Letter: Take Basalt from “good” to “off the charts”
In many of the letters supporting the towns’s purchase of the remaining 2.5 acres, the writers deride proponents of appropriate and moderate development because they are perceived as being motivated by financial interests. That is certainly not the motivation of those I have talked to, nor mine. As a retiree with no financial benefits on my horizon from this development, let me say what are my financial concerns: 1) the
town’s purchase of the subject property removes it and any improvements on it from the tax rolls and consequently is certainly a negative when considering our tax base, 2) The town would not realize any sales tax or other revenues resulting from the establishment of some commercial activity on the subject property as well as employment that might be generated by certain types of limited commercial activity, 3) an additional negative would be the added cost to the town in upkeep and maintenance if this additional property becomes the town’s responsibility. Loss of tax revenue and additional expense in purchasing and maintaining the additional acreage is my financial impetus for opposing the town purchasing the property and why I support proportional and prudent development.
I noticed in a recent letter Gerry Terwilliger apparently did a push-pull survey of three or four businesses in old town Basalt. The result of that appears to have been that the respondents indicated that business was “good”. My question is, couldn’t it be a lot better? Unfortunately he couldn’t canvass Val’s Gourmet, Fraiche and more recently Eurasia as well as many other iterations of businesses and eateries that had to shut their doors or move to Willits due to a lack of sustaining patronage. I also suppose Mr. Terwilliger would also have questioned the need for the Chamber to sponsor a program placing artworks in otherwise darkened store windows merely to add life and vibrancy to an area so in need. Also, one needs to compare Mr. Terwilliger’s survey results of a few businesses in Basalt as “good” to Monday’s article in The Aspen Times where various sources characterized businesses in Aspen as being “off the charts” and the best year for one store “in its 35 years of business,” to mention just a few of the superlatives. I am not suggesting Aspen as a municipal model but I do believe the proper commercial development of the Pan & Fork property will help move the needle from just “good” to “off the charts,” but we need to move forward now.
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I was disturbed by Aspen High School Principal Sarah Strassburger’s April 11 guest commentary: “State board of education representative off mark on Aspen High Survey.”