Letter: Let’s rewrite Basalt’s historic chapter | AspenTimes.com

Letter: Let’s rewrite Basalt’s historic chapter

The residents of Basalt have a lot to be proud of. Democracy is alive and well in our town. Healthy debate has defined the issues and the voters have spoken on who they trust to create the river park and guide the town’s vision for the present. The river park is a legacy project that will define Old Town Basalt as the most unique community in the valley.

The upcoming vote to fund the final land purchase and start park improvements while allowing the town residents to determine the highest and best use of the parcel is truly democracy at work. The “our town” process has been a success. A legacy park with a shining river flowing through it is what the majority of voters have decided that they prefer to exclusive condominiums.

That is not to say that it has been easy nor that it will ever be. The democratic process including spirited debate is best way for the citizenry to influence the future of their community. The Basalt town government has worked very hard to define a healthy and positive future for the community on multiple levels. The national recession has made it difficult to accomplish the plans that the community had undertaken in 2008.

Basalt is now on the move and things are evolving toward a bright future honoring the best of both business growth and opportunity as well as preservation and enhancement of the natural world with the Roaring Fork River as the centerpiece of Old Town.

The economy is improving and many delayed projects are now moving forward. Let us look to the future and write our names into the local history books as the inspired citizens that worked together in 2016 to build an unparalleled river park for our community and for many future generations of valley residents.

I urge the Basalt voters to vote to take advantage of the current financial opportunity to seal the deal on the purchase and then seek grants from Garfield County and other sources to create the amenities that will permanently establish Old Town Basalt as the unique place in the valley where nature and business can literally thrive side by side.

Take a walk with a child or a friend, along the river behind the new library, the human creativity blending alongside with nature is simply fantastic. We could soon have a very accessible park on both sides of the river. It will be a little “wilder” on the library side and then across the river, closer to the downtown businesses, a performing arts pavilion with live music and events that will create the vibrancy and connectivity that will benefit everyone, especially the businesses on Midland Avenue.

By voting to extend the current financing, at the extremely low interest rates as proposed, it will be the most cost effective method available to the allow the town vision of a downtown river park to become a reality. You can begin to write that historic chapter yourself by offering your vote as a healthy and healing gift to the entire Basalt community.

Royal Laybourn


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