Letter: Bad timing for rec center proposal | AspenTimes.com

Letter: Bad timing for rec center proposal

A government shutdown, friends losing their homes and parents killing themselves are issues we face daily. Teachers are grossly underpaid, and some Colorado schools do not operate five days a week because funding is not there for education. Taxes are high, and property values have plummeted. Yet midvalley families are being asked to approve excessive taxes for an ordinarily generic rec center.

Yes, I said it: generic. There is no turf field in the plan. There are no leading alternative-energy ideas in play. The allocated senior area is much less than what exists today for seniors in the Eagle County building. And the center will duplicate the facilities and programs that four rec centers within 35 miles provide.

Support the centers here today. Teachers, coaches and mentors who shape our future are working for peanuts. And your participation in established programs throughout the valley is needed.

Do not be fooled with the term "modest investment." If you own a modest home, you will be taxed for over 20 years, amounting to many thousands of dollars. If you own vacant land or a business, you will pay even more. To build the center increases taxes 5.8 mills, and to operate the center increases another 2.5 mills on top of the 2.283 mills already on your tax bill. Crown Mountain representatives admit the rec center will always operate in a deficit.

From design to operation to funding, there is nothing cutting-edge about this proposed center. Families are struggling. Cash to stash does not exist. Contemporary society has become increasingly estranged from the natural world. And it is time spent in nature that is essential to healthy human development.

The midvalley rec center will bring asphalt, parking and development to pristine open space. It will bring new roads and take part of a children's park. We have open space, fields for soccer, lacrosse, concerts, children and flying kites. Enjoy it. No other community has this much open space park.

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Our health and harmony will grow with a "no" vote on 4C and 4D.

Janine Gunning

El Jebel

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