Letter: Roundabout cost shifting
An Aspen Times article recently stated, “Related is required to build both roundabouts, although the town contributed $800,000 toward the larger one. That project is expected to cost $4.3 million” (“Snowmass readies for two new roundabouts,” April 21).
Actually, Related and the town shifted these costs to Base Village property owners via the 2006 intergovernmental agreement via General Improvement District and Metro district’s taxes. Here is the quote that does that: “And the parties (the town and developer) agreed to cooperate in causing the General Improvement District to reimburse the town and developer for all costs … with Metro now expected to issue bonds in place of the GID”
The intergovernmental agreement document clarifies who is paying for the roundabout — it is those who pay General Improvement and Metro taxes and that is limited to Base Village owners. Exhibit A lists the projects. No. 13 is the roundabout. Metro District issued nearly $50 million in bonds to pay for the list of projects.
Of all the documents we read before we closed on our Base Village Capitol Peak property, this document was not provided.
General Improvement District is currently a tax on Base Village owners only. It doesn’t get as much attention as the huge Metro District taxes or the Base Village Co. Master Association levied homeowners association fees, which are more than the metro taxes. General Imrovment District pays to run Skittles in the offseason and any hours beyond ski-lift hours and other public amenities.
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Metro District taxes, five times the mil levy everyone pays for Aspen schools, is solely levied on Base Village owners.
Note that Related intends to perpetuate this cost shifting with the details of the pending PUD amendment approval in the 10 agreements for Base Village Phase 2 that have been negotiated outside of the public meeting process.
Base Village owners did not vote to assume Related and the town’s expenses for the roundabouts.
Base Village owners are depending upon the Snowmass town staff and Town Council to protect them from egregious cost shifting by rejecting the terms of these 10 agreements.
Patricia Jayne Keefer
Snowmass Village and Texas
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With all the noise around testing Ms. Owens, I fear the real testing issues for our community, which impact our lives and livelihood, have been missed by one and all.