Letter: Old Powerhouse could be used for church activities | AspenTimes.com

Letter: Old Powerhouse could be used for church activities

It is probably accurate to state that wealthy residents near the Aspen Power Plant represented the deciding factor in the City Council’s recent decision to deny the proposal in question, thereby leaving this building’s future in doubt as to its usefulness.

Given St. Mary Catholic Church’s recent explanations of its need for expansion due to a variety of activities (some secular) — for example, a probable increase in homelessness in Aspen and a probable increase in Alcoholics and Narcotics Anonymous meetings — would it not be so far out of line for this building to be used precisely for these purposes?

Were Aspen’s homeless population allowed a reasonable length of stay, requiring it to become locally employed, instead of walking the streets day and night in a bored, useless and possibly criminal manner, with sleeping and duffel bags, littering the city with cigarettes, needles, cans, bottles and other unwanted materials, perhaps the daily published police blotter might actually be reduced.

A permanent resident and staff member in charge of this building, and its operation, would be necessary to ensure peace, order and safety.

This would free all of Aspen’s churches, most of which are located in expensive neighborhoods, from their present obligation.

As a brief aside, AA meetings now outnumber religious services at Vail’s Interfaith Chapel, which serves Catholics, Protestants and Jews.

Almost by definition, the Old Powerhouse, in providing this benefit to the community, would function without traffic and parking difficulties.

At some point, those in residence would have to provide proof of independence from this facility due to their successful employment opportunity, the alternative being a requirement to leave the county and perhaps requiring governmental institutionalization.

Art Allard

Aspen


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