Letter: Make full use of existing property first
Aspen is a small town of 6,000 people, so why do we need to build a new, enormous City Hall on our Galena Plaza Park, outside our library and historic courthouse? As residents, we value our open space and parks. Not long ago, voters turned down a larger library expansion because people wanted and valued open space and parks. We simply do not need a newly built, consolidated Aspen City Hall in this location. The rationale used has been that staffers do not want to walk a block to another office. Really?
While the city says this would be cheaper, the same argument has been made in the past and has been proven wrong over and over. Remodeling the Armory for city offices is far more reasonable and cost-effective, for it would serve as continued vitality in the core, which has always been a goal for the City Council.
Using other city-owned properties, such as the Power House (former art museum), for city offices on a temporary or permanent basis would be a smart move and could save the city as much as $55 million in spending.
Remodeling the old Armory for offices is the best solution for residents. It would maintain vitality in the core. Moreover, not many local nonprofits want to use a remodeled Armory for their events. The space is either too large or inconvenient to parking. There is no guarantee that the existing Armory, if turned into a community center, would ever be used to its fullest or even at all.
Simply said, the council should use all the existing city-owned properties, remodel the Armory for city offices and leave the open space park on Galena Plaza with its views for the public to enjoy.
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