. It was a much broader issue for a huge swath of the community. It is a bad choice to turn over “the control” to the council. It was a bad choice to throw another $3 million into the property. It is a bad choice to redirect revenue from tax coffers (generated primarily from Willits) for the next several years. It is a bad choice to ignore more pressing issues in favor of purchasing the land with no plan for its use. It is a bad choice to ignore the aspirations of so many that this property could rekindle the town’s vitality and generate badly needed revenue.
It is a bad idea to ignore the possibility of bringing more foot traffic into the town — either with residences and/or visitors. It is a bad idea to dismiss the role that “smart development” would have in reimbursing the Community Development Corp. and providing us with expertise and then the amenities that we hunger for that have left downtown nearly destitute of basic commercial services — real reasons to bring our own people into town and attract boutique businesses. Putting the town on the hook by redirecting revenue from a variety of sources does nothing to answer the myriad issues we face. As winter ends and spring begins, we are reminded of the darkness left over the past five months that this parcel of land produced as a “park-like” setting and its failure to encourage a sense of community amongst our residents. Our waterfront park is protected in perpetuity. With thoughtful landscaping, it will become the gem we were all hoping for.
Now it’s time to direct our attention to downtown and begin to bring down the walls that were so aptly (if not tongue in cheek) referred to in a recent spoof in the Aspen Daily — walls either real or imagined that have left downtown Basalt in the dark for too many years.