Letter: Rec center belongs in Basalt
November 2, 2013
The headline in the Oct. 27 edition of The Aspen Times certainly caught my attention: "Surge in Basalt sales tax isn't slowing down."
There are two ballot issues in the upcoming Tuesday election requesting approval to fund the building of a $25 million recreation center on a portion of Crown Mountain property (Issue 4D) as well as approval to maintain the facility in perpetuity (Issue 4C).
The cost is to be totally borne by a property tax, resulting in a limited number of individuals and businesses financing this huge undertaking. Naturally the question arose as to why only property owners should cover the expense for a center that would be used by anyone and everyone. More equitable would be to fund the cost from town resources, i.e., sales tax (reference above headline). This has been done most successfully with, for example, the Gypsum Recreation Center. The reason given is that the location designated to build the facility (Crown Mountain Park) is not within the town of Basalt.
In my opinion, it makes more sense to build a recreation center within town limits, whereby all that money coming into town coffers could more justly — and equitably — cover the cost to build and maintain such a venture.
Keep in mind that even if authorization to build a recreation center does not win approval this time round, proponents have assured us they will be back again. And again and again and again. Eventually, Basalt will no doubt have its own recreation center.
While encouraging everyone to take advantage of his or her right to vote, keep in mind that a "no" vote on 4C and 4D would result in a better conceptual plan in the future.
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Nancy K. Bosshard
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