Letter: Vote “yes” on Basalt questions 2F and 2G | AspenTimes.com

Letter: Vote “yes” on Basalt questions 2F and 2G

Basalt voters have an opportunity in the upcoming general election to take control of a piece of property that could well determine the future vitality of the town.

Questions 2F and 2G offer voters the chance to purchase the remaining piece of property currently owned by the Community Development Corp. By voting “yes” and purchasing this property, the town (and all of its residents) takes control of its own destiny as it relates to this parcel. It’s also important to note that the outcome of this vote will potentially affect not only any potential improvements to the Pan and Fork property but to all parks and open space projects within the town of Basalt.

Critics claim that this money could be better spent on other potential improvements to such things as education, improvements to Arbaney Park and pool, plus “other community-enhancing services.” Many of these possible improvements already come either under the purview of other taxing districts (property taxes for education) or from funds already earmarked. For example, planned improvements to Arbaney Park and the pool are already in the planning stages, but depend on available Parks, Open Space and Trails money being available in future years. If 2F and 2G fail, then any proposed improvements to the Pan and Fork property currently owned by the town would have to be funded in part with Parks, Open Space and Trails money. Since that money is limited and dependant on tax revenue already being generated, which project would then be chosen to move forward?

The proposed improvements to the riverside park would make it an attraction to both locals and out-of-town visitors alike. However, critics of the purchase claim that we already have a band shell and rest rooms at Lions Park. True enough, but is that the best we can do to attract visitors and revitalize downtown? I think not.

Interest rates are at historically low levels that won’t last forever. It’s important for people to remember that under the current debt levy, we now pay approximately $146 per year on a $500,000 home. That comes out to 40 cents per day!

And we recently saw both the Pitkin County Open Space and Trails Board and the Eagle County open space and trails board unofficially pledge $400,000 each toward the purchase of this property which would significantly reduce the burden on tax payers.

This is an investment in Basalt’s future. All investments cost money and involve risk. However, without risk there is no return or reward. Do you want to see a public river park that is actually an attraction or are you happy with the current setup in Lion’s Park?

Or, put another way; Are you willing to pay 40 cents per day to control your own destiny and invest in a future you can be proud of? If yes, vote “yes” on 2F and 2G!

Paul Hilts


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