Letter: Don’t put it on the taxpayers | AspenTimes.com

Letter: Don’t put it on the taxpayers

A small group of locals is pressuring the City Council to turn the Armory building (current City Hall) into a community center. This group seems sure it could raise the money and it would not cost the city a dime.

What this small group is not telling us is that after abandoning the Armory, the city would build a brand-new City Hall for $50 million on our public open space at Rio Grande Park. It is not telling us that we would lose that public open space where residents and tourists now enjoy views of the mountains, Shakespeare in the Park and just being outdoors. Besides, we need open space around our iconic 19th-century structures, like the courhouse, to preserve our small-town feel. These structures should not be crowded into one monolithic government consortium, a “Taj Mahal.”

Few small nonprofits are interested in having space at the former Armory. It might have been appropriate in the 19th century but not today. The Armory is perfect for city offices where they are today. The Armory deserves an upgrade so Aspen’s character and history can be preserved.

If the small group pressuring the City Council is so sure that the Armory would be better used as a community room, then the group should write a check for the millions of dollars it would take to refurbish the Armory and reimburse itself later from the funds it is sure others will donate. But the group hasn’t done that; it wants the taxpayers to take that risk!

Perhaps this small pressure group should put its money where its mouth is and not demand that taxpayers pay for its hobby.

Junee Kirk


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