Letter: Midvalley needs its own rec center

Midvalley needs its own rec center

I am writing in support of the Midvalley Recreation Center at Crown Mountain Park.

There has been a lot of talk about the pros and cons of building a rec center in the midvalley, and most of the arguments come down to money. I get it. It will cost money to build a recreation center, but for our family, my wife and two young boys, the long-term benefits of a recreation center at this location far outweigh the costs.

The midvalley is a real place. We are not just worker housing for business in Aspen, or a highway stop on a commute up and down valley. We are a 10,000-person community — the fastest growing community in the valley, with potentially the highest growth of both young and old year-round residents in the valley over the next 20 years.

We need a place like the rec center to swim, play basketball, host meetings, birthday parties, rock climb, host gymnastics and swim teams, post-prom parties, indoor winter soccer, and more.

The facts of the cost are this: For a home with an actual value of $500,000, it will cost in taxes about $230 to build and $330 annually to maintain the rec center. For a midvalley family of four, membership rates would be $72 per month (and free for in-district seniors 70 and older). Therefore, annual maintenance and monthly fees equals $1,200 a year, $100 per month — for four people.

At one point over the past year we were driving one of our children to the Aspen Recreation Center for team sports three times a week. Three hours of driving round-trip with a gas cost of approximately $30 per week equaled to $120 per month, before we even walked in the door. I would gladly save money and time and have unlimited use of a rec center in our neck of the woods, one that employs local people and is a resource for our school children, our seniors and our families.

Costs aside, there is a bigger issue at hand. Do we want the midvalley to remain dependent and boosting the economies of our “anchor” towns of Aspen and Glenwood, or do we want to invest more locally and give our community, young, old, and everyone in between a place of its own? I plan on being here for the rest of my life, and I want the midvalley, my home, to thrive.

For these reasons and more, I will be voting “yes” on 4C & 4D during the mail-in ballot election beginning Oct. 14.

Brian Beazley