The city of Aspen’s failure to communicate
At Monday night’s meeting during a public hearing, Aspen City Council is being asked to approve certificates of participation that will total approximately $60 million, which includes interest to build only the new Galena Plaza/Rio Grande city offices.
Then at a later date, another $13.9 million (not including interest) will be asked for the renovation of the Armory Building for City Hall, with still another $1.2 million (not including interest) for the Tasters building renovation into a city office annex.
These amounts do not include the costs for the required affordable housing, parking spaces and change orders.
I am curious why the public is not being given the chance to comment on the three funding mechanisms available of revenue bonds, borrowing from the Wheeler and/or certificates of participation.
Revenue bonds are cheaper than participation bonds and borrowing from the Wheeler has been brought up by council members yet the only option presented for approval to council are the more expensive certificates of participation.
Why has the city not run any ads letting citizens know about this important funding public hearing?
There have been oodles of ads for public comment on the funding of $300,000 to keep the recycle center maintained but not one ad for the minimum $75 million for new city offices, city hall and city office annex building.
We know already that due to the extra costs involved in certificates of participation — many city projects are put on hold or will not happen at all.
Why not revenue bonds which are cheaper and will free money up for other projects?
With your office’s spotlight on improved communications and transparency for the public — why oh why — are the three funding mechanisms not being discussed in a public hearing?
Hopefully your office will have this requested information available for discussion at Monday night’s public hearing on funding the $75 million plus for city offices.